In just under 48 hours each year our contributing editors meet in an annual retreat to consider the future of this magazine. We discuss a wide range of issues—from the lofty (“How should young leaders in our fellowship view it?”) to the specific (“What should a Christian Standard app contain?”). All of it is aimed at improving Christian Standard’s service—its content, its appearance, even its means of distribution.
The group suggests topics the church needs to consider and writers who have something to say about them. They critique our past year’s product and react to future possibilities and proposals.
And through it all, in a relaxed retreat setting, they seem to take as much away from the meeting as they contribute to it. On the last day of this year’s meeting, Ben Cachiaras, senior minister with Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland, included this report in his weekly church e-newsletter.
I’m supposed to be serving. Truth is, I am the one receiving the blessing. That’s often the way it goes, isn’t it? I’m in Orlando finishing some meetings as a contributing editor with Christian Standard. Supposedly I’m here to give input and leave some gems of insight to help its mission. But it happens every time I come to this thing: I feel so blessed to be a part of it. I hope I helped, but I fear I go home with more than I gave. The discussion stimulates! I think new thoughts. I see godly wisdom demonstrated. The fellowship is warm and real. The folk around the table are incredible—smart, humble Christ followers from all over the map.
We sort through everything from the state of the church, to what leadership is all about, how the Bible guides through same-sex attraction issues, immigration, and the best books we’ve read. We get animated sometimes. We also share deep hurts, and pray together. This year we wept together, laying hands on and praying earnestly for one of our number returning to a harrowing ministry situation.
We are presidents, pastors, writers, church planters, executives, moms, college employees, single females, married guys, and retired folk. One is a Canadian with dyed hair, another a grandma from California. And we are a microcosm of the church. We are friends on a mission together.
The mission of Christian Standard is clarified and propelled by the input of these Christian leaders. Most of our readers know at least one of them (see the list at the left), and we encourage you to tell them how you think we’re doing. Meanwhile, be assured that our ongoing ministry is richer and more effective because of the iron-sharpening-iron counsel we receive from our contributing editors.