"Hi, I’m Tom Vogel, and I live in Virginia Beach, VA, US. A few years ago, I wrote some commentaries, with radio in mind, mainly based on Barna & Viola’s Pagan Christianity, Simson’s Houses That Change the World (books),…"
Since we left Anderson in '81, I have been "pastoral" in 3 churches, as well as the church in India, and am now in the middle of planning my 25th trip to India. Remember the Bhosle's from India that visited Anderson in '82? My daughter Jamie is now married to their son Paul, living in Indianapolis. Son Jonathan has three children living in Austin, TX. The important issue is that the Kingdom of God is advancing in every place! I trust you and yours are planted in CO now?
What I was referring to concerning the lesson I learned and have shared in various places - concerns the advice to not hold too tightly to people involved together in fellowship. You and Kay talked to me about your choosing to leave Anderson (I think for family reasons), and I did not feel good about it, and as I remember it, as a responsible leader I tearfully plead with you to not do what I believed at the time a mistake. I was genuinely concerned for you, but also hated to see you leave our fellowship, and selfishly wanted you to stay. You stayed, but I became painfully aware that you dried up spiritually, and though present at many fellowship activities, were not growing or a vital part. After I moved on from Anderson, I learned that you had left also, and moved (I think to KY) - and then later experienced real growth and excitement about the Lord again. (At least that is the story I heard) Anyway, I have painfully remembered that I influenced you negatively in what may have been the Lord's leading. (Who knows about what circumstances "might have been") Since that time, I have encouraged people in leadership in multiple places to hold less tightly to those in relationship with them and allow people to follow the leading of the Lord. Spiritual growth in individuals can only come by participation and sharing and giving out of our growing experiences with the Lord, not stagnating sitting under continual teaching, no matter how good. I have since encouraged people to find ways of satisfying the genuine need to have an outflow from what is happening on the inside, and release those who, like growing-up children in a home, need to be moving out and establishing the purpose and desire the Lord has put within them. The lesson is that when we hold on too tightly, we end up losing anyway. I am glad for the Grace of God that covers our mistakes and that you have apparently grown in Him. What are you now involved in?