Reflecting Our Desire to Serve a Diverse Fellowship

By Mark A. Taylor

How does one institution or instrument serve a fellowship like ours? Consider our diversity:

Geographic: We exist all over the world, stronger in some countries than in the United States.

Cultural: We thrive in small towns and at rural crossroads. But we’re growing in urban centers, too, and some of our most prominent congregations are in the suburbs.

Size: Most congregations average less than 300 on Sundays. But we have the highest number of megachurches per capita of any denomination in America.

Political: Even though some would never see it, we’re not all Republicans!

Theological: We’re known as conservative Christians: we call Christ Lord and look first to his Word for our faith and practice. But we disagree on a range of other issues, including which positions are opinion and which are essential to our faith!

Here at CHRISTIAN STANDARD we believe the diversity of our fellowship is key to its strength. One way we reflect the variety among us is through our group of contributing editors.

This group of 12 represents a wide cross-section of our fellowship. We have professors and preachers, men and women, westerners and easterners, older and younger, and leaders of larger as well as smaller churches.

The result is a rich depth of insight to guide us as we consider issues this magazine should address, stories we should tell, and writers to help us do so.

When we recruited our first group of contributing editors in 2003, we agreed it would be a rotating group. No one would serve for life. Of the original 12, five have been replaced by others. Now, three more are stepping down, and we have three new contributing editors to introduce to you.

We gratefully thank Nancy Karpenske, Longmont, Colorado; Chuck Sackett, Madison Park, Illinois; and Robert Wetzel, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the wealth of input and critique they have offered, not to mention their many contributions of essays and articles.

As sad as we are to see them go, we’re delighted with their replacements: Glen Elliott, minister with Pantano Christian Church, Tucson, Arizona; Phyllis Fox, director of church relations and Youth in Ministry at Milligan College, Tennessee; and Matt Proctor, president of Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri. They will attend their first contributing editor’s retreat next January. Meanwhile, we’ve already tapped them for advice and ideas.

Of course, the greatest representatives of our fellowship’s diversity are our readers themselves. We hope you’ll see our group of contributing editors as an indicator of our desire to stay in touch with all of you as we seek to serve you better.

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