This dissertation examines the future of the Uniting Church through the use of scenario planning. This is the first time that this management technique has been used on an Australian church.
Chapter 1 explains why the dissertation was written and how it was done.
Chapter 2 provides an overview of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Chapter 3 explains the management technique of scenario planning and the creation of scenarios (“futures”).
Part II consists five chapters. Chapter 4 is an introduction to the four scenarios (or “futures”).
Chapter 5 deals with the first scenario: “Word and Deed” and examines how the Uniting Church could become a church of a small number of large parishes providing both spiritual activities and social welfare.
Chapter 6 deals with the second scenario: “Secular Welfare” and examines how the Uniting Church could let the parishes fade away and instead focus on the provision of social welfare (albeit derived from a Christian tradition).
Chapter 7 deals with the third scenario: “Return to the Early Church”, which examines how the Uniting Church could reinvent itself as per the first three centuries of the Christian church.
Chapter 8 deals with the fourth scenario: “Recessional” in which the Uniting Church is wound up and its assets dispersed.
Part III, containing chapter 9, asks the question “Where to from here?” This chapter argues that the Uniting Church has fundamental organizational problems. It then examines some basic ideas to assist the Uniting Church to think about its future.
The Appendix contains information on how I work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in assessing their future.
There is also a detailed Bibliography.