From the Editor
Just writing these words excites me. Exactly one year ago the board and staff of Christianity Today, Inc., sent me on the first of several extensive trips to find answers to the questions, "What are the greatest practical needs of the pastor, the church staff member, and the lay decision maker?" and, "How can we effectively speak to these needs?"
It was like letting the "genie out of the bottle." Everywhere I went the response was overwhelming. People by the dozens began to send four-and five-page typewritten letters offering their perceptions of the practical problems facing their churches and how these problems might be solved. In a few short weeks I had received over 100 article suggestions for the first issue.
In May we sent up a trial balloon (or, if you insist, put out a fleece)—a test mailing to 10,000 names. We received a phenomenal response. The return mail was filled with personal checks ordering from one- to three-year subscriptions, even though the mailing never asked for money! All indicators—spiritual, organizational, and economic said "Go!" . . . and we've been scrambling pretty fast ever since.
It has been fascinating to sort through the letters and conversational notes to determine what should be published in this first issue. One well known pastor. Lane Adams of Memphis, Tennessee, suggested we ought to consider a lead article entitled, "How to Find Enough Time to Read Another Journal." Well said! In the 20 years since my ordination there has never been enough time to read, especially during the years I was involved in public ministry. When I did squeeze out the time, so much of the available material, though stimulating and helpful, did not speak to my "everyday problems." Even when I did find an article that seemed to understand them, all it talked about was the specific problem . . . definition of problem, analysis of problem, and a comparison of my problem with someone else's problem. Very few people wrote about solutions.
During this past year I've met a lot of new friends who feel the same way. Repeatedly they have written, "We enjoy philosophy, theory, and theology, but please make LEADERSHIP a practical journal." That's a tall order, since the interwoven strands of theory and practice cannot be dissected. So far, whenever we gather intelligent, capable people together to discuss practical ministry problems, of necessity, we find ourselves also discussing philosophy and theology. But, the request is an understandable one, and it is our desire to focus LEADERSHIP upon the practical problems of ministry, and offer hope, encouragement, and some examples of solution. As a sister publication of Christianity Today it will be published quarterly and will be filled with forums, interviews, case studies, stories, anecdotes, and cartoons. Inclusion of cartoons comes from a personal feeling that we all need to laugh a little more . . . especially at ourselves.
We've taken on a difficult task; we realize it and we're a little ...