It is almost 35 years since the first man walked on the moon. I remember the event not simply for its historical significance but because of the stir it caused in our church.

As I recall it, the people at NASA, without consulting Baptists and other like groups, scheduled the lunar landing sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Sunday evening (Central Standard Time). This meant the moment of touchdown would occur during our Sunday evening church service. How insensitive!

Most Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians then (and perhaps most churches today) could not appreciate why a scheduling conflict between a Sunday evening service and a history-altering event like landing on the moon could be a problem. But for us back then, it was a crisis, and the moment called for innovative leadership.

Pondering the situation, I got excited over the opportunity for a risky adventure in relevance and friendship evangelism, hot words in those days. We would all invite neighbors and friends into our ...

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