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Surviving a Power Play

Nothing is bloodier than a religious war.
—Marshall Shelley

Charles Westerman was surprised when Jack Kenton was picked by the nominating committee for the position of board chairman. Only six months earlier, Charles had heard via the grapevine that Jack was thinking of leaving Morningside Chapel. Charles remembered several occasions when Jack had mentioned, "Pastor, the church isn't as friendly as it used to be; we're growing too fast to keep up with everyone."

That wasn't an unusual observation, and Charles agreed but said he guessed it was a nice problem to have. The church, just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, had grown in the last two years—lots of people drifting in and staying, others drifting off, blaming the church's size for an impersonal feel. Charles was doing what he could to foster intimacy through Sunday school classes and small groups, but he also knew larger churches would naturally "feel" different than small ones.

One of Jack Kenton's closest friends, Clarence Porter, ...

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