Mr. Tkach said he believes that "the transformation
of everyone's lives and the changes in our church have occurred in spite
of us. We are in the middle of something that is bigger than any of us.
The glory for this story goes to God alone, and we must not go through this
experience and miss the meaning."
Mr. Tkach called the church "God's army marching
under the banner of the cross of Jesus Christ" and urged the membership
to feel "a sense of urgency in following our marching orders."
Some still grieving
"I know some of us are still grieving and angry over what we've been
through, but Jesus Christ has claimed, cleansed and commissioned us. Yes,
we've lost members, but we who remain have to take up our cross and follow
Him. We have to pursue this miracle, and it's time we realized we are all
in this together."
Mr. Tkach said his "passion" is "to
be involved in the historic and unprecedented changes the Holy Spirit is
performing in our church, and I want to help others avoid the mistakes we've
made in the past in doctrine and practice.
"Now is the time for all of us to show our
allegiance to Christ. I call on all of those who've been holding back to
honor Him with our substance."
Comparison to Nehemiah
As the taped address concluded, Mr. Tkach prayed, comparing the church's
struggles to those of the biblical Nehemiah and his band of laborers in
their rebuilding of the temple, and prayed that "we count each other
as fellow servants, all part of one body, and in so doing not let the losses
we've suffered have occurred in vain."
In his sermon after the videotape, Ambassador University
president Russell Duke promised to give the church here in a couple of weeks
an update on the "changing church and Ambassador College link."
"We [at AU] desire to go into the Christian
community in a greater degree," he said, "and we'll be letting
you know how you may help with that. As for our financial concerns, which
you know about through reports you've been hearing, we're looking to examine
ours and those of our church by asking what is our calling and what do we
need to accomplish?
AU to have new emphasis
"As you've just heard on the videotape, the new emphasis at Ambassador
University by the church will be on specific programs in Christian education
and cosponsoring youth camps and rallies. It will be more of a focus by
the entire church rather than simply a full-scale subsidy of the university."
(See related article this page.)
Meetings will continue between the WCG's regional
pastors and headquarters staff in Pasadena to determine the programs and
methods best for "today's church."
Dr. Duke said he wants to encourage members of
the Big Sandy congregation to "choose to continue to attend here and
belong here and be part of a wonderful encouragement to AU and our greater