In John Eldredge's book entitled Epic he makes the following statement, "What is this drama we've been dropped into the middle of? We find ourselves in the middle a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, often a confusing mixture of both, and we haven't a clue how to make sense of it all." He quotes Chesterton, who had it right when he said, "With every step of our lives we enter into the middle of some story which we are certain to misunderstand." 1
In my first year with the Executive Committee, I feel that I've stepped into a story that, at times, is confusing. There are streams of influence making dramatic impact on our Convention. These streams seem to have come together in a mighty confluence which sometimes seems to be pulling us to an ocean of anarchy.
There are demographic factors that are a part of these streams of influence. We live in a day and time of extreme anti-denominationalism and anti-institutionalism. This is neither always negative nor bad. As a Convention, we must stop seeking to build up a denomination and start focusing on the commission and call of our Lord, the vision He has given to us. In other words, we must not be in this to build up a manmade denomination, but we must be supporting a God-initiated movement.
There are denominational factors where independence has almost replaced the interdependence that marked our cooperative ministry for these many years. We live in a time of unbridled individualism where everyone wants to do work, ministry, and missions in his own way. Again, this is not all bad. However, it is an extremely different model than that which we have traditionally seen in our Convention.
I've stepped into a story where there are a huge number of persons deeply committed to doing whatever it takes to get the Gospel to this lost world. I rejoice at so many pastors and laypersons, both young and old, who have an unapologetic belief that the inerrant Word of God compels us to a mission imperative which must not be held back by any force.
I am also grateful for those persons who truly still believe that God has called us to minister together. The story into which I have stepped may be confusing and sometimes seemingly may lead to anarchy; but there's one thing that we must remember. We serve a great God. Our God is going to get done what He wants to get done. I simply pray that He will let us be a part of His great Kingdom movement.
1. Eldredge, John, Epic (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) 8-9