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houston, we have a problem!

by Glenn Poston

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Do you remember the famous tagline in the 1995 thriller, Apollo 13? “ Houston, we have a problem.” That little phrase spoken by Tom Hanks has become synonymous with admitting we need to change some things if we are to survive.

Since becoming promotional director for the Tennessee State Association in January, I have worked hard getting a handle on my duties. I’ve tried to analyze the needs of our state and have come to realize more than ever how imperative it is for all of us to work together in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the kingdom of Christ.

Simply put, we need each other.

When it comes to cooperating on a district and state level, too many of us are deciding to go it alone. We have consciously or unconsciously decided we really don’t need each other.

Perhaps because of our diversity, we just don’t want the hassle of trying to get along. We’d rather do our own thing. It’s not that we want to offend each other; it’s just so much easier this way.


Houston 2


The results are that we go to meetings that interest us, we plan things for our own congregations, and we stay away from events we don’t personally plan or find interesting. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are a product of the Me Generation and the consumer culture that defines it. If it’s not about me, then we figure we don’t need it.

I’ve been guilty of thinking like this myself at times. But you know, sometimes we need to do what’s best for the family. And we are a family. The Free Will Baptist family is worth preserving. Our local and state associations are worth preserving. They are the backbone of our structure.

In a day of the generic church and generic doctrine, we still hold dear some distinctives. Our doctrine is worth preserving. It’s biblical. How do we preserve our heritage? By staying involved at all levels of our work.

Houston, do we have a problem?

Yes, we do. But if we want to thrive as a strong unit and preserve our heritage and our doctrine, due diligence is required. We must fix what is wrong and strive to make our meetings and our programs relevant, interesting, and even enjoyable.

Remember, we can do more collectively than we could ever do alone. Will I see you at your next associational meeting?


About the Writer: Reverend Glenn Poston is promotional director for the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists.

Reprinted by permission from ECHO (Summer 2007 issue), publication of the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists.



©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists