Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Vineyard Pastors Conference 1993

The first time I ever went to a Vineyard Pastors Conference, John Wimber gave the following fatherly analogy to us, which I think would be the words I would say -- if anyone were to ask -- to those who are beginning to deal with critiques (both fair and unfair) about the emerging church. (This isn't a transcription from anywhere, it's just my memory of the event, so any errors in communication are totally mine.)

Sitting in an armchair, as his recent health difficulties had made it difficult to stand while he spoke, John told us, "I feel like a father, sending my kids off to play football in the local schoolyard."

"I tell my kids, Listen -- some of the kids you're going to play with are going to play by the rules, and respect you and watch out for you. And other kids -- well, they're NOT going to do that -- they'll cheat, lie, give you cheap shots, and then blame you. But no matter how they treat you, you play nice."

Leaning forward in his armchair, John admonished us, "Some pastors and churches will play by the rules. Some won't. Some pastors and churches will honour and respect you. Some won't. Some pastors will speak well of you and join you in ministry. Some won't. They'll misrepresent you, lie about you, talk about you behind your back, and falsely accuse you of all kinds of things."

Of all the things I've heard or read from John Wimber, this is the nugget that I remember the most.

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