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Summary and Comments

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1997-07-12 00:00:00





I do not expect many pastors to sign up for this forum before 1999. Urban pastors will not want to think about y2k, even after it happens. They will not tell their congregations: "It's time for you to move to a safer location." If urban pastors post messages here, these will probably focus on reasons why y2k can't really be that great a threat. Fair enough; maybe it isn't.

This forum is really for small town pastors and rural pastors, at least until the year 2000. After Jan. 1, 2000, urban pastors may decide that they should visit this site, assuming the Internet is still up, to see what their peers are doing to cope. (And to find out who has food to share.)

I hope that rural pastors will want to participate. A lot of responsibility will be laid on their shoulders if there is a breakdown: first by local congregation members whose businesses go under with the banks; then by local politicians looking for solutions; finally, from urban congregations that have decided that rural congregations owe their urbran brethren shipments of food. Urban congregations will tend to see rural congrehations as retroactive food storage programs.

Rural pastors will be placed under the kinds of pressures that medics on a battlefield suffer. They will have to decide who gets the limited supply of resources to share with urban congregations. At zero price, there will be greater demand than supply. Only if there is a total breakdown -- no way to get food into cities -- will rural pastors escape this pressure.

There will be refugees: relatives, friends, and even urban ex-pastors.

It may not come to this. Maybe the cities will be just fine in 2000 and beyond. Maybe the banks will not go down. Don't count on it.

Pastors in small towns and even rural areas may want to post information on "Relocating," an open forum. They should describe their area in an honest way. There will be people looking to move. They will need guidance. It will be easier if they have a contact person in the area. You or some member of your congregation might be just the person.

How will your congregation deal with a breakdown of banking? How will you allocate the pressure? Is your diaconate really ready for the greatest social upheaval since the tower of Babel? Probably not.

Power and influence flow to those who take risks in exercising personal responsibility. The church will once again become the most important voluntary institution in society if y2k takes down the banks. Rebuiding will come through social cooperation. People will look to other church members as their immediate circles of friends and reliable associates. The greatest potential for evangelism in American or even world history is about to begin. (See Deuteronomy 4:4-8.)


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