Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Memorial and Garnett have enjoyed over three decades of workshop partnership. As many know, Memorial Drive is taking Garnett's workshop year for '08 to give them room to weigh their future relationship with the workshop. I count Wade Hodges as a dear friend and Garnett is like a second home to me over these many years.

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.


Anonymous said...

That's a tough call but one I think will be for the best. Thank you Terry (and Wade and Marvin and all those involved) for all your years of hard work that we don't see. We just get to show up and experience all the glory. It couldn't have happened without everyone's hard work and dedication over the years. It has touched countless lives and can continue to do so. Please don't let it end. And should you hear a word from God otherwise, could you just make sure by finding a fleece somewhere and getting confirmation? I figure if it was OK for Gideon...........

Wade said...

Terry--thanks for your friendship and your support. This decision is much easier for us because of the trust we have in you and the good folks at Memorial. You all have a passion for the Workshop that is unsurpassed. As always, I'm here to help out as you need me to.


I know this year's workshop will be as good as all the ones in the past. Sounds like you have some great help.

Lee Keele said...

Have you considered testing the waters at other churches in the area - even Christian Churches for leadership? Just a thought. I'm sure you've considered these thing already. But thought I'd put in my two cents- which is probably worth less than that. I do love and appreciate the workshop and hope it continues in the same spirit.

Anonymous said...

Well, Terry, this is one of the most masterful spin jobs I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

There are only a handful of us that were there at the cafeteria on North Lewis street when the Workshop began. The main meeting was over and we were just saying goodbye when Allen Bryan made this crazy suggestion about a "workshop".

We had no clue what we were doing, how to do it, where to do it, when to do it, or if it could be done. God took a group of small, scared, inadequate people and _____ (you fill in the blank).

God hasn't changed. He is fully up to the task of taking His work where He wants it to go. God does not see His people identified as congregations, elderships, church names, etc. He sees hearts and minds across time and space and moves us into place long before we have a clue what is happening.

Thank you Garnett for all the years of your support in the past and for your support in the future.

Unknown said...

Amen to Brad's comment. I look forward to March more than any other time of year. It's a chance to experience a little bit of heaven on earth. I know it's selfish to reap the rewards without being an active laborer in the effort. But please don't let it end, yet.

Unknown said...

RE the coward, “Anonymous” and his swipe at Terry’s difficult message.
The cynical times we live in so easily pervades the depths of a shallow spirit. I wince and recoil at the rancid, putrid, odor of decay Satan works on one believing he is engaged in the Kingdome.
That a message delivered with the Fruit of The Spirit – filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, is received, and commented on as a Deed of The Flesh; such is a sad comment on our age. It is a reminder that in all times, the Powers of Darkness lurks near by each of us ready for any opportunity.
Respectfully, in Love and in Prayer for Anonymous

Dusty Rush said...

Anonymous, even if you believe that - there is no value in saying or writing it. What value is there in such cynicism? Your comment reminds me of a friend and his commitment to speak only that which love demands. If love had demanded that you share your suspicions, I imagine it would have been done with greater kindness.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous - what is truly sad is if this was in Jesus' time you would have probably been one to accuse HIM, totally believing you were right. HE would and does forgive your misdirected passion to hurt Terry and the workshop, and so will those who work so hard to do what His spirit leads us to do every year at this event. I believe God takes bad things and use them for HIS good even when we don't get it. So while you wrote this with discourgaing intent, God is using it to add fuel to our fires and work even harder in HIS Kingdom and on the workshop!

Anonymous said...

I don't think "Anonymous" meant to be cynical or discouraging. I think he/she is expressing an opinion that many ex-Garnett people share. I do not like people making anonymous comments so you folks will get no disagreement from me in that arena. However, when you people continue to be cheerleaders for Garnett and it's (lack of) leadership no matter what it does, it makes former members frustrated. Especially when anyone who criticizes it gets dogpiled. Wake up. And no saying, "Oh, it's Michelle, the disgruntled former Garnett member". Yes, I am, but I, and many of the other former Garnett people share the same sentiment. There's a reason there was a mass exodus, and it's not just because all those people couldn't see the grand vision.

Anonymous said...

Like Dusty stated earlier, what value is there in sharing your bitterness towards other's display of support and well-wishing? Why would you as a former Garnett member, especially in light of how misguided you feel we are, find it frustrating that anyone would support us? Do you not find value in raising up your brothers and sisters? We don't all have to think alike, but we should be able to lift one another up in Christ. Lastly, it saddens me to read your "us vs. them" undertones. Remember, many also choose to stay at Garnett. I pray that someday, we can all agree to disagree and still be ONE, making Christ our focus.

Anonymous said...

Wade I will pray for you and your leadership team, Terry your leadership has grown me more then you could ever know....I think your the only preacher that has ever got me to my feet...anonymous and Michelle I will pray for you to and hope you will see the grand vision...that you will use the spirit that you have to raise the veil and see Jesus....It is all about Jesus and once you see the value of that sacrifice the rules we have will seem so silly...and Wade you speaking Gods word even when it hurts or goes against our silly rules made me see that...thanks

Anonymous said...

While Anon may have come across rude, he/she is right. How far can Garnett fall until they realize thier direction isn't a direction? Lost most of the elders, most of the eldership, and now their building. It is spin here, perhaps not the right time to call it out.


Anonymous said...

First of all let me say that the workshop has been a beloved part of my life for many years. I also support and rally behind Memorial for continuing to the worksop. However, I would also like to see the workshop "morph" into something that is "Kingdom" driven more so than "Church of Christ flavor issue" driven. The Workshop that brought together the Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ was one of the most powerful workshops that I have attended in recent history. We need workshops that challenge us as a denomination to get on with the mission of Jesus in the world. As far as the Garnett family, remember not to judge the speck in someone else's eye lest you miss the plank in your own eye. Every church will have to come to terms with itself as Garnett is doing now. Be supportive of all who are doing "Kingdom" work. We need every church to save the lost.

Anonymous said...

Why bash Garnett and the Elders and leaders so much?
I thought we are on the same team doing work for the Lord.
Terry, do you smile at these comments? and say nothing? Why would people at Memorial say these things?

I am anonymous bc I do not trust these blood thirsty people. No different in Jesus time either.

Terry Rush said...

To "Anonymous-the-last",

I feel you must be misreading the comments:

1. Did you read my article supporting Garnett and their elders?

2. Did you see a couple of comments where I got in trouble for supporting them?

3. Where do you get Memorial commentors degrading Garnett? It isn't there.

4. So what am I not understanding from you? Where are you getting "blood thirsty"?

5. I have tried to asure you I am not attacking anyone.

Something is amiss here. I've never attacked Garnett and no commentors from Memorial did either. It is still...I will say once again....difficult to respond to "anonymous". Yet, I try. We love Garnett...and those who are hurt by staying and those who are hurt in leaving.

If you should not be satisfied and leave another anonymous note degrading and misrepresenting my efforts....then that will have to suffice. I will not respond again.

My duty is to support Wade and Garnett...and I have.

Anonymous said...

Yes I misread, I am sorry, after I reread I understand that it was not members from Memorial or you.

"Blood thirsty" I get that from people all the time that have left Garnett, as in the above post. Even 4 or 5 years later people are still mad, Not just mad, but blood thirsty about hurting people emotionally, at Garnett, Leaders and Elders. It just blows my mind that the people that left can not let it go.

It just gets old Garnett being bashed over and over. I hate to here it. I think they that left, are better off and Garnett is better off. A win win.

I just wish that the leader bashing would stop. Those guys are doing there best and I support them. They are working and making hard calls and it comes from there heart. They are not out to harm or hurt anyone. It’s a hard job.

There is no spin job going on either. The facts are Garnett can not afford to do the workshop, does not have enough volunteer base that wants to do the workshop. It is just
A hard call that will make people mad again at the Leaders but a call that has to be made.

I slammed you to Terry and that was not right either. I did to you what I hate.
I think I over reacted so again I am sorry Terry, Please forgive me. I hope you understand.


Terry Rush said...

Dear Anonymous,

What a nice thing to happen to us. I am most appreciative to know you simply misunderstood. Such does happen on occasion, huh?

I've lived in your shoes....the in-fighting and the out-fighting.... and it's terribly disruptive, isn't it? I don't blame you for it surely does get old to keep encountering matters which should be forgiven and forgotten.

I am sorry for your hurt. Thank you for not running away. Many may have. Too, thank you again for your kind response. It surely helps my day!

Anonymous said...

Words are like knife.

I have had words cut me from another on a blog a few months back that cut me like a knife, I tried and tried to make things right but she never caried but to hold the bitterness.

It hurt bad bc I had no idea unit I read her blog. Thur the weekend and the next week it bothered me unit I have slowly forgave.

Now I have hurt another and I can see it went in like a knife. I am sorry.
Word are like a knife.
I want to use my words to incourage. from the one with bad words to Mem and Terry

Terry Rush said...

Anonymous Friend,

All is fine between us. Zero hard feelings. One of the marvelous things about forgiveness is it usually makes the two side even more cohesive. Such is the case with us. We will serve side by side, stronger than ever!


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the movie troy....brad pitt they go on a beach where they are outnumbered and getting flaming arrows fired at them they just put there shields together and march forward....made me think of the shield paul tells us to take up....Terry when we do that wow....but it is sad that often times we have some that won't put their shield with us... i hang my head in shame for that in the past....for fear of supporting what should not be supported n our eyes...sometimes we need to tell everyone the king has no cloths....