Inside the November/December 2017 Issue
Evangelism, Discipleship, Service
Apologetics We Don’t Have to Apologize For: “Obviously the gospel is not just answering questions or running from something, it’s running to something. It’s moving toward treasuring Jesus more than anything else.” Pastor and author Mark Clark continues, “Part of the challenge is convincing people that what they think Christianity is might bear little resemblance to the teaching of Jesus. We have to try to separate the beauty and truth of the gospel from the cultural dynamics of ‘Christianity.’ The cultural ethos of politics, family dynamics, history and inherited faith all contribute to why we need strong, open apologetics. We need to affirm what we believe to help remove what obscures Jesus.” Check out “Why We Need to Walk With Skeptics” in the November/December Outreach.
What Awaits Beyond the Walls? “When we say, ‘No, you don’t have to believe in order to belong. Come on, connect with us in the garden,’ it disarms, it levels the human playing field, and it gives room for the Holy Spirit to work in ways that we can’t force,” says Heber Brown III of the impact of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church’s innovative food ministry in Baltimore, Maryland. Similarly, Pastor Rico Gutierrez of First Baptist Church of Aurora, Colorado, is building bridges in the Denver area through eyeglass clinics and finds it leads to opportunities the church would not otherwise have. Pastor Joel Southerland of Georgia’s Peavine Baptist is a bit more in your face: “I don’t find a highly evangelistic church that doesn’t have a highly evangelistic pastor.” And he’s eager, by grace, to raise the evangelistic temperature in his church. These three diverse leaders are each, in their own way, discovering the intersection of evangelism, discipleship and service.
Suppose You’re a Genius. Pastor, church planter and author Alan Briggs is rather convinced you are. That you are wired to achieve great things for the kingdom. That some aspect of the kingdom’s advance is waiting for you to tap your God-given potential and seize your God-ordained assignment. “We don’t see much affirmation in our culture today,” he says. “We need other people in order to find our own calling—to actually sit around a table and say, ‘You’re amazing at this. Now you need to figure out how to utilize that for the Creator.’” Briggs is calling us to unleash creative genius for the sake of the kingdom.
OK, Feeling Overwhelmed?Here’s a parting shot from Max Lucado: “There is a good God on the supreme throne overseeing every detail in the world.” The reminder we need is in the November/December Outreach, available now.