Home Christian News VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer Calls Evangelicalism a ‘Hot Mess.’ He Hasn’t Given...

VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer Calls Evangelicalism a ‘Hot Mess.’ He Hasn’t Given up Hope.

“I just wanted to sit in the basement and make things,” he said.

If he could talk to his younger self, he’d give a simple message: Slow the heck down.

“It’s not a race,” he said. “God will accomplish what God wants to accomplish. You don’t have to run yourself ragged trying to help him.

Vischer has seen hope for the evangelical movement in his home church. He and co-host Jethani were both members of an older, mostly white Christian and Missionary Alliance congregation that had been in decline for a number of years and had a building that was too big for them.

The church’s future was uncertain.

One day, a denominational leader came to the church with a suggestion. Not far away was another CMA congregation, a growing second-generation immigrant Asian church. What if, the denominational leader asked, the two churches merged?

After two years of prayer and discussion, the two congregations did just that. Today the church is back to about 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including Latino and African American families as well as a ton of college students.

Vischer was an elder during the time of the merger, which included a name change. His job during the merger was to urge other white members to do all they could to make the merger work.

“As the dominant culture, we have to bend more,” he said.

Not everything is perfect. The newly merged congregation had to figure out everything from its governance and worship to church potlucks and whether to put up a Black Lives Matter sign at the church.

But a church that was once declining is now growing and has a future.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “That’s what gives me hope. It’s OK if we follow Jesus and let the chips fall where they may.”

This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.

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Bob Smietana is an award-winning religion reporter and editor who has spent two decades producing breaking news, data journalism, investigative reporting, profiles and features for magazines, newspapers, trade publications and websites. Most notably, he has served as a senior writer for Facts & Trends, senior editor of Christianity Today, religion writer at The Tennessean, correspondent for RNS and contributor to OnFaith, USA Today and The Washington Post.