By Mark A. Taylor
Today is the middle day of this year’s annual CHRISTIAN STANDARD contributing editors retreat. For all of us who attend it, this is a special gathering that enriches us in a unique way.
Of course, personal enrichment is a byproduct of the meeting. Its stated purpose is to brainstorm topics and writers for future editions of CHRISTIAN STANDARD. And this is a purpose that has been wonderfully achieved, year after year.
Many of the innovations and changes you’ve seen in the magazine through the years have come at the suggestion (or prodding!) of this group. Several of them are greater change agents than your editor, and their experiences and insight have been factors in keeping us moving forward.
Our get-togethers are definitely iron-sharpening-iron events. The group includes representatives of a wide variety of perspectives and contexts.
Our membership includes preachers of megachurches and smaller churches; a college president, a college professor, and a college director of church relations; directors of parachurch ministries; and one full-time freelancer.
They come from California and Canada, Joplin and Indianapolis, and many points in between. Of the 12, three are women (we need more); their ages range from under 40 to past 70 (we could use some younger members).
Some have been with us since I became editor in 2003, but a few who joined then have rotated off to be replaced by those in our current crew.
Each of them is widely known; we’re certain every reader of CHRISTIAN STANDARD has met or worked with at least one of them. Follow this link to see the list of those I’m describing.
Their diversity is a key to the unique dynamic we experience when we’re together. We certainly don’t agree on everything. But we do share a commitment to Jesus as Lord and a love for the “tribe” of churches that introduced us to him. These folks represent the strength of the Christian churches and churches of Christ: devoted to living out the Bible, entrepreneurial in their approach to ministry, energetic in their daily service. And besides all that, with keen intellects and great senses of humor, they’re a lot of fun!
Our get-together is short, not quite 48 hours in total. I’ll leave the meeting with a folder full of good ideas, gratitude for the time these people give us (we don’t pay them a dime for their service), and a sense of longing for the next time we’ll be together.