Editorial: Keep it Straight
Editorial by Dave Weigley
When I was seven, I had a near-death experience. My oldest brother and I were putting up fence posts on our dairy farm. I was driving the tractor, pulling a small wagon that contained the posts, and every so many feet, we would drop a post. Soon we came to a very steep hill with a rather precipitous descent. There was a lever on the tractor that, when you were on level ground or an incline, pulling it would reduce the speed. However, if you were descending it caused the opposite—in fact, it made the tractor coast. In my nervousness approaching the hill, I attempted to slow progress, and pulled the lever causing the tractor to go faster, not slower. It began to pick up speed, and, before I could change my predicament, I was flying down the hill exposed to the potential of losing control, rolling the tractor and being terribly hurt or worse. My brother ran for a time next to the tractor, and I can still hear his instruction to me, “Keep it straight, Dave, keep it straight!”
That counsel protected my life that day, and its essence can be applied in how I relate to my role of leadership today. It is so easy and tempting to become absorbed in the many issues—in and out of our church—that are important, but not the most important. In the midst of so many voices demanding attention, there is another that can be heard above the fray, calling us to “Go, teach, baptize and make disciples” (see Matt. 28:19-20).
More than 50 million people live and work in the mid-Atlantic United States where we serve. This region is very diverse, and advancing the gospel here demands a varied and multipronged approach. It’s an awesome challenge, however, we remain focused on reaching lost people and sharing the good news of Christ’s salvation, grace and imminent return.
In this issue of the Visitor, we share a report about activities and accomplishments of the last five years. It provides a look at how your leaders have attempted to “keep it straight”—to execute the great commission, invite all to “Experience the Mission” in their God-given call and faithfully advance Christ’s mission in the Columbia Union.
Dave Weigley is the president of the Columbia Union
Read several of the articles from the April 2106 Visitor here.