Same Cart, New Wheels: A Look at Alternatives for Church Organizational Structure

Speaker: Categories: Mar 12, 2005


[57min, 5sec / 55min, 40sec]


To what extent is it essential for an organization or business which is to survive to update Its structure to make it relevant to the current market - perhaps even competitive with others seeking to serve the same potential audience? How might such a process be publicized, how might it encouraged? Might there be incentives offered to the employees and/or administrators for creative and innovative ideas which would make the"company"more contemporary? Would/Should such a business model be applicable to a denomination? What incentives might be offered to its staff of pastors, teachers, and even administrators?

What changes in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination have you observed within the last ten or twenty or thirty or fifty or more years? Were these changes, if any, substantive or cosmetic? What was the effect at your local church level, at your personal level?

Ron Gladden, in reflecting on the denomination's past, notes:"The Adventist organizational structure was created in 1901 when the world church consisted of 78,000 members. It was designed for an era in which communication was frustratingly slow, travel was difficult and cumbersome, and local churches were recognized as the mission priority."

"Now fast forward a hundred years,"he continues,"and add thirteen million members. We pretend that five levels of infrastructure are still necessary, and we no longer prioritize the local church as the hope to reach the lost.The result is a melting ice cube."


Ron Gladden served the Seventh-day Adventist church for twenty-seven years in five unions as pastor, ministerial secretary, and the director of the Adventist Church Planting Center. In August, 2004, Ron founded the Mission Catalyst Network, an international church planting ministry.

Elder Gladden has authored two exciting books:Plant the FutureandThe Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Churches. Ron’s love is his family (wife Fran, daughters Maria and Jana), his hobby is mountain climbing (just about anything with snow on it), and his passion is planting churches that reach the unreached for Christ.

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