Evolving Needs Of Churches

To someone with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.  

When it comes to forward movement for churches, the kinds of activities which help us move ahead at one point in time typically do not transfer to another point in time. This is why Pinnacle continues to innovate when it comes to training, coaching, and guiding churches and denominations. Transforming Church Initiatives are the next step in our evolution of services.

By walking with churches, denominations, and their leaders, we are regularly sensitized to the evolving needs of churches when it comes to living into their best selves. Over the last ten years, the following dynamics have grown crystal clear, leading us to create TCIs. Perhaps these dynamics will resonate with your experience.

Limitations of Visioning and Strategic Planning

We’ve engaged in so many visioning processes with churches that we’ve lost count. Over time, the limitations of these processes became apparent as the world around us rapidly changed. Many pastors and lay leaders were looking for ways to vitalize their churches, expecting visioning processes to be the fitting pathway. Though a church can receive a temporary bump in momentum from visioning, there is simply not enough capacity built into visioning processes for sufficient adaptation to take hold. Visioning has its place, but it doesn’t meet the primary need of churches like it once did. Now adaptive processes produce greater impact and forward momentum.

Limitations of Revitalization, Redevelopment, and Renewal Processes

Notice the two letters “Re” at the beginning of each of these words? For years we talked about the process of vitalizing churches using these words. But clearly, the prefix “Re” suggests that we believe returning to a previous way of being church is desirable. That’s why these words are no longer helpful or productive…returning to our previous way of being church in this world is impossible (or at least unsustainable). In reality, so much has changed that previous paradigms have largely aged-out. It’s time to follow the unfolding providence of God, giving ourselves permission to be church-as-it-is-becoming.

Growing Need to Accurately Understand the World Around Us (Ministry Context)

Most everyone in church knows things are different, yet often we don’t understand why and how. We discover we need accurate, common understandings of what’s happening in our culture and church. After raising our awareness, making more sense of the world around us, then we can learn a common language about change and forward movement through our TCI. Without raised awareness of contextual changes, we typically repeat patterns and practices from our past. Now it’s time to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead into new expressions of church, becoming our best selves in our current contexts.

Heightened Need For Spiritual Invigoration

Being disciples of Jesus in this Postmodern world can be daunting. Making the changes needed in order to be our best selves requires spiritual invigoration and courage. Certainly God knows how to help churches transform, having done this before! But for us, we need an invigorated faith to follow God’s lead. TCIs provide faith strengthening and enrichment opportunities which can result in spiritual courage.

Increasing Need For Adaptive Change

When the context shifts dramatically, our paradigms must shift in order to be viable. Adaptive Change Theory provides an excellent set of concepts and tools for making these shifts. Over time, Pinnacle has integrated Adaptive Change approaches into its TCIs, positioning these initiatives for substantive help to churches and denominations who are ready to adapt.

Driving Desire to Participate in God’s Movement

We believe God is bringing the kingdom to earth, as it is in heaven. We believe God intends to reshape our world toward God’s original hopes and dreams for us. So, we don’t want to miss out on participating with the unfolding of God’s Church into its next expressions. To that end, we are constantly adapting our processes and initiatives to more effectively support and encourage forward movement through the Church. 


Mark Tidsworth