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  • mark56397

August Newsletter

TWO leaders of the early church, Paul & Barnabas, worked together for a period of time. But when they were about to go on another missionary journey, Acts 15:39 says, "They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company."

THIS passage has been on my mind lately. You see, I've been a part of our denomination (Foursquare) for over 40 years. It is here that I met my wife, was educated and able to be a pastor. But there are some changes, that in my opinion, are not very good, which are pulling our denomination in a direction I do not want our church to follow.

TRANSITION can be a scary thing, but sometimes it is necessary to fulfill your calling and mission to God. Had Paul and Barnabas not split up they would never have covered as much territory.

THE purpose of this letter is to inform you that after a long season of prayer, council and discussion, my wife Joani and I, along with our leadership team (staff, council and elders) have decided to part company with the Foursquare denomination and join a different group of Churches that better fit our beliefs. Now I am aware that many of you did not even realize we were in a denomination. This was purposeful on my part. I never wanted to be a "Rah Rah" guy for an organization but rather cheer and steer you toward Jesus Christ and His Word. He is WHO we celebrate and WHY we gather, not some organization in a distant city.

SO WHY leave Foursquare? The first reason began almost two years ago with our leader's decision. For years, our denomination has consisted of 10 districts in the U.S., led by 10 supervisors, ministers who had given their lives to serve the church. On one afternoon, in the middle of a pandemic, when leadership and oversight was essential, our new President and his team, many who had never pastored a church before, fired all ten supervisors. Next they consolidated the ten districts into five. Ten experienced leaders could not keep up with the load. Now there are five less districts, led by inexperienced leaders trying to serve even more churches. The shock waves, hurt and anger over this decision was substantial. It also caused many to doubt our new leadership.

THE second reason is a couple of stances and statements being made by our denomination, such as: "We will never be whole until everyone has a seat at the table". I disagree. Jesus makes us whole, period. Another is a stance against spiritual abuse. I believe whole heartedly that we should stamp out abuse, but when Foursquare brings in an outside group and they make it clear that there will be a "leaning toward the victim viewpoint". I disagree. We should be open to all sides of every accusation. Proverbs 18:17 say, "The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." Another disturbing stance happening is the labeling of people. How can we be one in Christ when we have to put labels on everyone?

THESE are just a few issues. Trust me, there are more. So in the coming weeks there will be more discussion about our decision at a church wide meeting.

ONa positive note, there will be no noticeable changes to our church as a result of our departure from Foursquare. We will still be the same FOOTHILLS CHURCH, just with a different affiliation.

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