Ultimate Goal

I went to St. Dominic Hospital yesterday to visit a man named Harlod Roach. Mr. Roach joined Truitt Memorial twice since I have been pastor. He was a missionary to Madison County during the interval time. Mr. Roach and his wife Jan are wonderful people and I always grow when I'm in their presence. Yesterday was no exception.

Mr. Harold helped plant a number of Christian and Missionary Alliance congregations when he was a younger man. He carries with him the Alliance zeal for missions and evangelism. He is now an officer in the Gideons International Organization. He spends most Sunday mornings raising funds to purchase Bibles. Jan and Harold are active in Bible distribution and evangelism through this ministry. God has used them in schools, prisions, hospitals, hotels, and in international locations like Kenya to share His love. They were missional before missional was cool!

During our lengthy conversation yesterday Mr. Harold asked me about our family and Truett Seminary. He then asked, "What is your ultimate goal?" I told him that I wanted to be a good Christian, husband, and father. I then said that wanted to serve a truly missional church. He responded by saying, "There aren't many of those out there. You almost have to start from scratch."

Mr. Harold put his finger on the pulse of the church and spoke truly. We have a two front challenge. 1) Lead conventional congregations toward a truly missional posture. 2) Plant intentionally missional congregations. I'm wondering if there is a way to do these two things at once.

If you have any thoughts I would be appreciative.


Mark Rotramel said...

Hey school buddy! It's been awhile since I talked with you, so I'll start here by saying "congrats" on the new baby. I trust that Molly Katherine is progressing in the initiation and training of the new one!

I have found, in my context of service, that our proclivity to "pitch our tents" in the familiar makes it incredibly difficult, and occasionally, impossible, to "re-educate" people out of their historical bias. While, on the surface, that seems to argue for just starting over somewhere, I believe that it is possible to "start from scratch" without "starting over". My 19 years of experience with FBE has taught me that there is a natural "ebb and flow" of membership and leadership within the local church. A short tenure for a pastor tends to mask that fact, and it creates a skewed perspective. I believe that part of the key is intentional leadership and formation focus by the pastor & key leaders with the next generation of church members. It involves personal investment of a sustained nature in those "young" (as in newly reached, etc., not as in "age"). Granted, there are inherent pitfalls and obstacles in this (like "radical proponents of the status quo" who lobby aggressively for the way things have always been), but I believe the process can be quite healthy for the church at large. In some measure, I think this model fits what Jesus did with his disciples. I'm finding, in my point of service, that the process is slow, but effective.

Matt Snowden said...


Man it's good to hear from you. How 'bout the seminar being moved up? Do you have any plans for housing? We need to e-mail.

Great thoughts. I think you are correct about Jesus and his disciples. Have you read Robert E. Coleman's The Master Plan of Evangelism. Someone recommended it to me recently and it deals with this. I also just finished a book by Gustavo V. Suarez that borrows from Coleman's work.

I am looking forward to seeing you this summer. I've been dropping weight but can't wait for some Texas grub. Later.

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