Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort

Nearly 18 months ago, Cliftondale was chosen by our D.S., Dr. McQueen to participate in the newly formed Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort.  This 18-month cohort was offered to only 20 churches in the US (cross-denominational), and in North Georgia, our Central North District was offered (2) slots. Cliftondale was recommended along with Mt. Pisgah. We were asked to assemble 5-6 persons for our Transformation Teams.  Our team includes: Phyllis Adams, James Magwood, Tanya Pittman, Don and Christine Winston, and myself.  The cost of this cohort was $6,000 and was underwritten by the cohort sponsor, our district, and a scholarship.

The purpose of the cohort is for us as leaders to understand that the Church was already changing, and because of Covid, it has forever been changed.  The Church is increasingly becoming irrelevant.  Corporate faith is viewed with cynicism by the world and many have chosen to be “spiritual” rather than to participate in a formal worship setting. Though we are still called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we must seek new ways to fulfill the mission of the Church.  We must learn to lead all over again. (Todd Bolsinger).

Our main book for the cohort is Todd Bolsinger’s Canoeing the Mountains.  In summary, Lewis & Clark were commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to find a waterway from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean that would be this new nation’s key to national sovereignty.  However, what they found is that instead of a waterway, they ran into the Rocky Mountains.  The canoes that brought them to this point could take them no further. It was now time to dismantle what they knew and to determine a new way forward.  This is where we – our denomination and the local church – are today.  In order to survive, we must determine a new way forward.

The videos below are from our first in-person summit held here at Cliftondale in July of 2021. I ask that you take some time to view as they not only provide you with what your team has been involved with, but also ideas on where our church needs to go as we seek to navigate our “next”.


Leading w/ Love!
Rev. Dr. Theophilus J. Stanford


Faith-Based Financial Solutions
♦Cliftondale UMC Partnership with GUMF Helps Church Fulfill Its Mission.
♦Cliftondale UMC Foundation Supports Ministries Close to Its Donors’ Hearts.
Click the link below to read both exciting articles.