New Covenant Publications - A Counter Cult Ministry


San Diego Church (West Region)

March 6, 2003


Ok, yesterday, in my region, [West Region] we had an open forum regarding Henry's letter. Different people asked questions, made statements, and asked the ones on staff how they felt in general, about the letter, about different dubious doctrines that have been preached about in the past.

Since our leaders have been ahead of the curve in the past several years, deeper trust was much more quickly built (as opposed to other places in the U.S.) as these men spoke straight from their heart. A couple times, some of them said, "I am speaking as me, not as a staff person right now" and got gut-level honest. It was great to hear how they pretty much accepted and welcomed the most of the points in Henry's letter.

Then we got a "progress report" of sorts regarding what the staff has been learning and the avenues they are taking to figure out how to find solutions to the other issues on the tables. Some of the decisions made so far for our particular region:

1) Hierarchical discipling is no longer mandated. Bible talks can come together and figure out as a group how to meet their friendship/relationship needs.
2) Stats, beyond a headcount of Sunday attendance, has been done away with.
3) No more contribution tracking, unless an individual requests it for tax purposes.
4) Overseas special missions has been postponed until later this year.
5) Open forums will become a permanent part of church schedule here...perhaps every couple of months or so.
6) Church finances and salaries will be reevaluated by non-staff personnel, and volunteers were requested to be on this committee.
7) Dating is optional, double dating is optional, and permission/go aheads/green lights, etc will not be required, but advice on how to approach romance in a godly way will be encouraged and not mandated.

In many cases, the old practices were renounced (i.e. one OVER one discipling created an atmosphere for the pride of man to flourish, etc).

I am encouraged by the direction San Diego is taking. I've been around for almost 12 years. I've never seen God just smash the LA numbers machine like this before, and I believe that many people will heal, and many people will return to a sincere faith and worship of God and a sincere love for one another.

As these men want to serve God and have treated us relatively well, there will be no "witch-hunt" to bring them down as has gone on in other congregations where the leaders didn't get it and were abusive.



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