When the March/April issue of Ministries Today arrived, I sat down and went through the entire magazine, looking for articles that interest me. The first one that did so was "Train Up a Child" (Ministry Matters). Statistics such as those reported in this article challenge us and make us think.
I would like to see some articles about children in the church and the importance of looking at children's ministries as part of the whole, not just as an arm of the church. Children's ministries should be the heart of the church. They must be the church of today if they are to become the church of tomorrow.
The article "Finding God at the Movies" is going to be controversial. Personally, I don't have the time; neither would I take valuable time that could be used to evangelize and spend two hours at the theater. I can read reviews and find out for myself what a particular movie is all about.
Mary Lou Canata
Los Angeles, California
Stop the Decline
The editor, Bill Shepson, asked us to write him, so here goes. What about doing articles about the struggles pastors face in plateaued or declining churches? That's a majority of churches--85 percent--according to studies and polls.
It's extremely difficult to persuade a dying church to change and to be open to new ways of doing things--especially if people think the church is doing OK. How about encouragement, book reviews and articles from pastors who have faced a very difficult situation and turned it around? Address issues such as what a pastor should say to a congregation that's stagnated, and what might be the first steps to convincing church leadership to invest in turning the church around. I have been frustrated that it's been so hard to make things happen--anything happen--that looks any different from the ways we have always done it.
What did you mean by the statement, "We will continue to step on toes when it comes to things such as interracial marriage" (From the Publisher, March/April)? I am unsure whether you are condemning interracial marriage or implying something else. Would you please explain?
Publisher's Note: Thank you for asking for clarification. Those who have read our magazine through the years know that we roundly condemn those who feel there is something wrong with interracial marriage between believers. In fact, the September/October 2001 issue featured Randy and Maribel Landis, an interracial couple, on the cover. We apologize for the confusion.