For several years, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) leaders have recognized they must appeal to a broader constituency. But now, with the imminent departure of president Don Argue, the organization is poised for additional restructuring in order to maintain its focus and vitality.
At its annual meeting last month in Orlando, leaders underscored the importance of this transition period.
"The NAE can't move into the new millennium as just another parachurch ministry," Argue declared. "The paradigms have changed." He says the Carol Stream, Illinois-based organization needs to become a network resource center and technological data base for evangelical ministries—but he is not the person to oversee such a realignment.
"I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to, but the NAE needs someone with gifts that are different than mine," Argue, 58, told CT.
Argue has raised the profile of NAE, climaxed by meetings with religious and government leaders in China (CT, April 6, 1998, p. 26). In his three years at the NAE helm, Argue has become cochair of the State Department's Subcommittee on Religious Freedom and Persecution Abroad, a post in which he will continue. He will become president of Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington, on June 1 (CT, Feb. 9, 1998, p. 92).
AGING CONSTITUENCY: While the evangelical movement has changed dramatically in the past 40 years, the NAE has not. The average age of NAE direct-mail donors is now over 70.
"Large denominations, parachurch ministries, and colleges are now doing their own thing," Argue told CT. "A new compelling motivation to work together must be discovered."
At the meeting, Carol S. Childress, information broker with the Dallas-based Leadership Network, cautioned that younger ...1
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