- A quarter of a century... that's how long I have been a part of The Evangelical Church. It's hard to believe and more than a few regret this reality, however I represent the next generation of conference and denominational leadership and the first generation entrusted to lead without significant input from our founding fathers. Organizationally we are at a crossroads of historical proportions, which will determine the look, and longevity of our future together. At this crossroads, vision is vital and our mission must be understood and supported by an implementable strategy and a streamlined structure. Creative thinking and effective team building come natural to us. Put a few of us in a room for a couple of hours and enough vision, mission, strategy and structure will generate to prompt Rambo to wave the white flag. We lack very little byway of capabilities and generate opportunities with catalytic fervor. Never has a generation been so prepared and capable to lead, and yet our future hangs precariously in the balance. You see, my generation has all the tools and we knowhow to use them, but we lack a binding agent tough enough to stand the test of time.
- Let me delineate my claim. Our founding fathers started with a cause worthy enough to fight for and different enough to bind them together through thick and thin. Their cause was couched in a common semantic, a religious experience and a defined lifestyle. That cause or value was of course entire sanctification. As is so often thecae, time changes things. The next generation can't understand the semantic, are unable to duplicate the experience and are unwilling to fake the lifestyle. Unwittingly, the rejection of the package results in a loss of the cause or core value. No amount of creativity, camaraderie or competency can prevent an organization from dismantling without a binding agent strong enough to weather the test of time. Whether those tests are negative trials or positive opportunities there must exist a cause worthy enough to captivate our hearts and different enough to determine that our perpetuation is necessary.
- Over the past 25 years, the Evangelical Church has undergone our own little reformation. The cries have been identical. Let's get back to the scriptures forsaking “The Discipline." Our systematic theology has been largely discarded on the way tithe cross. Legalistic tendencies reflecting a negative holiness have been gladly and lavishly exchanged for "grace." I am not one who desires to retrace our steps and reclaim what we have set aside. I will pose a question, which demands an answer at this historical crossroads. What is our cause? Do we possess a core value that differentiates us enough to mandate our perpetuation? If not, our days are
numbered. If so, then the sky is the limit for The Evangelical Church with her Leadership know-how.
- As a conversation starter, may I propose that we must reclaim our founding father's cause? Is it possible that their core value was worthy enough and definitive enough to not only pass the test of time but to remain the greatest need of our time? We cannot afford to commandeer an archaic semantic, experience and lifestyle. However, the belief that Jesus is a much greater savior than the church was proclaiming and the world was encountering is our generations reality as well. Such a great salvation is being peddled as cheap grace. The transformational hope, which Immanuel offers, is being sold on layaway as only a future reality. As a result the Bride is spotted and defiled and no where near ready for His return. We must rephrase, re-present and redefine the cause of Christ's full salvation. We must call our generation to repentance because the Kingdom of Heaven, the rule and reign of God, is here and now. We must reclaim the cause of a superior savior who is capable of so much more than mainstream evangelicalism reflects. The gospel of full salvation is not only what the world needs and the church has been mandated to proclaim, it is the core value which will determine our future and fruitfulness. So... let's both instigate and perpetuate a dialogue centered on a cause and core value, which is both worthy and definitive
- "Christ in us our hope of glory!"