Sue Smith,
CBA Board Chairman

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”—Socrates

It’s kind of weird how God works sometimes. Anyone who has walked with the Lord for a while is aware of this. God is so much bigger than our human understanding, working on our hearts individually, and sometimes collectively. There are periods in my own life where I hear the Lord speaking to me, loving me well, but wanting me to grow. What I find interesting is that at times I see a pattern in His handiwork.

As of late, what I need to hear about my own life is often reflected in what He’s doing in this industry. The good Lord has been nudging me to give up some old, well-worn habits. I knew it was for my best; I just didn’t want to give up control. Sometimes it takes someone else to speak hard truth before we really receive it. Opening Leeana Tankersley’s new book Begin Again brought just the right words I needed to hear as a child of God and as an industry leader:

“One of the most genuinely inconvenient truths I know is that often something has to die in order for something new to live. And so, when we know, deep down, that something isn’t working, there’s also a part of us that knows what it’s going to take to make the thing work again. Likely, it is going to take a death.”

As I continue to grasp this for myself, I can’t help but see the parallel here to the fractured and hurting industry that I serve. In order to heal our continued decline, we have to collectively admit what internal practices and expectations deeply rooted in CBA need to die. As we gather together this summer, this must be our first step toward healing.

Listen carefully: “Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over” (John 12:24).

Leanna eloquently describes the hope born out of death: “But on the other side of death … is this: movement in, space for movement, in the places where things have been locked down, shut down, deeply tight. We can unseal our hearts … In that allowing, we step into a place that is not yet. Maybe reluctantly … but we leave space for the possibility that something fluid and alive is on its way.”

I believe that something fluid and alive is on its way. Will we allow this space to open up before us collectively?

As we gather together at UNITE 2018, I pray God will allow us a repurposing for His Kingdom.

See you in Nashville!