A Mile Or More Ahead

   Let us suppose there is a denominational apparatus with (increasingly) meager ties to ministries in the Harvest Field. Let us imagine the institutional mechanism suffers a series of setbacks, declining attendance at its events and financial reversals.

   Should it be saved? If so, how can it be saved? Let us argue for the moment that it might be saved, or at least its life prolonged. For today, it is enough to speak of the how and leave alone the why.

   The denominational apparatus as we might see it today will not survive. That cake is baked.

   No external, para-church organization will suffice to save the apparatus. The para-church group most interested in the survival of the whole is itself declining, in large part because of its own most serious internal errors. Simply put, the little group forgot its mission, got seriously off message and made a mess.

   Nor should we believe the system can be saved from within the apparatus. Fearful for its safety for years (with good reason) the apparatus built in protections, which now make it virtually impervious to reform. Dissatisfied adherents who cannot pierce to the vital internal organs, rebuffed or outright insulted by the bureaucrats-who-dwell-near-the-throne, grow angry first and then apathetic.

   The apathy is worse.

   You can work with anger.

   If an apparatus cannot be fixed from within we might conclude it is because it is empty inside.

   So, if we look a mile ahead and see the inevitable death occasioned by the decline of the apparatus itself, with its stark inabilities to transform itself to fit its cultural setting, what is left to do? Shall we let it die and see what Phoenix arises from the ashes?

   This is a rather passive approach in a moment of time more needful of passion, energy, action and zeal.

   We do have to decide there is are ministries in the Harvest Field to be nourished. There is less for them each year. 

   The how to help starts with a rally. If there is any reason to save what we can, it starts with this; we rally around our Harvest Ministries and we rally the base of support. That is, we reinvest in the alienated. A sighing call to "move on," has not produced passion or zeal. Eyes roll, shoulders sag and ears close.

   In fact, it is impossible to rally the alienated base when the manifest leadership amounts to persons knee deep in the mire and others whose main accomplishment was to take cover during the shooting war. The message is plain. Hang around headquarters and you will one day run the army.

   Only the army went home. Now blow the trumpet and see who comes.

   If, as we suppose, the old is passing away and the new is unclear, we will need our base as much as ever.


8 thoughts on “A Mile Or More Ahead”

  1. at http://deepintheheart.wordpress.com/ Lee at least proposes some changes which could effect some of the organization saving and reinvigorating inputs you call for–Why neglect this personal friend’s(?) effort at this year’s BGCT. My father, God rest his soul, always said a hippie was someone with a complaint but no real desire or plan for correction.
    IN Chrits’s love

  2. How do we rally for/to all the various institutions in one manifest way, if not thru a central apparatus? The reason for the apparatus is the plethora of worthy harvest field ministries, no? Due to the shear number of harvest ministries, there is reason to stay in the fight.
    Tim Dahl

  3. sheer,not shear. though you may be right in your spelling,
    you have hit on the 64,000 dollar question. how do we support the harvest
    On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM, wrote:

  4. What makes something a harvest ministry?? I would say Baylor is the least effective followed closely by every school being supported. On the other hand all of our Encampments and some of our local churches have seen and are seeing tremendous harvest results. Niether of which are being supported at all. So what to support that really works in the Harvest. I think in todays Texas the list is not very long!!

  5. Baylor needs our money like I need another gray hair.
    I think the other schools are worthy of our support, as is Baylor, they just
    dont need it.
    Camps and local church ministries are the things most left out and the most
    effective in winning persons. I wish you would come back on the comment
    section and note how the BGCT now exists, apparently, to take missions money
    to pay staff. I remember your reported comment to Everett about how the
    first thing you did was cut your salary when the money went south.
    You were on the executive board and saw all this. If you come on my comment
    section and give a lucid report, I will leave it up, quote from it and call
    attention to it. If this is going to change, someone other than Montoya and
    Davis will have to stand up.
    On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 8:53 AM, wrote:

  6. I think that the schools/BSU, camps and hospitals count as harvest ministries. I would also put church planting in that group. New church starts end up winning more people to the Lord (per year) than established churches (if I remember correctly). I would also put the River Ministry in there as well. I would also like to give a bigger place to the Offering for World Hunger. It gives to some great ministries.

  7. Our church along with some others in our Association participated in the Easter GPS program sponsored by the NAMB and BGCT. We are still experiencing some of the benefits (visitations and new members) of that effort and probably would receive a great intra church blessing again from a new, perhaps similar effort for Thanksgiving or earlier. We are a small church and have put together some media and efforts in the past largely based on individual initiative and not covering near the area or nuimbers of people in the same amount of time as did this well publicised, organized and resourced Harvest type ministry.

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