The year was 2002; the location was Lansing, Michigan. I was sent by Wiltsie Community Church to the Annual CCCC Meeting. I had applied for credentialing and wanted to support the organization Wiltsie Community Church supported. I must admit, I went as a skeptic. How could three hundred plus churches get along when all of those said churches were autonomous. I watched in curiosity as an issue came to the floor during a business meeting. People were taking up sides passionately as the issue was discussed. I left that meeting thinking “Yep that is what I thought… another group of churches saying they are different, yet acting like so many others churches and church organizations.”
Treating people who hold opposing views with love is important to me. It is likewise equally important to me that believers be reconciled. Imagine my surprise when I witnessed both of those elements. The Conference President was about to invite those attending the worship service to share communion. Yet before he did he offered an apology to the body. He had every right to leave the issue rest. Roberts Rules of Order and the Conference By-Laws were followed to a T. According to his apology however God’s principles had not been lived out in the same fashion. I couldn’t believe my ears; I was listening to the Gospel of Reconciliation lived out in front of me. Not only did our president believe these things he was living them out in great humility.
In my skeptical approach to the Annual Meeting I watched as brothers and sisters were reconciled. Was this a show or were delegates and attendees humbling themselves and genuinely being reconciled? Everything I witnessed seemed genuine. Therefore I genuinely wanted to belong to and get involved with this body of believers.
I have enjoyed my years with the CCCC’s. I have seen firsthand God refining this conference and share with her specific visions. As the history of the CCCC was shared during Guiding Coalition meetings it was obvious how God has been shaping this Conference from the beginning. It became apparent that His plans for these days were etched into the fiber of this conference many years ago.
It is my strong desire to see Christ build His Church. Not in ways that impress man but in ways that glorify God through our obedience. We are positioned in such a place and at such a time as to see Kingdom advancement. Not due to our efforts and wisdom but with hearts pressed to Christ’s. Seeing His passion and loving what He loves. Understanding what God sees in others and viewing them as He views them. Developing others as He commands us to develop them all the while being developed.
I count it a privilege to serve our Lord and Savior as I serve the Board who in turn serves you. May our service be out of the keen understanding of His commands for the CCCC’s and with direct obedience to these commands.
Todd Venman, Conference President