“Balance.” We can hardly hear the word without thinking of Ira North. He launched the instant classic, Balance: A Tried & Tested Formula for Church Growth, in 1983. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago. Brother North had both the credibility and the reputation to write the book that is considered nearly two generations later as “the uninspired (but extremely inspiring) text on church growth.” The book is so influential that most from our generation of preachers only has to hear the word “balance” in relationship to the church and the red jacketed, David-Lettermanish, gapped-toothed grin of “Fiery Irey” comes to mind. Between the two of us, we feel certain that we have purchased more than 100 copies of it to give away through the years. Balance. We love to talk about it. We love to encourage others toward it. In “our churches,” we love to think about it. But balance is hard to achieve. I (Dale) am writing this from an airplane flying to Canada. A flight attendant is showing tremendous balance as she serves the passengers their various requested drinks. In a much bigger field, the pilot will balance speed, wind sheer, and altitude to arrive us at our appointed gate (somewhat) on time. And I’m trying to balance a computer on my lap at 30,000 feet without edging into my neighbors’ all-too-cramped personal space.
Balance and the Bible. You have to look hard to find the word (13 times in ESV, all in Old Testament) but not the concept. “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight” (Prov. 11:1 ESV). Literally, whether referring to our schedule or our lives in general, it is a proper balancing we seek. It is commanded in our ability to be reasoned with (Phil. 4:5), in our dress (1 Tim. 2:9), and in our manner of approaching all of life.
Balance—our schedules, our spiritual lives, our health, our families, our finances, our responsibilities. In a culture so out of balance, is it possible to achieve personal balance? In our second offering of Hope & Expectation, we have asked some excellent writers to investigate it all. Our prayer is that you will find balance in all things in the perfectly balanced life of Christ as you seek Him.
We are thankful for the outstanding reception that Hope & Expectation has received. We want to thank each of you who subscribed or downloaded H&E via Amazon and the Kindle. We are happy that we are able to offer you another issue of H&E at no cost. We encourage you to subscribe soon. For those who already have or will, when the subscription level goes live, you will get each of the issues you have paid for. Thank you all again. You can subscribe here.
— Jeff Jenkins & Dale Jenkins