Volume 9 Number 4

1. There are times and seasons to 'go hard' for the gospel, even if your church style is not necessarily of the 'better to burn out than to fade away' variety. I like the idea of having a few times a year where you prep up and pump up the church to 'go hard'. A season of sacrificial service for the sake of outreach is good for the communal soul.

2. I had a pastoral encounter the other night where I rediscovered the emotional importance of the doctrinal hell. For someone who has been visciously hurt by the wickedness of people, and who longs to lash out in vengeance and violence, 'forgive your enemies' is a massive challenge. I believe that the first step is for them to let God be Judge, and to take comfort in the fact that God's wrath is a far more fitting punishment than personal violence or even State punishment.

3. It is hard to be a part of a church that is shrinking in numbers because people are going away to Bible College or the mission field elsewhere.

But it is wonderful to see that the story of your church is bigger than the amount of current members. Even the local church stretches backwards and forwards in time. Part of the excitement of being a part of Crossroads is sharing in the growth of future pastors and evangelists currently @ Bible College, and in the ongoing service of those who have gone out from us to serve in other congregations around the country and the world.

And isn't this the first step in grasping a little more fully the truth of the Universal Church?

4. A little reflection on committees and commissions of higher courts of my denomination: They tend to be governed by rules and regulations which are (rightly) focused on maintenance and sustainability. As a result, however, the oversight of such committees don't go far beyond this. Unless the convenor is particularly visionary, the reports are often a little mundance.

Over the next year I hope to introduce the expectation that all committees develop a 1-2 yr and a 3-5 yr plan. I hope that this will drive us to prayer and (even) entrepreneurialism.