17 Jul Our Task Over the Past Four Years
Ron: The majority of our churches have very fine people–good hearts, good intentions. But somewhere we lost the zeal and vision to do anything ourselves, to reach lost people and plant new churches, and have that be a regular part of who we are in our churches. Part of me says that if reproduction isn’t taking place, the body is unhealthy. So we have lots of good people, but basically they are unhealthy. So I believed my task was to be a Johnny One-Note to get our churches focused on outreach again.
I think that, for the most part, it has been fairly well received, at least emotionally. But then comes the volitional step–doing something about it. And I think that’s where we are. Churches will tell you they want to grow and change, but when you tell them what that involves, “No, we don’t want to do that.”
Pat: We have emphasized that we’re here to serve you, not to keep the denomination going. Wherever we went, our influence and reception was based more on relationship than on position. In the past, when the bishop visited a church, that was a big deal. But not anymore. There is a deep respect for this office, but not an obvious respect. For us, it wasn’t about our office but about honestly trying to help churches.
Attitudinally, we know we both have come across kind of loud and straightforward. We don’t mean to be loud, but that is how we come across. At the same time, we have sought to show honest caring for people while challenging them in a straightforward manner with the truth of the Scriptures.