One of the challenges every church faces is how to simultaneously be relevant, current, up-to-date, etc. yet also tied to the historical beauty and majesty of the church. Though this is seen in practically every area of church life, perhaps it's most visible in worship ... the blend of the old and new, ancient and modern, historic and innovative, etc. I must say that CPC has done a fair job with this over the years ... we've avoided major conflict over such stuff! Yet the challenge is still before us and it may be more critical than ever for us to address.
This issue isn't just some hypothetical, transcendent matter that churches deal with in theory ... it actually works its way into the daily life of every local church. The Session of CPC is intentionally trying to posture our church family to face and handle this challenge through the recent church staff hires of Stokes Skellie and John Perry. While both men are incredibly sharp and competent in the work of ministry, they bring unique voices and perspective to the future health and growth of CPC.
Stokes, in many ways, represents the rich history of Community Presbyterian Church. I firmly believe that there is nobody better skilled and suited for CPC than Stokes. Those of you who have enjoyed his leadership in worship since 2005 know what I'm saying. And with all the recent changes in the make-up of our church family over the past few years it is quite a comforting thought to know that we'll again be blessed with Stokes' participation and leadership in our worship. While we certainly don't want to live in past, it is wonderful to have this link to what everyone likely considers the "golden age" of worship music here at Community.
John, on the other hand, represents the future of CPC. To prevent us from living in the past we must constantly be challenged to properly understand the changing culture in which we live. And while we're certainly not seeking to employ the latest "trend" in church we do want to be appropriate and pertinent in what we're doing and how we're doing it. Though the Gospel never, ever changes we must always be willing to examine our church structure, programs, methodology, strategy, etc. to be sure that newer generations hear, understand, and can apply this unchanging and eternal Gospel. As I get older I realize more and more the importance of us looking to and planning for the future.
I ask that you pray ... that CPC would be well prepared to rest in and enjoy the historical beauty of not only the universal church of the ages but also that rich past of our own church family ... that we would be intentional in assuming a posture that welcomes younger generations of those Christ is calling to Himself ... that our Father would give us grace to navigate this course in patient love for one another ... that each of us would be willing to lay aside our personal preferences for the sake of the Gospel ... that He would richly bless CPC and use us to penetrate this area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.