Less Pressure, More Loving
When Jerry and Barbara Cook came to the mission congregation in Gresham, Oregon, in 1965, they found six or seven families meeting in a building leased for $1 a year-"and that was a rip-off," he says. The Cooks did not sweep in with energetic plans for outreach and growth, however. "I'd been around the church all my life," Jerry says, "and I came to Gresham to get away from the politics and ladder-climbing. All I wanted to do was invest my life in a small group of people and work out the Christian faith in a not-too-obvious corner."
Then what is he doing pastoring a church today that numbers 3,000-after spinning off six daughter congregations with as many as 300 members at a time? "I think God double-crossed me," he says with a grin. "He told me to do one thing in the ministry and got me into something else."
That something else has been explained in several books, most notably Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness (Regal, 1979), which describes how this Foursquare congregation learned to reach ...1