What if?

Scenarios provide a mechanism to imagine the consequences of particular interactions between drivers. Wildcards are most often change agents that happen outside an organization that in turn require significant adaptation from the organization. Taking a proactive approach, asking “what if” questions allows the asker to envision instituting changes and then forecasting the results of those changes rather than having to react to outside forces. The key to using “what if” questions is allowing the questions a chance to breath- do not dismiss them too soon or try to deduce their plausibility. Allow for the possibilities presented by the questions, and then consider the repercussions. “What if” questions are a simple way to imagine a future full of possibilities.

What if… non-denominational churches affiliated with associations? 

What if… associations had tiers of membership corresponding to tiers of services rendered?

What if… associations opened their leadership councils to 25% non-Baptist members, to ensure cross-denominational collaboration?

What if… participation was valued above monetary contribution? Relying on the thought that connection breeds contributions, member churches would be encouraged to participate above all else. The “least-valued” member churches are those that only send a check. 

What if… participation in association life was required for membership?

What if… seminaries offered M.Div. or D.Min. degrees with a specialization in associational management?

What if… apprenticeship programs existed for aspiring association leaders?

“What if… associations had access to a pipeline of staff talent composed of individuals who are well-trained, acquainted with the association world and had temperaments conducive to success in this profession?” (Alcorn & Alcorn, 2012, p. 21). 

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