Praise Report: Reconciliations
Our God is a God of reconciliation, as is written in 2 Cor. 5:17,18: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…”
In 2011, in accordance with this verse, God brought about reconciliation between leaders in Great Commission Churches and Bill Taylor and Larry Pile. Bill and Larry had leadership roles in the Columbus, Ohio church in our movement in the 1970s. Later, they became vocal critics of our association, particularly of one of the founders of the movement, Jim McCotter, who left Great Commission in 1986. These reconciliations required many hours of discussion, as we sought to listen to each other with greater patience and brotherly understanding. Although this took a lot of time, we all consider it time well spent. We in Great Commission Churches are happy to report that we now enjoy a restored relationship with Bill and Larry as fellow believers in Jesus Christ.
It is our hope that that these two reconciliations will inspire all of us to pursue peace where there is a need for reconciliation. In that regard, we want to highlight two statements made by Bill and Larry:
"I have found John [Hopler] to be, as the Director of Great Commission Churches (GCC), a man of his word. As we worked recently through issues that have divided us over these 35 years, it was John's persistence and honesty that unlocked shut doors leading to ways that reconciliation could take place and relationships mended. I would encourage you to share openly and honestly with him as I believe he wants the best for the Lord Jesus Christ." Bill Taylor
".... I wish to state that GCC has resolved to my satisfaction all issues of concern I have had over the past 34 years regarding GCC’s teaching and practice. I am happy to state publicly that [my wife] Linda and I and GCC now enjoy fellowship together as members of the broader evangelical church community. ... I request that the past remain the past. I urge that current members and leaders of GCC be evaluated fairly, according to how they teach and live out their faith in the present." Larry Pile
These two statements, we trust, will give others confidence to pursue reconciliation where there is a need to resolve a conflict with a church in GCC. If you have a conflict involving a pastor or a church in GCC or an issue with GCC as an association, we invite you to express your concerns to us. We promise to listen to you with sympathy and to make a good faith effort to resolve your concerns.
We praise God for His grace in bringing about these and other reconciled relationships. This has also resulted in greater harmony and unity between GCC and others in the body of Christ. Our prayer is that this unity will result in more and more people coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ. To Him belongs all the glory.
(For a more detailed history of the reconciliation process with Bill Taylor and Larry Pile, click HERE)
If you have any further questions, please contact the GCC office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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