a journal of my journey

Turnaround Boot Camp

On my candidating weekend here in November, my Senior Pastor and I went through a number of events that I needed to add to my calender. One in particular, I was a little skeptical about. It was called Turnaround Bootcamp (sponsored by the Presbytery of West Jersey) and it was taught by Paul Nickerson. I had been to plenty of church growth events and some challenged my but often left me with no practical solutions as we move ahead. To my surprise it was a remarkable event that made us look at how we operated as a church, what we must do to reach the community, and the start of a roadmap to do it. There was plenty of pros and cons of the event. As I think about it and begin to decompress from this weekend’s time together lets start with the cons.


In order to do much of what which was discussed this weekend required a “paradigm shift”. For those that are into and understand the missional idea of the church it is moving from a traditional idea to one that is sending the members into the world. While the team that we were with at the conference were some of the people that needed to hear what we needed to do, but we were missing many of the elders and church leadership that needed to hear it. If we are are to do a foundational change to our ministry, then it needs to be created through a groundswell, that is the idea is organic and is produced out of a need/common goal. I worry that as we move forward that many in group will become discouraged and the groundswell will not build.


There is so much that I liked from this event. We were challenged separately as laity and clergy to do our part. I was extremely grateful for the suggestions from our own group of where we could meet and reach people, as well as the priority of not being bogged down in administrative duties. While we were given practical steps it must now move from the classroom to the community. It is easy to shake our head and nod in the room but it is different when you take it to the streets and do it. We were also challenged with much work to do in the future by setting up groups for much of the work that needs to be done. While we do not have our “Harry and Mary Unchurched” we do have a great starting point.

It will be interesting how our group takes what we learned this weekend and moves it forward.

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