Since the gang at the Holy Post Podcast appointed me its “official historian,” I thought I better call your attention to Bob Smietana’s profile of Phil “Bob the Tomato” Vischer at Religion News Service.
I don’t want to get fired! 🙂
But seriously, I am posting this because I agree with much of what Vischer says about evangelicalism.
Here is a taste of Smeitana’s piece:
Vischer has seen hope for the evangelical movement in his home church. He and co-host Jethani were both members of an older, mostly white Christian and Missionary Alliance congregation that had been in decline for a number of years and had a building that was too big for them.
The church’s future was uncertain.
One day, a denominational leader came to the church with a suggestion. Not far away was another CMA congregation, a growing second-generation immigrant Asian church. What if, the denominational leader asked, the two churches merged?
After two years of prayer and discussion, the two congregations did just that. Today the church is back to about 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including Latino and African American families as well as a ton of college students.
Vischer was an elder during the time of the merger, which included a name change. His job during the merger was to urge other white members to do all they could to make the merger work.
“As the dominant culture, we have to bend more,” he said.
Not everything is perfect. The newly merged congregation had to figure out everything from its governance and worship to church potlucks and whether to put up a Black Lives Matter sign at the church.
But a church that was once declining is now growing and has a future.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “That’s what gives me hope. It’s OK if we follow Jesus and let the chips fall where they may.”
Read the entire piece here.