Jump directly to the Content

For the Love of Fierce Variety

For the Love of Fierce Variety

Thirty years ago I was a 20-something pastor, green as a sapling, standing in a 100-year-old pulpit dense with ancient oak. Weekly I addressed people who, on average, were 40 years my senior. They were good people, kind and generous. They nurtured me well in my first bumbling years of pastoral ministry. I still feel a deep affection for them and owe them a great debt.

But without anyone even noticing it, we had become a clique. G.K. Chesterton wrote: "The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce variety and uncompromising divergences of men." We may have been a small community, but we knew little of "fierce variety and uncompromising divergences." What we knew—what marked us out—was sameness and conformity. We attracted people much like ourselves. We felt awkward whenever someone different from us wandered in. And they felt awkward, too—and soon left.

I observed this, but never confronted ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
What’s True About Christian Fiction
What’s True About Christian Fiction
“This Present Darkness” and other bestsellers show us the history of evangelicalism—and how it could be different.
Editor's Pick
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
As a seminary professor, I’m requiring the physical book in class. Church should do the same.
close