Pentecost, Pastoring and Intentional Friendships
Here are three of my latest articles:
“So You Want to Make Disciples?” for In Touch
Conversions usually result from deliberate, genuine friendship building. This involves intentionally inserting ourselves in environments where unbelievers are present. It includes leveraging our natural human talents to find common ground and build friendships. It requires patience, not trying to “close the deal” but coming alongside, seeking a person’s good, and learning to grow in relationship.
When pastors fail to equip their people to think biblically about issues, they cede authority to the high priests of culture: the talk show hosts, cable news hosts and online opinion-makers. People will go somewhere to have their consciences formed. Why isn’t the church their first choice?
“From Every Nation Under Heaven” – for In Touch
The promise of Pentecost is that the gospel reverses this curse, undoing the confusion of the Tower of Babel and drawing people into the body of Christ from every race, tribe, and tongue. If you listen closely to Jesus’ words in the Great Commission, you’ll see that the gospel is not simply restricted to the people of Israel, but would go out to all nations (Matt. 28:16). This was always God’s intention, but it would be the church through which this worldwide, race-transcending gospel would be broadcast (Acts 2, Romans 4, Galatians 3 and 4, Ephesians 2 and 4). In Revelation, we see the final consummation of God’s gathering of all peoples. It’s not that Christians shouldn’t acknowledge ethnicity; rather, we can recognize it as a gift from God and catalyst for worship.