"Today I feel as though I'd like to quit, take a leave of absence, resign from the world, or something." So begins a line in my journal, penned about a year ago. I had never felt so much under attack.
We had just received another turndown from a potential youth pastor. The church seemed to be on a plateau, the elders stuck on dead center. In a matter of a few days, a young man from our congregation who had recently gone to Africa was killed in an automobile accident. A missionary pilot from our fellowship had been attacked by South Pacific islanders with machetes and almost died. A retired missionary, our esteemed pastor of visitation, passed into the presence of the Lord after a very brief illness.
During this same period, I received four letters in one day marked "Personal." This kind of envelope seldom bears good news. One was a complaint from a long-time attender who felt I had gotten soft on the gospel. The person was leaving the congregation in order "to be fed" elsewhere. Another ...1