Guidance for Unificationist Leaders Discussed in Las Vegas
March 22 2013
District Pastors and church departmental leaders were given a detailed and ambitious set of goals originating from True Mother in Korea at a leaders’ meeting March 13-14, 2013 in Las Vegas, according to notes of several participants. Dr. Michael Balcomb reported a range of objectives, including the goal of doubling church membership by the end of 2013.
The following notes of Dr. Balcomb’s guidance to leaders were contributed by Rev. Michael Lamson. A report on guidance given by Dr. Chang Shik Yang and Bishop Ki Hoon Kim will be published next week.
Dr. Balcomb told the group:
“Mother knows best. Mother is as aware as anyone is aware of the situation of our movement. Really Mother knows best. She is not a ’pie in the sky’ unrealistic leader. Mother has made a life commitment, and we have completed the Providence of Restoration. We never had the chance to hear Mother in the past. Mother has always been like Father’s shadow. I did not know her that much either. The few interactions I have had showed me clearly that “she is Gods daughter with whom He is well pleased”. She never believes we are here to wrestle with the angel. I see her always listening to others but not being afraid to make the decision she feels is best.
Dr. Balcomb continued: “I remember Father asking Dr. Yang how many days till Foundation Day, and it was still 600 days away. Now we are looking back. Foundation Day has passed. Time goes so fast, it’s hard to believe.
Growth Solves All The Problems
“Our job is to take this huge vision and translate it down to the next three months. We can’t just look ahead to 2020. We have issues and problems, that cannot be denied but God tells us not to worry, to trust Him, that He has a plan. These are low-tide problems. When the tide comes in all the problems are hidden. Growth solves all the problems. The promise of Foundation Day is forgiveness and new starts. Why are you worrying about all the old stuff?
“What does God want us to do right now? “ Dr. Balcomb asked.
“Where are we now?”
He answered: “We have had some shattering and recent reverses. We are in a period of rapid change which could easily be seen as instability. The frontline is not empowered or equipped which betrays our internal values. We have many missions with competing or cross purposes which betrays our external goals. Our future is not predictable.”
“Where we want to be?” he asked. He answered:
Responsible, equipped and empowered authority on frontline
One core God-centered mission that unites our purposes
A future that is entirely predictable
Growing successful happy families
“How do we get there?”
Developing a winning strategy
Keeping the win as specific as possible
100 percent focused on a Divine Principle-centered revival
Understanding that we are here because someone talked with us and taught us the Principle
A central focus and support on developing Home Church/Tribal Messiahship
5,000 Home Church based churches functioning Independently.
Complete reorganization of Church leadership and downsizing
Congregational Polity. We will have a heavenly democracy, but clear top-down leadership will exist in terms of providential mandates;
Training and investment in local pastors;
Members becoming pastors and church plantings;
Every member becomes a Principle lecturer;
New Divine Principle Materials
Honest transparent communications
Local, District and National Councils
“To be a member of this church you have to be a Principle teacher,” Dr. Balcomb explained.
“We need to proclaim the Divine Principle and that everyone needs to join the lineage of True Parents.”
“We must help each other grow closer to God.”
Dr. Balcomb explained that the National Council and council members are not in a control position but are in a position to serve. They operate based on what members, through consensus, want to happen and help make a pathway towards that goal.
He added that the National Council's focus would be on the following areas: first, Blessed Family Life, second, Church growth and evangelism, third, Branding and positioning, and Fourth, Governance and polity.
“Bishop Kim is responsible for everything in our movement. He has a very heavy burden. He is the chair of all these activities while I have an executive responsibility. I am working with him but it is my job. I cannot say the buck goes somewhere else. Bishop Kim is best placed to send our reports and testimonies to Mother. We should think in this way to bring things to Mother. How can we bring good news to Mother? Bring Mother success, and she will listen. Mother has decided what we should do and is not looking for alternative ideas.”
Districts will be combined in the near future.
Local leadership teams should create goals that can be accomplished.
A decision has been made that the HSA-UWC USA Vice President will be a young woman, one of our sisters and that changes should be made in all leadership positions to create more diversity.
All leaders in the American church will be under 40 years old within three years. Each leader over 40 should start looking for a younger person to inherit their mission.
The Pastors Association
Pastors must be ever-conscious that our first calling is for the proclamation of the Divine Principle and the Word to the church and the world, presenting True parents as Saviors to all people regardless of race, gender, nationality, tribe or economic Status.
The Pastors Association will focus on the following: Personal Growth; Professional Growth; Church Growth and a commitment to Home Church. Every member can witness and bring success. We have to get back to that perspective.
More points brought up by Dr. Balcomb:
As a movement in America we need to and will make major changes – a complete overhaul
Our congregations need to be spiritually vital and alive. If we become that way then those who disagree with us have no impact.
Creating new events: Cultural night, Parenting or Marriage activities; to bring people to the church and to the Blessing.
Support from HQ towards payroll in all the districts will be reduced and phased out by January 2014
Church plantings are very important. Larger congregations can divide and plant new churches.
True Mother has clearly told us: we should be “the Family Church.” The Family Federation is bigger than our church.
Pastors need to focus on the core – teaching the principle, recruitment and evangelism.
God will call members to work on ACLC, WFWP, UPF and other providential organizations.
All leaders will be under 40 within the next 3 years. We don’t need to prepare young leaders. We need to allow them to lead. They will make mistakes as we did. They are the future. Our older first generation needs to pass on leadership and become mentors.
We need to move forward with members that want to move forward. Foundation Day wants to sling us into the future.
True Mother has continued to stress the importance of learning Korean. She suggested learning one new Korean song each month starting with the new anthem.
Everyone has to be a witnesser, a teacher of the Principle and recommence Home Church and witnessing. We have more than 4,000 families, about 12,000 children. We are small, but if everybody felt that they were pastors, we would be stronger than any mainline church. We all felt like pastors when we joined. You should be leading the way. Look for people in your community who are ready to do it. Start with the willing – those ready to do it. Everyone needs to recruit and evangelize.
Distant members who attended Foundation Day need to be followed up. They should be encouraged to connect with True Mother, the local church and subscribe to UC Magazine. Convey the pure, simple essence of True Parents’ message as lovingly as you can.
True Mother has asked America to support foreign missions in the 2020 project financially and through providing 1,600 members.
We have one simple goal this year - Double our membership. Each family brings one new family to church. There is no other way. Can’t be done any other way. Every family has to believe that this is their holy mission from God. This will lead to the fulfillment of tribal messiahship goals. It’s the time of God’s Blessings and Abundance. All providential organizations should double as well.
Dr. Balcomb also raised these issues:
“How do we deal with the reality that no True Children are leading the change? Also, there are other issues about Father’s life that are used as distractions. I do believe that the compelling message is that we are all True Parents’ children. Would it make any difference if the True Family were successful, united and leading? Not really. Whoever you are, there is a place for you. We don’t need to emphasize too much Father’s family (e.g. focus on Jesus not the disciples) there is no one between the person and True Parents. There should be no one between the local church and God. People need to know that they are the kingdom builders.
“Mother is expecting us to lead. Who am I to be asked by Mother to be the American church president compared to Hyung Jin Nim? I personally believe that Mother may be making a statement that the church is for the members and to be led by the members.
“The central point we want to share is Father’s message, his mission and God’s ideal. People cannot meet Father directly anymore. We need to display Father in our lives and families. Life is messy. God has forgiven everything. I don’t want to keep looking back. In essence, we are moving to serve the risen lord. That is what we can offer people now.
Headquarters will provide the best materials to take us forward.
Most people want to know where this church can take them.
Hyung Jin Nim explained many times that all religions have gone through or are going through what we are going through.
More from Dr. Balcomb:
Start with Korean National Anthem-Holy song # 3 Educate and practice with your congregation. In Korea we practiced it 12 times. Commit to culture of TP. I traveled all over world and people were studying Arabic to understand Islam.
Witnessing: Recruit and evangelize at least 51 percent of the time. Be a teacher of Divine Principle and emphasize Home Church. %. I am not sure about 51 percent but you should be the one to lead. Make church growth a priority.
Focus on Foundation Day Follow up: Includes people who have been distant. If you don’t follow up they don’t come back. The chart said five times. Follow up-Pure and simple essence of True Mother’s words. I made effort to direct your attention to True Mother. Encourage them to be connected.
Subscribe to UC magazine. All members should subscribe to UC magazine. Please make effort on this throughout your district. Get resources in hands of members.
Think long and hard about your replacement: I believe In Jin Nim was on right track with bringing in younger leadership and providing mentors. We are not raising up young people, we are making them leaders.
by Rev. Michael Lamson and edited by Douglas Burton.