by Bob Mills
If you had a chance to read our last e-mail update, you know Sue Cyre has retired after serving as Theology Matters' executive director for the past 20 years. I have accepted the board of director's call to fill this position.
I'm excited about the opportunities for ministry at this extraordinary time in the life of the Church, a time when our culture is moving further away from the modern age into the postmodern era, a time when Christian congregations are navigating an increasingly unsettled ecclesiastical terrain. In these transitional times, we believe Theology Matters is uniquely positioned to equip and encourage Christians and congregations in our three major areas of emphasis: worldview, doctrine, and apologetics.
My excitement about the opportunities is, however, accompanied by the realities of assuming the responsibilities that come with this position. In following Sue as executive director, not only am I taking over for someone whose efforts have been greatly blessed by God for two decades, I'm following the founder of the ministry! And as I've learned these past three weeks, I have a lot to learn.
I would deeply appreciate your prayers, both for me and for the ministry, in the coming weeks and months. Please pray that we are able faithfully to follow the path we believe God has shown us.
As we continue to emphasize worldview, doctrine, and apologetics, we're looking not simply to maintain but to expand our three major avenues of ministry.
1. Our journal. As I'm sure you know, currently we publish a 16-page issue of Theology Matters five times a year, bi-monthly except for the summer. This will remain our flagship publication, in which we will continue to bring you outstanding articles on topics vital to Christians and congregations today. Looking ahead, we'd love to be able to add pages to the journal, and perhaps even add a sixth issue each year.
2. Our online ministries. Once an issue of Theology Matters goes in the mail, we also put it on our website, www.theologymatters.com. Over the next 6-12 months, we'll be adding more content areas to the site. We're also in the process of establishing a presence on social media. I'll let you know in future e-mail updates when we're up and running in this area.
3. Our videos. A great way for us to reach groups of people, whether Sunday school classes, Bible studies, or officer training sessions, is through our videos. Our most recent, What's the Big Deal about Marriage: Reclaiming God's Plan for Men and Women, is a 6-session study on three DVDs by Theology Matters Fellow Alan Wisdom. This is another area where we see room for significant expansion.
A Final Appeal
In our last e-mail update, the board included this final appeal from Sue as our outgoing executive director. She wrote:
I have been blessed all these years to be able to serve Theology Matters as a volunteer. We have had no paid staff so all of your gifts went directly to printing and postage for Theology Matters. Theology Matters, however, has grown too large to be served only by a volunteer. We now have the challenge of being able to pay Bob at least a part-time salary. I hope that you will continue to support Theology Matters and, knowing our special need now, perhaps donate a few dollars more, or contact your congregation's mission committee and ask if they would consider putting Theology Matters into the church budget for 2015.
If Theology Matters is to realize the expanded vision God has given us for ministry in these changing, challenging times, we must make the transition from a single volunteer to multiple-member salaried staff. In the best of times, this would be an enormous undertaking. Given the current economic and ecclesiastical uncertainties, attempting to expand our ministries and staff might seem downright foolish. But, as my pastor is fond of reminding me, God isn't short of money.
Would you be willing to prayerfully consider whether God may be calling you to partner with us in this ministry? We're looking for congregations to add us to their annual mission budget, for individuals willing and able to make monthly contributions, and for individuals and congregations who can make a one-time gift of any size.
I look forward to hearing from you, and to working with you, in the months and years ahead.