Friday, April 23, 2010

PCA Strategic Plan: Post 1

There are four documents that make up the PCA Strategic Plan: a Plan Narrative Analysis, a Funding Plan Model, an Executive Summary of the Funding Plan Model, and a discussion of Rules Changes to the PCA Book of Church Order and Rules of Assembly Operations necessitated by the Plan. I will proceed through the documents in that order. The Narrative Analysis is by far the longest of the documents (28 pp in pdf), so it will take a number of posts. I will try to deal with 1-2 pp per post. This is the first page of the Plan. I give the text of the Plan itself, followed by a brief summary, concluding with comments. That will be the format for all of these posts.

PCA Strategic Plan Prepared for 2009 and 2010 Cooperative Ministries Committee


The Presbyterian Church in America progresses into its fourth decade with increasing

awareness of the challenges presented by our changing world as we seek to be faithful to our Sovereign Lord. One obvious way of measuring the net effect of these challenges is the decreasing rate of the PCA’s numerical growth. Through the early decades of our existence we grew at between five and eight percent per year (enabling us roughly to double in total size each decade). In recent years our growth has been two to three percent. These dynamics are typical of young organizations and institutions whose periods of advance and regression are often represented by a modified S-curve:

While numerical growth is not necessarily a gauge of faithfulness or influence, slowed growth at least requires consideration of how we should best represent our Savior and most responsibly participate in the progress of his Kingdom. Organizations that best fulfill their mission determine how to maintain their values while honestly facing challenges that could lead to longterm decline (anticipating needed change before a decline in the S-curve becomes precipitous). This Strategic Plan seeks to address these realities by helping the PCA identify its challenges, address them with strategies that are consistent with our biblical values, and build denominational support for implementing these strategies. The overall goal is to enable the church to work together to steward its blessings and resources to advance the cause of Christ according to the principles and priorities of his Word.

Summary: The PCA is not growing as quickly as it has been, down from approximately 8% increase per year to 2-3% increase per year. This fact needs to be considered now, in light of the challenges the PCA is facing, in order to avoid the possibility of moving from continued growth to slow (and increasing) decline.

Comment: While true, this does not consider the reasons for the faster growth in earlier years, such as the addition of the RPCES in 1982 by joining and receiving, the addition of Korean-language presbyteries starting in 1982, churches moving into the PCA from other denominations or from independency, and other factors. Those considerations alone could account for the more rapid early growth, and the current slower rate of growth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Should I care what an s curve is?