Monday, May 15, 2006

Green Lake Positions Itself for Post-Denominational Future; Kingdom Focus Trumps Denominational Parochialism

Today, American Baptist News Service's Andy Jayne posted a press release detailing the Green Lake Conference Center Site Development Master Plan. (Mon, 15 May 2006 10:48:10 -0400 http://www.abc-usa.org/).

Like most press releases from official organs, this one was long on sound bites and short on analysis. Already Dr. Glenn Layne (Durable Data, http://www.durabledata.blogspot.com/) has weighed in with a preliminary explanation of the decisions.

"'The times, they are a-changin'. . . as we see the new direction Green Lake is going. Line this up with the ABC of the West becoming Growing Healthy Churches. Anyone see a post-denominational pattern here? The PSW ("Transformation Ministries") declaration of independance is only a small part of the pattern."

Lest anyone think that Dr. Layne has overinterpreted the data, be aware that Green Lake has been moving steadily toward a post-denominational future for some time. They have already gone beyond an excluusively "Baptist" identity and the board has oriented itself toward conceiving of its mission as follows: "GLCC is committed to partnering with congregations as they seek to be vital, vibrant, healthy missional churches engaging their communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ in the new millennium."

Under the leadership of Ken Giacolleto, Green Lake has partnered with several denominations and parachurch organizations in areas of training church planters and pioneering new models for fund development. Additionally, the organizational meeting for the Great Commission Network almost two years ago was hosted at GLCC and involved significant input from executive staff of the conference center in addition to several executive ministers, ABC affiliated organizational presidents, and leading pastors.

Along with most 21st Century organizations, GLCC has seen the future clearly. Restricting one's field of vision to traditional denominational affiliation alone will likely result in a series of negative organizational consequences tracing to such cultural myopia.

Many of our ABC affiliated educational institutions have been distancing themselves from the ABC over the past decades for reasons of "academic freedom." Church sponsored schools have typically shifted leftward in their departures from their host denominations. It should not be entirely unexpected that other organizations might tact rightward for reasons at least as legitimate. As Green Lake prepares to impact the next generation for Jesus Christ, it does so with a Kingdom vision larger than the constraits of any denominational parochialism.

[His Barking Dog proudly hails from the newly independent movement of Baptists known as Transformation Ministries (formerly the ABCPSW) but still barks only for himself]

1 comment:

Bills Blog said...

Green Lake has been heading in that direction for at least the past 3 years. Nothing new here. You are right that the newservice for the ABC is just spin. Most folks don't know that Green Lake has no corporate ties or financial attachments to the ABC-USA. It is an independent. The board realized several years ago with the exodus of over 30 churches leaving the ABC in Wisconsin alone coupled with the fact that most of the churches ave. attendance is under 100 could not sustain Green Lake financially. In order for Green Lake to survive and coupled with Giacollettos kingdom theology they have moved on. They "get it"