Many of you know there are talks with the Missionary Church about the possibility of joining them as a Denomination. For some, it may be moving too slow and for others, too fast and for others, we shouldn’t be moving at all. (A fable with a young girl and some bears comes to mind.) At the outset, we laid out three phases: The Exploration phase, the Decision phase, and the Implementation phase. Right now, we’re in the “Exploration” phase.
Another way of thinking about this is in terms of getting married. When you dated someone and realized this wasn’t “the one” you probably broke it off as nicely and as soon as possible. However, if you thought there was some possibility this could go somewhere, you continued to date, but you didn’t get married the next week.
That is the picture I have in our relationship with the Missionary Church. We are dating a Denomination. If we find out in the next few “dates” that we are not a fit, we’ll stop dating. Even if we don’t get “married” there are many resources and ministries we can share. To use the dating vernacular, we’ll still be friends.
On the other hand, if we are truly interested, we need to take our time and really think about the consequences of joining. In dating, the more serious you are, the longer and deeper you talk, right? It is for that reason we shouldn’t be in a rush.
From where I sit, we have a number of options moving forward including the following:
- Continue as a Conference, doing what we are doing with no changes
- Continue as a Conference, but make systemic changes
- Join the Missionary Church and become a Northwest Region
- Join the Missionary Church and become part of Vinia (West Coast Region)
So what are some next steps? First and foremost, we must pray! God said that when we lack wisdom we should ask of Him (James 1:5). I am calling all of us to prayer. Please put the Conference and the Evangelical church on your daily prayer list.
Also, during the next three months I am asking our pastors to come together on the third Thursday at 3:00 PM to pray and fast. Here is a video link that shares the details including locations.
Next, we have scheduled several opportunities to help further our discussions. These include the upcoming Zoom Room with the Superintendent (Thursday, May 12); General Conference in Bozeman, MT (June 28-30); A Special “Conference Round Table Meeting” at East Vancouver Community Church (October 1); and then our Annual Conference at Valley View (November 14-16).
BEFORE YOU GO
Remember that we are in no rush and no decision has to be made in the near future. If you want to know more, here is a link to a podcast I recently made with Pastor Adam Dolhanyk of our Faith on Hill Church. Here I share more in-depth about our merger talks.