At a church leadership retreat, a tall man with a mustache and red suspenders stands up and says, “Several of us here find ourselves wondering if our church is still God-centered. It seems to us something’s missing.” At another retreat, a woman blurts out, “But what do we believe? That’s what I want to know.” Others in her group seem unnerved by her comment, as if an unwritten rule of discourse has been violated. But a few moments later, another woman adds, “Yes, I sometimes feel we’re not sure who we are or what we believe.”
Anthony B. Robinson is president of Seattle-based Congregational Leadership Northwest and coauthor, with Robert W. Wall, of Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day (forthcoming from Eerdmans).