YOU MATTER—TO GOD AND TO US ALL. Your thoughts, actions, and experiences are significant whether you’re 7 or 70, single, spoken-for, seeker, or sage. You’re receiving this monthly Banner because you’re a valuable member of our church family.
This connection with you doesn’t come cheap. The delegates to Synod 2004 (the Christian Reformed Church’s annual policy-setting convention) knew that when they committed to sending this magazine to more than 100,000 households. But they realized just how important building an ongoing relationship together is to being Jesus’ body on earth. It’s the right way to “do” church.
You matter. So do your views and dreams. They shape the ministry of our congregations and our denomination. Ideas really do have legs. So we stay in touch as we encourage, challenge, inform, delight, and influence each other along this challenging path of following Jesus. Our Lord used the plural, not the singular, you when he promised, “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14: 26). None of us should pretend that we alone have all truth. It’s only within the community of faith that we will find it/him.
What can you expect from these pages? I’d like to suggest three images to describe the every household Banner:
1. A Kitchen Table
These days, even if we don’t live alone, we rarely sit down to a family meal. But we have dreams, if not fond memories, of families lingering in animated conversation long after dessert and coffee are history. Or think of this Banner as your favorite place at the coffee shop, bookstore lounge, or espresso bar. We’re together to swap information, tell our stories, banter, and debate. The stronger the bond between us, the more disagreement we can tolerate and even enjoy. We’ll keep our conversations honest, candid, respectful, and loving because our relationship to each other is just as important as the truth we’re communally reaching for. No love, no truth. No truth, no love.
Unlike a kitchen table conversation, The Banner won’t have the luxury of letting everybody speak on every issue. Space will be precious. But we’ll do our best to include lots of different voices while maintaining the high quality of thought and writing that you, our readers, rightly expect.
2. A Town Hall Meeting
Town hall meetings allow frank conversation free from the pressure of decision making. Because the heat’s off, it’s a great setting for visioning together, deliberating, getting the inside scoop from leaders, and building community. That’s why many congregations schedule them regularly. Let’s see if The Banner can provide that kind of meeting of our minds within the denomination.
3. A Pulpit
The Banner has a message to bring—not its own “agenda” or hobbyhorse—but the gospel. As Jesus multiplied the loaves, so we will prayerfully seek to multiply the good Word that God has placed on the hearts of Spirit-filled authors.
To measure what should and shouldn’t end up on these pages, we propose Paul’s encouragement: “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15).
So give us a read. After all, in Christ we’re family.