Friday, August 27, 2004

A Little History

Several weeks ago we saw the launch of Mission Catalyst. Spearheaded by Ron Gladden, former church planting director for the North Pacific and Mid-America Unions, this ministry plans to start new churches that are Adventist in doctrine, but not in structure. Mission Catalyst churches will be established on a more congregational basis, returning only 10% of all donations to the network headquarters (as opposed to all donations earmarked as "tithe," as is the Seventh-day Adventist practice). This is the main difference, though it plays out in several other alterations to church governance.

The Mission Catalyst launch has set off a number of debates within the Adventist church. Up to this point, no public forum has been established within the church to openly explore different points of view. Many of the initial responses from church officials seem to be knee-jerk reactions, defensive, full of anger and not necessarily well-considered. Though this is understandable, to some degree, it is not particularly conducive to understanding the real issues and implications raised.

The purpose of this blog is to offer a place for reasoned examination of and dialogue about Mission Catalyst, church structure, and the future of Adventism. Is Mission Catalyst the new Shepherd's Rod, or is it the new Reformation? Personally, I don't know yet, but this blog is part of my attempt to figure it out.