Garnett has reached a tough decision to step away from leading the workshop. They will remain supportive and involved as they love the event as well as we do at Memorial. Wade gives the most concise explanation for their decision: The consensus here is that on the leadership level there simply isn't the passion for and commitment to the workshop that is needed to design and execute a quality program. We love the workshop. We support the workshop's vision and mission. But we feel like its time for our church to direct it's energy in other directions.
The Memorial leadership has been in prayer knowing such a possibility loomed. We had many options, including whether it is time for the workshop to cease. The future of the workshop is headed in the following directions:
- It will continue until we read from God the event is no longer a needed venue.
- Memorial has three highly qualified ministers in Shane Coffman, Jason Thornton, and Bobby Smith.
- I will train the three in the details of workshop preparation and execution. Eventually they will take the even years as was Garnett's pattern. This will give me a much-needed break.
- We four work in the same office so mutual availability for training is quite simple. While we experience complete partnership, we have differing approaches to the same work. This will give the program a good and new perspective.
- I felt it important that we find those to lead who have strong hearts for evangelism while possessing such leadership strength they would not think exactly as I. We need younger minds to protect the workshop from burrowing into my rut.
I must applaud Wade and Garnett. It takes great courage to step away from what has been any famous and effective ministry when the leadership senses the call from God to do so. It's easier to cave to the pressure of rote pattern as well as fear over potential rumor. They weighed, they prayed, they concluded and they acted. It was time for them to step back. That is courageous leadership. How many ministries now burden congregations because the time had long come to pull the plug, but lazy leadership couldn't endure the pressures of such?
Garnett will remain a partner in assisting with the workshop as are increasingly more area congregations coming on board over the years. The Tulsa International Soul Winning Workshop is a desperate mission lodged in our hearts. We at Memorial sweat bullets over its direction. It takes us two years to prepare for one workshop. This means I have been working on 2008 and 2009's workshops for the entire 2007 season. I love it!
Garnett and Memorial remain positive, sweet friends. We need them. They need us. Our admiration remains mutual. Today I find it time to be sharing these decisions so you can be praying for our congregations to do God's work the most effective way possible.
Thanks to many of you for years/decades of support.