Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gordon Cosby, You Finished Well (1918-2013)

To remember one of my heroes of the faith, Gordon Cosby, I thought I would post an excerpt from my book talking about the influence Cosby and the Church of the Saviour had on my formation and churches all over the world.  The man followed Jesus and lived out the Gospel.  I feel honored to have met him, been challenged by him, and to have gleaned from his wisdom.

Discovering the Essence of Church

There are many people who see what we have seen within the church and immediately proclaim the way to fix things:  “We need to be more biblical, to get back to how the first century church did things.”  “If only all these churches would sell off their buildings and start meeting in homes, everything would be different.”  “Shared leadership is the answer.  Pastors need to step down and let their flock have a say for once.”  “Theology is too stagnant.  We need some fresh ideas about God to stir the pot.”  And on and on.  A few years ago, I stumbled on a group of people who have consistently refused to be satisfied with quick fixes. 

In the early 1950’s, there was a simple, unknown Virginian helping to prophetically birth a church 50 years ahead of its time.  You have probably never heard of him.  Gordon Cosby was the son of a Baptist father and Presbyterian mother who grew up in Depression Era America.  During WWII, Gordon became an Army Chaplain and had experiences that changed his life as a Christian, Pastor, and member of the body of Christ.  When he returned from the war, he and a small band of seekers began to experiment with what it means to be ‘the church’ in Washington D.C.  In 2001, and then again in 2005, I had the privilege of visiting the result of his life's work and investigate the phenomenon that is the Church of the Savior.