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Rekindling Vision in an Established Church.

The prophet Joel said old men would dream dreams. What about old congregations?

The warmth of the autumn sun through the bedroom window aided my mellow reflection. Sunday afternoon naps were a luxury of this interval in my life. I had resigned a productive but stressful pastorate ten months before to slow down, do some thinking, and await further direction.

The phone rang. I reached across the bed to answer it.

Eric Pearson introduced himself as an elder of Philadelphia Church in Chicago, two thousand miles away, and then inquired whether I would be interested in candidating for the position of pastor.

I took a deep breath. "Before I answer that, Eric," I replied, "I need to ask two questions. First, are you planning to stay in the inner city or move to the suburbs? Second, if you opt for staying, are you willing to make the necessary changes to reach the community for Christ?"

"I can answer both of those now if you like."

"Actually, I'd prefer an official response from the church leadership," I said. My insistence grew out of what I knew about this particular congregation. ...

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