One of the enjoyable aspects of my life and public ministry is coming to Washington, D.C., twice each year to share in a two-day meeting of the Association for Church Renewal (ACR), a group of individuals who working informally as a network to speak truth to the mainline Protestant churches in North America. Included among this group of people are representatives of the Methodist Church, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and various Canadian groups as well. I am always inspired by the stories of such people who are courageous and faithful, especially in places where it is very hard to be faithful to the gospel.
The question we always ask seems to be this: "Can the mainline denominations be saved?" I do not mean saved soteriologically but rather saved as apostolic Christian communities (denominations) for the "faith once for all delivered to the saints." The answer in some cases appears now to be "No." In others the answer is "Maybe." In some it seems to be "Yes." New forms of the church are shaping and forming even as I listened to some twenty reports today. We should expect the wine skins to change but the church of Jesus Christ will remain, regardless of the errors of men. Christ will prevail and his Word cannot fail. It is with this confidence that I end a busy and most interesting day.
Please pray for us as we ask God to do something new with the ACR, something that will stretch us all and perhaps provide a new impetus for spiritual renewal and reformation for many churches in North America. This is an expression of one of God’s callings upon my life thus I ask for your prayer for me and ACT 3.