By Mark A. Taylor
We owe thanks to the National Missionary Convention and its 2008 president Doug Priest for the theme of this week’s issue. In fact, we’re so taken with the “Get Your Hands Dirty” idea, we’ll emphasize it throughout 2009.
When Doug spoke to our annual contributing editors retreat about a year ago, he shared some of the material we’re publishing this week. We were so compelled then by his challenge we decided we had to share it more widely. As we considered the multitude of pressing needs around the world—and the creative ways so many churches are already reaching out—we knew we had found a theme to repeat throughout the year.
But we need your help. Please tell us how your congregation or ministry is “getting dirty hands” from serving the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, or the forgotten—in faraway places or in your own community.
We hope the articles this week and throughout the year will challenge you to act. And we hope you’ll be moved to tell us what you’re already doing.
THE BEGINNING of a new year also gives us the chance to introduce a new slate of writers for our weekly “Reflections” feature. We couldn’t be more pleased with the new lineup.
Each of these writers is a leader in ministry. They represent a wide range of perspectives, locations, and areas of expertise. Although we devote most issues to a particular theme, we invite “Reflections” writers to address any need or problem or idea they want. And in the process we publish some provocative essays we might never have assigned.
We’ve already read what they’re writing, and we can hardly wait to share with you the columns from this year’s writers:
Mark Atteberry, preaching minister with Poinciana Christian Church, Kissimmee, Florida; Karen Diefendorf, academic dean, Lincoln Christian College; Derek Duncan, senior pastor, East 91st Street Christian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana; Glen Elliott, lead pastor, Pantano Christian Church, Tucson, Arizona; David Faust, president, Cincinnati Christian University and executive editor, The Lookout, Cincinnati, Ohio; David Fiensy, dean and professor at Kentucky Christian University, Grayson; Douglas Foster, professor and director of Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene (Texas) Christian University; Rhonda Lowry, Bible teacher, Nashville, Tennessee; Ethan Magness, pastor of spiritual formation; Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Maryland; Greg Pruett, president, Pioneer Bible Translators, Dallas, Texas; Rod Roberts, executive director, Christian Evangelistic Mission, member Iowa House of Representatives, Carroll, Iowa; and C. Robert Wetzel, president, Emmanuel School of Religion, Johnson City, Tennessee.