The Elevator Speech Challenge

Have you heard of an elevator pitch? It’s a brief, persuasive speech given to create interest in a business, an idea, a product, or your work. It’s said that a good elevator pitch should be communicated in a twenty to thirty-second span—or the length of an elevator ride.

I think we need an elevator speech to describe what’s happening in our Movement these days. Here goes:

The General Assembly is initiating a national conversation about the way our movement works. It seems impossible to describe what our movement is about when our focus is so fragmented. Local pastors are solicited from many Church of God related organizations vying with one another through conflicting calendars and competing financial appeals. In this conversation, we’ll consider some ideas and options Jim Lyon has presented, as well as new options yet to emerge, for a new way of conducting our mutual work. We’re seeking a “reset” that causes us to work as one movement with common objectives instead of a collection of competing entities. [end]

This conversation can be described as the pursuit of functional unity across the more than 140 organizations and entities that constitute the Church of God. To that end, the General Assembly passed a motion presented by the Ministries Council on June 22, 2017, by an 81% vote (462 yes / 106 no).

Motion: (Sanders/Palacios) moved that the Ministries Council affirm the need to explore ways to empower unity and the accelerated advance of the Kingdom work, including consideration of concepts discussed by the General Director and the Ministries Council in March 2017; furthermore, that the Council ask the General Assembly to endorse such exploration, affirm the Council’s convening of a diverse roundtable of representative leaders to wrestle with the possibilities, and invite all ministries and agencies within the Movement to join the Council’s exploratory process, in the spirit of unity, sharing necessary data and perspective, through 30 June 2019.

The process and participants to guide the conversation will be chosen at the upcoming meeting of the Ministries Council September 20-22. Here’s a summary of what the General Assembly has put into motion:

1) The General Assembly has affirmed the Ministries Council exploration of new ways of thinking about the structure of our movement. A report is due to the General Assembly in 2019.
2) The General Assembly has affirmed the Council’s convening of a diverse and representative Roundtable to make these recommendations.
3) The General Assembly is asking all ministries affiliated with the Church of God (beyond individual local churches) to cooperate with the effort by sharing relevant data, and so on.

Our GA Chair has placed this process at top of Council’s meeting agenda in September. The launch, calendar, and budget will be decided then.

This blog space will be dedicated to regular, systematic updates as this exploration of recalibration is pivotal for the Movement’s future. As the facilitator of the Roundtable meetings, I am committed to open and transparent communication with the church throughout the process. I look forward to your thoughts, questions, and observations.

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