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.

1 Comment
  • Marvin Schwartz
    Posted at 22:25h, 17 July

    Coming into the church I heard this message and was encouraged. At this year’s conference the bishop stated that if there was one thing he could do for the pastors before leaving he would surgically place a steel rod in their backs. In addition our director of Healthy Church Ministries stated that Christians are some of the meanest people he has encountered in some of the churches he has visited. This doesn’t say much for our Pastoral leadership and it doesn’t say much for our congregations either. What has happened to great leadership and what has happened to our Christian love for each other? It bugs and frustrates me to hear people complain about how the new second service we are starting here is going to interfere with their Sunday school time. It bugs me and frustrates me to hear people more concerned about what they want and not what may reach a lost persons. I guess I am going to accept that steel rod but lead in a way that doesn’t represent those mean Christians. I am going to love the people God has entrusted to me and lead them where I know God wants them to be. They may get mad and bark at me, but I have my steel rod and I come equipped with the love of Jesus. I hear you two guys and as you leave know that at least one Pastor has heard and accepted the challenge.

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