Kevin Peck: ‘The American Church Has a Profound Opportunity’

“As our culture shifts and slides on the sands of popular opinion, the Word of God makes the American church an anchor.”

Each year, we speak with several Outreach 100 pastors in an effort to collect their honest observations about the church, their ministries and their experiences.

KEVIN PECK
The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas

I’ve found two things to be especially helpful in safeguarding my soul. First, fighting sin creatively and thoughtfully when I’m not being tempted (1 Peter 5:8-11). I spend daily time with God’s Word to reveal cracks in the armor. Secondly, weekly face-to-face meetings with men who know me, love me and know where to press me (James 5:16).

My response to criticism gauges whether or not I’m finding my worth solely in Christ or in the opinion of mortal men. Each criticism is an opportunity to believe the gospel in a fresh, personal way and to learn as much as I can. The day that I become unteachable is the day that my fight is on the way to shipwreck.

When it comes to receiving praise, I’m always thankful for their gracious words, but realize that they have a danger in them. My heart longs to rob glory from God, and so I try to dwell little on the praise I receive. So much of the praise I receive must be taken with a grain of salt, as it is likely a product of God’s Word rather than my own.

Discourse about macrocultural issues dominates our media feeds and continues to garner a captive audience amongst churches. To whatever extent discerning the status and direction of the cultural milieu refines local churches in their particular context, this can be celebrated. To whatever extent these hot-button issues are being misapplied and not resulting in more faithful discipleship is a concern. The American church has a profound opportunity in this age and in our context to show the world the love of God and the beauty of the gospel in a powerful way. As our culture shifts and slides on the sands of popular opinion, the Word of God makes the American church an anchor.

From Outreach Magazine  6 Times When Prayer Isn't Enough

It’s hard not to speculate on how tech might continue to shape ministry methodologies. How will perpetual use and reliance on wired technology and social media continue to shape how people think, learn and relate? The latest research cites affected attention spans and capacities to relate. These warnings don’t appear to be curbing the habitual use of technology. Widespread effects on the individual level that will impact marriages, parenting, social lives, education, work and more seem unavoidable. How will the church adapt? Inevitably, some churches will lean toward being accommodating while others will demonize these shifts altogether.

Read more Candid Conversations with Outreach 100 pastors »

THE AUSTIN STONE COMMUNITY CHURCH
Austin, Texas
Twitter: @_KPeck_
Website: AustinStone.org
Founded: 2002
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Locations: 5
A 2016 OUTREACH 100 CHURCH
Attendance: 6,881
Largest: 72