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Church Growth & TQM

Personal note: We don't endorse, recommend or approve the terms or definitions below. In fact, we are concerned about the motives and purposes behind many of these new labels and movements. But we believe that Christians need to understand the meaning behind each item in order to be informed, to guard against deception, and to make wise, Biblical choices.

“I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.

Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."   Matt 10:16

See also Chart: NEW AGE terms in the church

Reinventing the World & Re-Inventing the Church - Part 1 & Part 2

Other Glossaries:  Education, Communitarian terms

Outside links to Modern Reformation and Dictionary of Missiological Terms

Skip down to Pluralism, Pragmatism, Systems or Spiritual mapping

Antinomianism: The doctrine that it is not necessary for Christians to preach and /or obey the moral law of the Old Testament.... The Gnostics, in the first centuries of the Christian era, discounted the moral law because they felt it came from the Demiurge, not the true God." Modern Reformation

Authenticity: From "Becoming More Authentic - The Positive Side of Existentialism." SYNOPSIS: "Authenticity means creating our own comprehensive life-meanings.... When we re-center and re-integrate our lives around our freely-chosen purposes, we become more focused, unified, & decisive.
     "...before we can even consider inventing our own life-purposes, we must become well-integrated, thoughtful persons. Becoming adults persons requires years of learning and growing. Each of us grew up in a fully-developed human culture, replete with rules, regulations, & assumed life-meanings....
     "...thru a process of trial and error, we can decide how best to re-center and re-integrate our lives, this time around purposes we have freely chosen, rather than the values and meanings we inherited from the culture."

Chaordic: "The behavior of any self-governing organism, organization or system which harmoniously blends characteristics of order and chaos.” [book cover] A chaordic organization is formed by a process that begins 'with an intensive search for Purpose then proceeds to Principles, People, and Concept, and only then to Structure and Practice.'” [Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock]

Church Growth: (according to Ralph D. Winter) ..." http://www.missionfrontiers.org/1990/0610/jo902.htm

Collaboration: "...working together to accomplish more than any one person can do alone. It takes open, candid conversation about real, high-impact issues.... It is about bringing out the best in a group. A continuum of group work moves from connection to coordination, then to cooperation and finally to collaboration."  "It is the ability to multiply each other's strengths to produce a result that no one could achieve alone. Collaboration requires several different steps.... Companies or organizations that are collaborative have both an ability to put out ideas and to listen to input from others." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer

Community Building: "The servant-leader senses that much has been lost in recent human history as a result of the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives. This awareness causes the servant-leader to seek to identify some means for building community among those who work within a given institution.... Greenleaf said, "All that is needed to rebuild community as a viable life form for large numbers of people is for enough servant-leaders to show the way, not by mass movements, but by each servant-leader demonstrating his or her unlimited liability for a quite specific community-related group." On Character and Servant-Leadership. See also excerpts from Scott Peck's The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace

Conceptualization: Servant-leaders seek to nurture their abilities to dream great dreams. The ability to look at a problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day-to-day realities.... The traditional leader is consumed by the need to achieve short-term operational goals. The leader who wishes to also be a servant-leader must stretch his or her thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual thinking. ... Servant-leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and a day-to-day operational approach." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Conflict Challenges: "... occur when Transformation Movements reach a significant imbalance between Change Pathways and Transition Passages. Conflict is when significantly more changes takes place than there is time for the people involved to make personal transitions, when large amounts of personal transitions take place without anticipated changes occurring, or when changes and transitions happen faster than systems or people can adjust to them. The resulting Conflict Challenges must be dealt with in some manner for any system to remain healthy or return to a healthy state if it has become unhealthy.... Conflict Resolution, Conflict Mediation, and Conflict Management are different approaches that are appropriate at substantially different levels of conflict." See note: Conflict

Conflict Resolution: "...can occur only at low levels of conflict when the situation truly is a win-win situation, all parties want to resolve the situation, and there appear to be... good solutions. Resolution is something that happens on the inside of people as they truly forgive one another." Conflict

Conflict Mediation: "...dealing with conflict when it is at medium levels and a win-lose situation has developed. Mediation involves at least collaboration and persuasion, and probably moves on to involve negotiation of proximate conclusions." Conflict

Conflict Management: "...necessary when conflict is at high levels of engagement and in a lose-lose situation. Only negotiation and compelling will work at this level. The entities involved have now decided that the winning is more important than the good of the organism or organization." Conflict

Connection: "the ability to share information...." To "allow potential connection based on the amount of information someone was willing to share." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer

Cooperation: "...marked by the desire for mutual gain. It is just a little better than coordination.... One of the differences between coordination and cooperation is that cooperation becomes more proactive. ... In cooperation, people begin to look out for each other a little bit." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer

Coordination: "...the "ability to act in concert with one another.' This usually accompanies an agreement to share information." Tom McGehee (answers questions), "On the road to collaboration," http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=78&db=explorer

Foresight: "...a characteristic that enables the servant-leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future. It is also deeply rooted within the intuitive mind." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Dialectic (or consensus) Process: A diverse group dialoguing to consensus toward a pre-planned outcome under the leadership of a trained facilitator. See The Mind-Changing Process and The Dialectic: Fomenting the Revolution

Dialectics: "In life there is duality: hot/cold; dark/light; new/old; tall/short, and so on.... And in most cases, when opposites unite, they form something new, such as combining yellow with red to create the substance 'orange,' and then orange takes its own place in the array of colors, and can mix again to synthesize yet another form or color, such as orange blended with blue to create black.

    "In the literal sense, the term dialectics means creating or coining something new from fusing opposites. It's like a pendulum swinging between two conflicting forces where the pendulum always strives for the perfect balance and hence settles dead center....  Based on opposites or dialectics, or duality, Hegel fostered the premise that if one ideology is presented (called the thesis) and another is posed in opposition to it (the anti-thesis [antithesis]), then the two would meld to form a new or combined construct (the synthesis). It applies to us today simply because we are seeing our country shift towards a socialist conviction through melding Capitalism and Communism...." Dr. Gianni D Hayes (author and radio hostess) in "Twisted Silhouette Government: Why the world is where it is." Website: www.thenazarzine.com

Dialectical: In Religion and Popular Culture in America, Bruce David Forbes & Jeffrey H. Mahan wrote (from a post-modern perspective), "I am also assuming that the relationship between culture and religion is dialectical; that is, they influence each other." (page 73)  In When Iron Gates Yield, Geoffrey T. Bull wrote about Communist interrogation in a Chinese prison (from a Christian perspective):

"These primary and nebulous questionings, I realized afterwards, are the 'dialectical' approach to interrogation. It is necessary to find out the whole course of development of a person's life from earliest days. The dominant influences and conflicts... his social position and class background.... Only after this ground is fairly clear, can the attitude of the Government be determined in regard to interrogation and 'brainwashing.' The first indication I had of the so-called 'thought reform' was when Yang said: 'Of course we don not really blame you for anything you have done against the people. Your government and Society must bear most of the guilt, although naturally you must bear some too.... The whole Capitalist structure is based on exploitation." 177-178

Discipling: Traditional context: A Spirit-led, committed teaching relationship in which mature Christians teach, model and encourage more recent converts who seek to understand and apply God's Word, to walk by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to be conformed to Jesus Christ.

       Context of CGM: Disciple (verb) means holding people “accountable” for the planned “results" or outcomes. In other words, manager set the outcome, and human resources must conform to that outcome or standard. The website, People Driven Software, explains: "

"PDS is designed to help you target lost people in your community and move them incrementally through a process until they are fully-devoted followers of Christ....    

Doctrine cop: Those who use the Scriptures to discuss or debate issues not related to the central points in the stated (or written or understood) mission or purpose statements of a small group or church.

     The article "Wildheart" states, "[John] Eldredge downplays his changing image, and quotes Søren Kierkegaard: 'And now, with God's help, I shall become myself.'.... Eldredge has published a study guide for each of his books, and the Wild at Heart videos are packaged with a facilitator's guide for small-group leaders. Sample advice: Don't try to solve each other's problems, don't allow any man to dominate the group, and beware of the 'doctrine cop,' who wants to debate points that aren't central to the group's purposes." [by Douglas LeBlanc, Christianity Today, 7/23/04]


Emerging Church: The Emerging Church: "The Emerging Church is a label that has been used to refer to a particular subset of Christians who are rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of Postmodernism.... One observed phenomenon is that many Christians subsequently start to reconstruct their Christianity thus finding a faith that, while basically Christian, is very unique to them. One definition of the Emerging Church is that it is the collective noun for individuals who are emerging from this process of deconstruction and reconstruction of Christianity."

     This deconstruction assumes that God's Word can be redefined, adapted to changing times and interpreted according to man's subjective preferences. But God's eternal Word cannot be adapted to man's changing whims. See Psalm 119:11

Empathy: "People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and colleagues and does not reject them as people, even when one may be forced to refuse to accept certain behaviors or performance. The most successful servant-leadersr are those who have become skilled empathetic listeners." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Facilitator: (1) A non-directive, non-judgmental teacher/leader who creates an environment for group bonding and learning, records each member's "progress" toward planned goals, and motivates the group collectively to advance toward individual and group goals. (2) A change agent who leads hand-picked committees or groups toward the "right" predetermined conclusions or consensus using the dialectic process. This process is called "managed change."

Healing: "The healing of relationships is a powerful force for transformation and integration. One of the great strengths of servant-leadership is the potential for healing one's self and one's relationship to others.... In his essay, The Servant as Leader, Greenleaf writes, 'There is something subtle communicated to one who is being served and led if, implicit in the compact between servant-leader and led, is the understanding that the search for wholeness is something they share.'" On Character and Servant-Leadership

Intentional: Determined, purpose-driven -- as when you make up your mind and determine to follow a particular plan without deviation. "The tension between the sovereignty of God, on the one hand, and the creativity of evangelists and church planters to strategize for success is the most significant difference between Missional and Church Growth thinking. A balance is needed between these two perspectives. God does miraculously lead us forward in His mission. He, nevertheless, calls us to minister intentionality." [But God doesn't call for dialectical tension. That's Hegel's and Marx' way of driving people. God tells us to be always alert to His "voice" and ready to follow His direction in spite of our shortsighted plans and human visions.] "Contrasting Missional and Church Growth Perspectives"


Integral mission: "A number of phrases have been used to summarise that Biblical model of mission or express an organisation's part in it - holistic mission, holistic development, transformation, good news to the poor, Christian development, holistic diaconate, Mission Integral etc.... We suggest the phrase 'integral mission'... as a matter of practicality in network communication. So Integral Mission is ….
      " .. the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. If we ignore the world we betray the word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task."
     "The above is an extract from the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission developed by those present at the Micah consultation on Integral Mission held in Oxford during September 2001."

Law & Gospel: (from the Biblical, not postmodern, perspective) "When God gives orders and tells us what will happen if we fail to obey those orders perfectly, that is in the category of what the reformers, following the biblical text, called law. When God promises freely, providing for us because of Christ's righteousness the status He demands of us, this in in the category of gospel. ...The law comes, not to reform the sinner nor to show him or her the 'narrow way' to life, but crush the sinner's hopes of escaping God's wrath through person al effort or even cooperation. All of our righteousness must come from someone... who has fulfilled the law's demands. (Phil 3:7-10)... First comes the law to proclaim judgment and death, then the gospel to proclaim justification and life." (Galatians) "
Modern Reformation"

Leadership Development and Leadership Network: "Both have take on new meanings in today's postmodern churches. Result-driven programs, pragamatism, management software, humanist psychology and the latest human resource development strategies seem to be replacing the still voice of the Shepherd, the power of the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  See http://www.leadnet.org/allthingsln/archive_template.asp?archive_id=56&db=champsupdate

Learning Organization: "A learning organization is one that continuously adapts to a changing and interdependent environment. The Center's research shows that building learning organizations requires basic changes in thinking and behavior that overturn conventional and reactionary beliefs. Shifting from a fragmented, competitive and reactive organization to one that is systemic, cooperative and creative also requires a 'Galilean shift' toward building 'communities of commitment.' In this regard, commitment goes beyond personal loyalty to include a commitment to societal changes through one's organization. " Peter Senge and Fred Kofman, "Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations"

Listening: "The servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps to clarify that will. He or she listens receptively to what is being said and unsaid. Listening also encompasses getting in touch with one's own inner voice. Listening, coupled with periods of reflection, are essential to the growth and well-being of the servant-leader." On Character and Servant-Leadership

[Spiritual] Mapping: "Spiritual mapping is a term coined in 1991 by the Tacoma meeting's organizer, George Otis, Jr., but enthusiastic proponents say it is really the reprise of an old practice that can help propel the church toward fulfillment of the Great Commission. Spiritual mapping, says Otis, president of the research agency the Sentinel Group, is nothing more ethereal than creating a spiritual profile of a community based on careful research." Art Moore, Christianity Today.

Missiology: the systematic study of the theory and practice of Christian missions, combining such disciples as anthropology, cross-cultural communication theory, ecumenics, history, inter-cultural studies, methodology, religious encounter and theology."
     "Missiology is "the study of the salvation activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit throughout the world geared toward bringing the kingdom of God into existence....  [The] missiology's task in every age is to investigate scientifically and critically, the presuppositions, motives, structures, methods, patterns of cooperation, and leadership which the churches bring to their mandate."
Verkuyl, Contemporary Missiology: An Introduction (1978:5).
    "Gailyn Van Rheenen, from Abilene Christian University writes in Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies, "Missiology is made up of three interdependent disciplines: theology, the social sciences, and strategy." (1996:137).

Missional (Notice the dialectical tension in the third paragraph): "Missional churches define themselves as bodies formed by the calling and sending of God and reflecting the redemptive reign of God in Christ. They are unique communities in the world created by God through the Spirit as both holy and human....

    "The Missional movement maintains that the gospel cannot be contained in a set of propositions. The mission of God must be communicated as the dynamic story of God’s relationship with his creation. ....

    "The tension between the sovereignty of God, on the one hand, and the creativity of evangelists and church planters to strategize for success is the most significant difference between Missional and Church Growth thinking. A balance is needed between these two perspectives. God does miraculously lead us forward in His mission. He, nevertheless, calls us to minister intentionality....

    "The Church Growth movement has focused on the uniqueness and distinctiveness of people groups and the contextualization of the Gospel among the ethne of the world. The Missional movement, on the other hand, believes that the gospel breaks socio-economic and ethnic divisions between peoples so that all become one in Christ. ...

     "The Missional Helix visualizes such an 'interdisciplinary and interactive' approach to the practice of ministry and provides a corrective to traditional Church Growth perspectives. It images the intertwining, inseparable nature of theological reflection, cultural analysis, historical perspective, and strategy formation within the context of the practice of ministry. ...The helix begins with theologies, such as Missio Dei, the kingdom of God, incarnation, and crucifixion, which focus and form our perspectives of culture and the practice of ministry. ...analysis forms the second element ...

     "This process of ministry formation must occur within an environment of spiritual formation in which the soul is being nurtured through a personal walk with God... advocate an adapted missional model, one which begins with and always returns to theological reflection while taking seriously cultural analysis, historical perspective, and strategy formation." From "Contrasting Missional and Church Growth Perspectives" by Gailyn Van Rheenen

People Driven Software: "an innovative tool of technology that will grow and greatly enhance the ministry of your church.  Our goal is to make this the best church management software available for churches committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment...  [L]everage the power of well crafted technology to expand the kingdom of God in your church.... Software building churches... because people matter to God

"With People Driven Software YOU CAN SAY YES to all these and much more!"


Pluralism: "(See www.crossroad.to/Quotes/spirituality/Pluralism.html#1) According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "...the great world faiths, including Christianity, are valid spheres of a salvation that takes characteristically different forms within each--though consisting in each case in the transformation of human existence from self-centredness to a new orientation toward the Divine Reality. The other religions are thus not secondary contexts of Christian redemption but independently authentic paths of salvation. The pluralist position is controversial in Christian theology because it affects the ways in which the doctrines of the person of Christ, atonement, and the Trinity are formulated." http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/1/0,5716,108311+8,00.html


Persuasion: "The servant-leader seeks to convince others, rather than coerce compliance. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant-leadership. The servant-leader is effective at building consensus within groups. This emphasis on persuasion over coercion finds its roots in the beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)--the denominational body to which Robert Greenleaf belonged." On Character and Servant-Leadership


Postmodernism: (one of many views) Postmodernism: "Whereas modernism is thought to be the culmination of the Enlightenment's quest for an authoritatively-rational aesthetics, ethics, and knowledge, postmodernism is concerned with how the authority of those would-be-ideals (sometimes called metanarratives) are subverted through fragmentation, consumerism, and deconstruction....

      Postmodern "philosophy is the critical study of the most fundamental questions that humankind has been able to ask. Philosophers ask questions such as Metaphysics: What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of those things? Do some things exist independently of our perception? What is the nature of space and time? What is the nature of thought and thinking? What is it to be a person? What is it to be conscious? Is there a god?" " 2 Timothy 4:3-4  See also our charts, Postmodern thinking and Postmodern culture, and some examples: The Postmodern Church


Pragmatism: a philosophy that denies Biblical truth, sees truth as relative, and tests its validity by its practical outcome and measurable effects.

     Two familiar examples: "The ends justify the means." "Love is more important than truth or doctrine." Both sound good, but clash with God's Word. Neither can justify disobeying God and using evil means to meet what seems to be a good end. You cannot demonstrate God's holy, Spirit-given agapao love if you are not following His truth. [See Pragmatism Goes to Church]  

PreChristians: a more "tolerant" and politically correct reference to unbelievers than the old, unacceptable words such as pagans or heathen. One problem: the word itself assumes that each unbelieving "prechristian" will be "born again" and become a genuine Christian. But God tells us that some will believe when they hear His message, while others will not.

Presencing: "Presencing is based on an inner change of location. Presencing means: liberating one’s perception from the ‘prison’ of the past and then letting it operate from the field of the future. This means that you literally shift the place from which your perception operates to another vantage point. In practical terms, presencing means that you link yourself in a very real way with your ‘highest future possibility’ and that you let it come into the present."

      (Dr. Claus Otto_Scharmer, co-founder and lecturer of the Leadership Lab For Corporate Social Innovation at MIT. He also is... a co-founder (with IN guest Peter Senge, also of MIT) of the Society for Organizational Learning and The Global Institute for Responsible Leadership.)

Servant-leader: put servant ahead of leader. "It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons: do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?" Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader. It is "viewed as an ideal leadership form to which untold numbers of people and organizations aspire. In fact, we are witnessing today an unparalleled explosion of interest in, and practice of, servant-leadership. ... Servant-leadership seeks to involve others in decisionmaking, is strongly based in ethical and caring behavior, and it enhances the personal growth of workers while improving the caring and quality of organizational life....  Many of the companies named to Fortune magazine's annual listing of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" espouse servant-leadership and have integrated it into their corporate cultures. " On Character and Servant-Leadership: Ten Characteristics of Effective, Caring Leaders (Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Community Building)

Spontaneous expansion: "the expansion which follows the unexhorted and unorganized activity of individual members of the Church explaining to others the Gospel which they have found for themselves; I mean the expansion which follows the irresistible attraction of the Christian Church for men who see its ordered life, and are drawn to it by desire to discover the secret of a life which they instinctively desire to share; I mean also the expansion of the Church by the addition of new Churches." www.newwway.org/The%20Spontaneous%20Expansion--ROLAND%20ALLEN.doc

Stewardship: "Peter Block (author of Stewardship and The Empowered Manager) has defined stewardship as 'holding something in trust for another.' Robert Greenleaf's view of all institutions was one in which CEO's, staffs, and trustees all played significant roles in holding their institutions in trust for the greater good of society." On Character and Servant-Leadership

Systems (General Systems Theory - GST): "...there exists a very logical explanation for the esoteric nature of the Drucker/Deming methodology. These individuals based their philosophies on 'General Systems Theory' (GST). GST was originally proposed by Hungarian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928. He proposed that 'a system is characterized by the interactions of its components and the nonlinearity of those interactions.' Kuhn (the originator of the “paradigm shift”) applied the GSP to culture and society, and he saw cultures as interlinking subsystems of a broader planetary society. In 1980, cosmologist Stephen Hawking then expanded systems thinking to the global platform by introducing the 'Chaos Theory' that claims the 'interconnectedness of all things'--- (i.e. the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Asia can affect the course of Atlantic hurricanes). As a result, GST becomes very esoteric when taken to its logical conclusions:
 “GST is symptomatic of a change in our worldview. No longer do we see the world in a blind play of atoms, but rather a great organization.” (13)

  • “According to GST, nothing can be understood in isolation but must be seen as part of a system.” (14)
  • If one accepts the theory that the world is an interconnected and interdependent holistic system (and within that system is an infrastructure that is analogous across systems), one must logically conclude that the Gaia Hypothesis is true.
  • “James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis first appeared in 1979 and evolved into Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, published by Oxford Press in 1982. The Gaia Hypothesis contends that the earth itself is a living organism, the source of all life, which has the capacity to regulate or 'heal' itself under 'natural' conditions. Lovelock's contention is that the human species has developed the technology to overwhelm Gaia's capacity to 'heal' itself, and is therefore doomed to destruction unless the human species stops its technological assault.” (15)
  • The Gaia Hypothesis is, in essence, nothing more than ancient worship of the Mother Earth Goddess...

"...one can conclude that GST is an esoteric belief system based on a merger of Darwinism and eastern mysticism—much like what one would now term 'New Age'. GST contends that man is moving to the next level of evolution, but in order to reach this plateau, mankind must be ascribe to a common, universal consciousness, or belief system (“old beliefs” must transition to “new beliefs”). Drucker confirmed his adherence to this concept by the development of the '3-legged stool' model. The legs are representative of the corporate system, the state, and the 'private sector.  He top of the stool signifies the reaching of that which he terms as 'community' or consensus of these three separate sectors (or subsystems) of society. Drucker has spent the last half of his life concentrating on this “private sector” (churches and non-profits) because this segment offers the platform for the dialectical consensus to unite all of humanity to bring about the “jump phenomenon” (16) to the next level of “societal evolution”. According to the GST and the Gaia Hypothesis, the “old system” must break down in order for the “new system” to break through."

     From "Outcome-Based Religions: Purpose-Driven Apostasy" by Mac Dominick. Please read his complete article and find sources in his footnotes at http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1506ch13.html


Systems philosophy or general systems theory: "...we can create our future by building systems and leveraging those systems into balance with all other systems in a conceptually wholistic model, (also referred to as systemic change) using a system infrastructure that is analogous to all systems.  Scientists refer to systems philosophy as a syllogismhow to bring about planned change systemically.  Under systems philosophy, the system and leveraging of the system into balance with all other systems, is paramount above all else.  That leveraging is achieved via analyzing DATA FEEDBACK attained from the subjects of the system established, be it an agency, a classroom, or an individual.  This explains the privacy invasive databanks being built on all systems — health care, education, justice, military… [and churches]

"...you start out by developing your vision of the created future.... The vision is then defined in terms of exit outcomes. In the case of education reform, the exit outcomes are the state essential "academic" learning requirements (EALRs). [In the purpose-driven movement, it would be related to "purpose"]

      "In the Schools for the 21st Century (the foundation of education reform in Washington state and the basis of American 2000) resource document, content is defined as excellence in terms of the change agenda; process as the product … the destination … what learning is about; and emotionality and affectivity as the means by which content and process will be achieved....

      "The measure of that mastery is the assessment.... If a few children fail the assessment, they are remediated to bring them in line.  The assessments also assess classroom teachers.  The assessment provides DATA FEEDBACK to the system...." [Lynn Stuter,  http://www.learn-usa.com/er018.htm]


Systems theory: "...the world is a system of subsystems (also called systems), interdependent and interconnected, to form a wholistic or holistic system; that within any one system is an infrastructure that is analogous across systems, irrespective of physical appearance.
    "The Gaia Hypothesis, in different words but saying the same thing, adds a spiritual dimension to systems theory, stating that the world is a living, breathing, organism, irreducible to its parts; that what affects one part affects all parts; that in the name of saving spaceship earth, we must change our society.
    "These are the two hypotheses which undergird systems governance and the transformation of American society to the total quality, outcome-based, environment of a managed economy in a communist society in which every aspect of that society is micromanaged by the all powerful government to achieve goals established to attain a humanist 'created future' — the sustainable global environment.
     "This is happening nationwide, in every branch, office and department of government; in industry; in health care; in education at all levels; in property rights, growth management and land use planning; in ecology ... there is nothing that is not being affected by this. This is a total and complete transformation or paradigm shift of our society." Lynn Stuter, http://www.learn-usa.com/sga.htm


Systems thinking: "...the idea that changes need to be conceptualized in the context of the total system. Most educators are no accustomed to thinking in a systems fashion. I suggest that Total Quality Management is a means by which systems-level thinking can be both encouraged and translated into action. Next outcome-based education is introduced, described, and analyzed as the framework within which systems redesign can occur....
    "Variations on the outcome-based model are appearing with ever-increasing frequency due in part to the fact that OBE is a systems approach to change. All elements of program and practice must be reviewed, reordered, and reinforced to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.
    "Outcome-based education, like Total Quality Management and systems thinking, requires a reconceptualization of the organization at a fundamental level."
David T Conley; Roadmap to Restructuring; Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon; ERIC; 1993.

Transformation: The mental and systemic change that occurs when people and churches embrace the new "relational" vision of "community." This transformation is accomplished through the latest psycho-social strategies and intrusive technologies for measuring change and individual compliance with the stated "vision."

       "When we open ourselves to the creating and recreating grace of God, transformation is exactly what we can expect. God is in the business of transformation. This is the great divine joy, God's project in the world! All God needs, in order for the Spirit to be about this labor, are open minds and expectant hearts -- persons who desire to be changed and conformed more to the likeness of Christ, our Life. The structure and process of Companions in Christ aims to create an environment conducive to such openness of mind and heart. It is the experience and witness of many thousands of small groups now that this resource helps people of faith take up the posture of receptivity to God's spirit." Marjorie Thompson, Spiritual Director, Companions in Christ, http://www.upperroom.org/companions/tools.asp?item_id=155397 [link is broken] However, this is still current [9-5-08]: http://www.upperroom.org/companions/authors.asp


Universalism: See Carl Teichrib's article on Universalism


Postmodern words and phrases used in context &

Scriptures reinterpreted in order to back Postmodern concepts

From www.pastors.com (Saddleback Church):

Staffing on Purpose: Building Fast Ministry Teams: "In Acts 2, we find believers who were devoted to the apostles’ teaching (v. 42). They were learners. They were also innovators and risk-takers, as evidenced by the many wonders and miraculous signs performed by the apostles, leaving people filled with awe (v. 43).

The early church embraced teamwork, as demonstrated by its commitment to eating, praying and worshipping together. This was a rapidly growing ministry as the Lord added to their number daily those who were saved (v. 47). The early church was made up of learners, team-builders and risk-takers, passionately devoted to their faith in Jesus Christ. They were also radically committed to their vision for fulfilling the Great Commission. The result? It was a fast ministry. Here are some other examples that detail the rapid growth: “…about three thousand were added to their number that day” (2:41). “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand” (4:4). ...

That’s God-amazing stuff! It’s also a challenge for today’s ministries to pursue growth. What would it be like to reflect the same characteristics of the fast ministry described in Acts? One key ingredient is finding individuals to serve on our ministry teams who could just as easily be working at the fast companies found in today’s marketplace. ... Obviously, in ministry organizations you need Christ-followers who are genuine about their faith. This includes looking for individuals who share Jesus’ servant-leadership style of ministry. When you hire authentically, you hire people who demonstrate integrity, honesty and a value-based approach to ministry. ....

Is the Lord adding to your number daily? If not, maybe it’s time to burn the resumes and find a few more unschooled, ordinary men and women to join your fast ministry. With this hiring model - using the vision, character and skills filter - you’ll soon build a fast ministry team for today’s unique cultural environment.

Author Leonard Sweet challenges youth leaders to move away from what is familiar in order to reach a new generation of kids, Herring said. Sweet writes about the concept in his book, "Postmodern Pilgrims." "Sweet believes churches can be effective at reaching and discipling teenagers in a postmodern culture by becoming E.P.I.C. churches," he added. The concept of E.P.I.C. includes:

-- Experiential. "'If churches are to effectively disciple postmodern teens they have to help them experience God.' ... In M-Fuge camps, the youth go out and serve the community through volunteer efforts. 'Parents will pay for their kids to do something tangible and make a difference,' Herring said."

Participatory. "'Postmoderns are not going to simply transmit the tradition or culture they've been taught. They want to transform and customize it.' An example, he said, is the popularity of praise music, which has dramatically affected worship. 'They want to be a part of the process, not detached from it.'"

Image-driven. "Think about how many churches today have logos. The best tool religious leaders can give postmoderns is a metaphor on an image."

-- Connected. "The paradox is this. The pursuit of individualism has led us to this place of hunger for connectedness to communities, not of blood or nation, but of choice." http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=3815

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Conflict: Conflict challenges! Are they Opportunities or Resolution, Mediation, Management or Transformation?: by George Bullard Volume 4, Number 17, August 23, 1999