Published June 23, 2005
The whole "Frog in the Kettle" debate has proven that there is disrespect from both sides on this issue.
I understand the concern from those on both sides of the issue. As a church planter in North Georgia, I employ different methodologies than many churches in my area. I'm not completely contemporary and I'm not completely traditional. I'm somewhere in the middle.
Of course, the real issue being surfaced is the involvement of the younger generation of pastors in the GBC and SBC. First, I will honestly say that most of the younger generation has no idea of the energy it took and the price that was paid to turn the convention conservative. We weren't there for the hard times. We weren't there for the battle, but we enjoy the benefits of the victory.
But most of the young pastors that I know would appreciate a mentor relationship with a more seasoned pastor. I think Jimmy Draper has put his finger on a problem and I believe we can begin to solve that problem by being open to new ways of ministry and work with all those who hold our theology. The experienced pastors need to mentor the younger leaders and the younger leaders need to have a desire to be mentored.
We need to realize that the vast majority on both sides of the issue want the same thing - to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They simply disagree on the best methods to employ to accomplish that desire.
Both sides need to realize that there is only one Gospel that saves people, but multiple ways to communicate that Gospel. It seems that much of the disagreement is no longer theological but methodological. Contemporary pastors should honor and respect their traditional counterparts and vise versa. In other words, understand that we're really on the same team, but we may have a different part to play in order to win.
One day, the torch will be passed from the older generation to the younger. I can only hope that it will be done with great trust from one generation that has invested significantly in the lives of another. Therefore, we've got some work to do on both sides to mend some fences and rebuild bridges, not just for our sake, but also for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
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