The Editorial of Ralph D. Winter
Founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission
If you ever walk into this Center in Pasadena will be most amazed (or should be)
---not by the bigness of a place this size devoted exclusively to assisting the global mission movement finish its course, nor even by the optimism that see the year 2000 as possible completion date;
---not by the incredible diversity of denominational backgrounds, nor by the forty different languages spoken here;
---nor by the daring and dramatic breakthroughs in the different offices devoted to solving some of the technical problems with which mission agencies need still to struggle;
---nor by the truly astonishing range of different tasks going on here.
My personal opinion--and many others have told me they believe this, too---is that the strangest and most uncommon trait of this place is simply the amazing age-range in leadership: 92 to 22 (You can read the details across the page).
We really cannot take much credit for this. When we started out we faced so little "chance" of survival that we were able to count on the help of only the very young and the very old. We still are low on leadership in the middle years. We have been forced to grow those middle leaders!
But, then, this issue is not about our staff. The cover depicts three young leaders who work for three other structure. Only two of them actually labor at the USCWM, in collaborating organizations.
They represent, however, an awesomely important category. There is no future for their generation if it is necessary to start all over again, founding all-new organizations. But neither is the future bright for the 700 mission agencies in the U.S.A. today, and the equal number around the world, if they cannot absorb the vitality and the creativity, and yes, the independent spirit of very keen younger leaders like these.
This issue of Mission Frontiers is thus also a salute to Leighton Ford's brainchild---Leadership '88---which we covered two issues ago.
Ralph D. Winter, General Director
P.S.---Some of you are still worried about our financial picture. Please don't. We are clearly out of the woods. Pledges are still coming in. We will never be making an appeal for funds again (other than the one-time $16.95). See my "Open Letter" on page 18.
And, don't miss the timely new book highlighted on the back cover! The coming global revival is essential to the "Countdown 2000" (which, incidentally is the exact wording of the theme of this year's Executives Retreat of the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association, meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, September 12 to 15).