The achille's heel of the Ablaze! movement is its goals.
I'm not taking the time here to surf the net and literature for examples of the goals which Ablaze! has set for itself on synodical, district and congregational websites. Perhaps respondents would like to post their favorites . . .
The point is, however, that after 7 years of Dr. Kieschnick and Ablaze! is the synod becoming a better place? To be sure, there is a bandwagon full of Ablaze! wannabes, but is the Synod growing numerically?
Is the size of the synod growing . . . or shrinking? Since Dr. Kieschnick has taken office, has the synod become more financially stable . . . or is it becoming more desperate so that funds raised for Fanning the Flame end up going to pay for debt rather than paying for missions?
It is possible to thrill people by touting admirable goals in a grandiose manner. But that "high" is replaced by an even lower low when it all comes crashing down. And the goals of Ablaze! are no less assailable than the guns of Navaronne.
I suppose in the end, Dr. Kieschnick can blame all of the pastor types like myself as somehow ruining Ablaze! or impeding Ablaze! But the fact of the matter is that I have been altogether impotent at getting even a single pastor, layperson, or congregation to repent of Ablaze!
From the President of the Synod to the Council of Presidents, to the District Staff members and the Synod in convention, Ablaze! with all its goals is all the rage. But at some point, I expect a child will point out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Not only can't Ablaze! cover the mission field -- it is losing what it once had. Not only can't Ablaze! maintain a balanced budget -- it is spending the synod into bankruptcy.
In future blogs, perhaps I will move from the general to the specific, but for now the point must be made that if Ablaze! sets goals which it isn't achieving, if Ablaze! is making promises that it cannot keep, then people MUST be held accountable.