Side Menu

Local Church Experiment

To respond to the needs of the world

The transformative purpose of the Local Church Experiment (LCX) was to provide churches with tools to REFORM congregations from an “individual-needs” focus to addressing the NEEDS OF THE WORLD, strengthening the practice of “loving thy neighbor as thyself.”  The intent was to renew the human spirit in the socio-religious context of the local church.  


The three-fold mission of the historical church:

    • to bear witness to the Word that heals the human spirit;
    • to be a catalytic power to see that justice is imparted to all people; and
    • to live as a sign of hope in a style that demonstrates possibility.


Launched in 1970 by a Research Assembly of 500 persons (including clergy and lay leaders), the Local Church Experiment was organized in three dynamics:

      1. the cadre as the core unit is the catalyst to the congregation,
      2. the congregation as the primal community is the local unit for service and
      3. the parish as the human settlement is empowered by the congregation.


 The Local Church Experiment provided a range of programs for both laity and clergy focused on renewing local churches. This section provides the history of this work and stories of churches who participated in the LCX.


The LCX was initiated in 1970 with the purpose of taking churches on a journey towards their own renewal through a theological renewal based on putting the Christian scriptures into the secular action.  A tactical system was designed of comprehensive actions in worship, study, life together and mission to enable the congreation to transform itself.  Spirit life practices were created to enable personal images of possibility and access to God-conciousness.


A Pilot Project Experimenting with the Structures and Dynamics of the Local Congregation, The E.I., Fall of 1963

United Church of Conway, Conway, MA, 1966

Mathews, Joseph, Together magazine interview, 1966

McClesky, David, Model of the Ecumenical Parish, Summer 1967

Working Papers on the Local Church, Council IV, August 1969

Mathews, Joseph, Four Principles of Local Church Strategy, Global Research Assembly, June 1970

Moffett, Mary Warren, Cadre, 1970

The Prologue:  A Comprehensive Experiment in the reconstruction of the Local Church, 1970

Marshall, Gene, Tactics and Parish Tactics, Global Research Assembly 1970

The Future of the Church: Parish, Congreation, Cadre“, i.e., November/December 1970

Inclusive Design of the 6-Year Local Church Experiment, December 1970

Deines, Rick, On Being the Movement as the Local Church, North American Presidium, December 11, 1970

The Priorities of the Tactical System, January 1971

Local Church Focus in Asia, i.e., January/February 1971

Bengel, John.  State of the Local Church Experiment, LCX Training School (Chicago), December 1971

Cramer, Don, The Tactical System as Radical Incarnation, LCX Training School, December 8, 1971

Steinle, Don, State of the Movement: Called to Walk in the Way, Presidium, December 1971

Poole, Mark, Statement on the LCX, North American Presidium, March 1, 1972

Cramer, Don, The LCX in the Light of Summer’72, Global Research Assembly, July 27, 1972

Buss, Sarah, Local Church Report, Global Order Council, August 2, 1972

Slicker, Joseph, Tactical Systems: The Direct and Indirect Approaches, Order Council, August 22, 1972

Lush, Tim, Local Church Experiment, Order Council, August 29, 1972

Cramer, Don, LCX Report, December 6, 1972

Local Church Consult VIII, Spring 1973

Local Church Triangle Functions Problem Solving Unit, 1973

Mathews, Bishop James, Beyond Church Renewal, Global Research Assembly, Opening Plenary, July 1, 1973

Ward, Larry, Direct Tactics, Global Research Assembly, July 5,1973

Morrill, Justin, State of Local Church Experiment, Global Priors Council, August 1974.   Four Years of Experiment completed: some 172 churches part of the project in configurations of 54 Galaxies with approximately 1100 clergy and lay members picking up the task of the global and local recovery of the Church

Walter, George, The Turn of the Church, Chicago Presidium Plenary Address, December 15, 1973

Morrill, Justin, Ten Trends in the LCX, February 22, 1974

Morrill, Justin, The State of the LCX, Global Priors Council, August 1974

Morrill, Justin, Toward the New Form of the Church, Global Priors Council, August 27, 1974

Grow,  Nan, The New Church, November 27, 1974

Morrill, Justin, The New Church, November 27, 1974

Morrill, Justin, The Local Church, Social Methods School, December 12, 1974

Tomlinson, Gary, Tactical Thinking, Social Methods School, December 14, 1974

Clark, Don, Metro Cadre, Gloal Research Assembly, July 16, 1975

Spencer, Raymond, Metro Cadre, Global Priors Council, July 31, 1975

The Local Church Experiment: A comprehensive experiment to challenge church renewal