I was very pleased with the helpful content of your recent feature on the problems that occur when churches go into debt ("The High Cost of Debt in Ministry" by Clark Whitten, November/December). Whitten was open about his own crisis of struggling to help his church dig its way out of a multimillion-dollar debt, and his vulnerability in sharing from his own experience was enlightening.
I agree with his assessment that "any pastor who truly cares about people will not want to put a congregation into the hellish bondage of debt." I personally know of cases in which steep indebtedness all but killed a church.
The fact is that in the wake of debt, people are left with deep battle scars. Some of them will never darken a church door again. Is having a glittering building that is more a monument to man than the power of God worth that price?
Women in Leadership
Way to go, Ministries Today! It was refreshing to see two columns written by women in your November/December issue--I had begun to wonder if you supported women in ministry.
In "A More Excellent Way" (ViewPoint) Barbara McCoo Lewis challenged those in leadership not to settle for the status quo and to regularly assess our ministry systems to make sure they are functioning at their highest level of excellence. And in "Why Pray Together?" (SoapBox), Alice Patterson demonstrated the importance of crossing denominational boundaries to pray with other pastors.
The voices of these women--and others called by God--are much needed in this hour. Keep 'em coming. We want to hear what they have to say.
Support House Churches
Thank you for the great magazine. I have always enjoyed reading the informative articles from leaders, to leaders.
Have you ever thought about running a regular column for house-church leaders? There aren't a lot of magazines that even acknowledge us, let alone publish regular articles on permanent issues unique to the house church, such as opening up one's home to strangers, how to blend different cultures into a small home group, accountability and proper theology.
I believe the house church is a small but growing segment of the body of Christ, and we need to reference articles from respected publications to help steer us and keep our paths straight.