The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has released a statement recommending that the term “Great Commission Giving” be used in reference to the monetary gifts from our Southern Baptist Churches to the Cooperative Program and designations to the causes of the Southern Baptist Convention, state conventions and associations. A subtle change in verbiage may seem insignificant for those who have a firm grasp of what is being spoken of, but intentional (non-vague) wording can mean the difference between a non/new SBCer lending their ear or concluding that what is being spoken of is irrelevant to them. Intentional verbiage is also useful when a word is overused or misused to the point that it looses its meaning.
During the current Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) push, pastors and church members have often wondered how they can be involved in the movement in their place of service. My standard response is to go to the SBC in Orlando this summer and vote, pray, be talking about the GCR and its implications at your church, and consistently preach and teach a robust Gospel and mission. The former are very general suggestions, but the GCR Task Force has set a helpful precedent of being strategic with our terminology and our churches should do likewise I will use my church as an example.
As I was talking to a man in our church about these things, another gentleman overheard our discussion and asked, “So is church planting going to take over missions?” and my response was, “It is not missions verses church planting, but missions is church planting.”
In recent years there has been a healthy “flip flop” with reference to the role of denominational entities and that of the local church in the discussion of church planting. In previous generations denominational entities would plant churches with the help of the church, but that M.O. is being turned on its head and churches have begun to plant churches with the help of denominational entities. In my church’s attempt to be strategic about church planting EVERY mission trip both domestic and international will be taken for the sake of aiding a church plant, or a church planting church.
My church’s former missions strategy was not completely haphazard, but it did not fully capture God’s mission that we read in Scripture. The Bible makes it known that God has a passion for his own glory (2 Kings, 19:35; Ps. 106:7-8 & Rom. 9:17; etc.), and his glory is most effectively made known through His church (Eph. 3:10, 21). We also read of Christ’s commitment to the Church as he gave up his life for her (Eph. 5:25-27). It is our church’s desire to be about what God is about which leads to the conclusion that I fronted in the previous paragraph, and that is having every mission trip be for the sake of either establishing or aiding local churches as they make God’s glory known in their context.
Finally, back to the discussion about verbiage, it is my contention that the word “missions” has fallen victim to being used so often, and in is so many different capacities that its meaning has been diluted. Yet the word missions remains powerful when stated with a qualifier, for example: the Mission of God, or the Mission of the Church. At my church we are looking to be more intentional with our verbiage by moving away from the generic term “mission trips” to a more precise term such as “church planting trips,” or another term that more accurately conveys what the intent of these trips are. There may be a day (and it may already be upon us) that the phrase “church planting” may lose its meaning and we will have to once again rethink how we can discuss our church adopting God’s mission as our own in helpful terms. It is not my goal for every church to have a Church Planting Pastor as opposed to a Missions Pastor, but it is my desire, especially during the time of the GCR, for us to carefully think through the subtle changes that can be made in our churches that can be a powerful aid in shaping and expressing our desires as parallel with those of our Father.
In the month of February it is a common practice to pause and take the measure of historical figures in the struggle for civil rights in America. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a figure that stands heads and shoulders above those fighting for justice, equality and brotherhood in the mid twentieth century. At times accusations of infidelity and a failure to uphold academic integrity in his doctoral dissertation have placed an ominous shadow over the legacy of a man who has been an essential part of sculpting the American cultural landscape. It is not my intention to validate or invalidate the accusations made of Dr. King, but it is to take another look at Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail and glean from it what we can.
King penned the letter from a Birmingham jail cell in response to an open letter written by eight prominent clergymen in Alabama that called on King to allow the battle for integration to continue in the local and federal courts. Their warning was one that accused King’s method of civil disobedience of inciting civil disturbances. In response, King wrote to persuade these men that justice, equality and freedom are not simply causes to be championed, but are at the heart of what it means to be human in light of their Christian faith.
There are numerous aspects of this letter that are worthy of our time and thought, but for the sake of brevity, I will draw upon what King states about his methodology in the fight for civil rights, and his thoughts about the church.
The method King used to contend for change is known as civil disobedience, it can be defined as an active refusal to obey certain laws because of a prevailing inward conviction. The intended result of civil disobedience was not to cause an adverse reaction from the powers that be, but to initiate negotiation. As King states, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront [an] issue.”
King’s strategic and purposeful design was greatly needed in an era of heightened violence, emotion, and passion. It was never King’s intention to move irresponsibly into direct action, but to reason through four analytic steps before beginning a campaign. The steps are as follows: (1) Collection of facts to determine whether injustices are alive, (2) negotiation, (3) self-purification, and lastly (4) direct action.
As a result of his keen understanding of the time in which he lived, knowing that some were looking for a “green light” to destructively rebel against authority, King did not leave the application of civil disobedience up for interpretation. It is made clear that when disobedience is executed, those who take part in a demonstration will willingly endure the consequences which their actions require according to the law of the land. King also notes that there is never a permissible instance when immoral means justify moral ends.
In defense of civil disobedience, King gives several precedents for his action. The Old Testament story of the Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are included as a model of peacefully reaping the consequences of an illegal action. King also notes the willingness of early Christians to hold to their biblical convictions in the face of the excruciating pain of the chopping blocks in Rome. Lastly, the reader is called to examine the positive affects of a healthy extremism in the lives of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson.
We have already discussed the method of civil disobedience, the diagnostics of a situation that calls for disobedience, and the parameters set around such action. The missing link is the organization that is responsible for organizing the masses and championing the cause of brotherhood, justice, and freedom. In a “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” it is made painfully obvious that King’s hope is in the church. This can be seen in his intense praise and disappointment for the churches in the South.
King expresses his gratitude to the “noble [white] souls,” who contend for justice and have “carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.” To those who have been to jail, walked the highways, lost the support of their fellow ministers, and left the security of their congregations, King extends his thanks and receives their encouragement.
On the other hand, King expresses his dissatisfaction with the actions of some white churches and their leadership, who are seemingly more committed to their comfort than their conviction. These words of displeasure do not come from a man who has no hope in the church, but from a man who clings to the church of Jesus Christ as his hope. I will allow King to speak for himself, “I have been disappointed with the church, and I do not say that as one of the negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say it as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings, and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.” These are not the words of a man who is blaming the church for the injustices of the South, but from a man who desires her to act as she ought, being the very hands and feet of Christ.
Observations for today’s leaders
I have already praised Dr. King for his method of Civil Disobedience, and shed some light on why I thought it was very timely and well executed. If we take a step back and truly evaluate the fact that King had a number of options when it came time to act it will give us some insight on applying a method or an initiative in our own sphere of influence.
There are so many questions that arise when it comes to evaluating King’s actions. One may ask, “Is King a pacifist? Should one always act in non-violence?” or “Is breaking state and federal law ever in order to make a statement?” There were a number of other men and women who were active in the charge for equality, why did King’s Civil Disobedience save the day? Why didn’t the Black Nationalism and Afro unity movement of Malcolm X generate similar results in the larger culture? Why did the theological liberation of James Cone not resonate with both blacks and whites? Is there a reason why the political actions of Stokley Carmichael’s Black Panthers did not sway the hearts and minds of the masses? Why did W.E.B. Dubois insistence on demanding equal rights now not revolutionize American culture, and why did the gradualist policy of Booker T. Washington clash with others who where fighting for equal rights? I list each of these, not to drop names, but to show that each of these methodologies (in my estimation) failed to some to extent to take into account the unquantifiable variables which King masterfully accommodated.
King understood those who were for him, against him, and those who were indifferent to his cause to the extent that he could anticipate the potential reactions of each camp and plan accordingly. An important variable to grasp is the uncertainty of leading people who are emotionally charged and capable of taking a methodology to an unhealthy extreme, as well as contending against another group of people who were also emotionally charged and could be easily provoked to extreme action as well. Do I believe that King was a pacifist, or believe that he would say that the law should always be broken in order to make a statement? I would have to say no, but I do believe that for this era understanding the facts and more importantly, understanding the variable of leading people who may take your initiatives to an unintended conclusion is vitally important. It is my contention that grappling with the facts, as well as the unknown of leading autonomous humans and anticipating every possible outcome is extremely important.
King built safeguards in his methodology to eliminate the chance of extremist behaviors being understood as acting in accordance with his tactics (because King did not allow for violence at any time, violent acts that were committed would be difficult for King’s opposition to attribute it to his methodology). This forethought set King apart from other leaders and is a worthy principle for any leader to incorporate. The measure of a good leader is not getting those who are already with you to follow your leadership, but being a statesman to those who oppose you.
Above I used the term “moderate,” I did not use it in the popular political sense, but with the lexical meaning of being in the middle or avoiding extremes. King mentions that he is ‘gravely disappointed with what he calls the ‘white moderate.’ These citizens are the greatest stumbling block in the quest for equality because they are more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice, who prefer a negative peace with is the absence of tension to the positive peace with the presence of justice. They say, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action.” King eloquently characterizes a group of people whose shallow acceptance (resulting in no action) is more bewildering than outright rejection.
In the ministry or business of every leader there will be a large middle ground between those who are onboard and indicate it with their actions, and those who are vehemently against change. Though King’s methodology helped him in this arena, he gave no remedy to leading this group whose apathetic attitude bogged down the tide of change. The take away here is to be aware of this group, learn to speak “their language,” and not growing weary in doing good.
Scripture provides an example of Nathan confronting David’s sinful inconsistency with a parable. In a contemporary context a historical account, or a loving satire could also be used to stir the thoughts of the moderate to action as well. To escape the realm of justice and enter into the current discussion in the Southern Baptist Convention, this observation could be applicable today with reference to the Great Commission Resurgence. There are those who are indifferent, and those who think that it is important, but not enough to move into action.
At the foundation of what King desires if for Christians to live with a worldview that allows Scripture to refine every aspect of their lives. For the believer, there is a tendency to reduce the Gospel to being only that which saves us. It is an ongoing quest for every Christian to allow the Gospel to be more than a gateway into God’s grace, but a pool that the Christian jumps into and allows the Gospel to touch every part of our lives. A renewed understanding of the Gospel will allow the believer to live a life of biblical consistency, viewing everything from issues of justice, to child rearing, and culture through a Gospel filter.
As my attempt at brevity fades away by each stroke of the key, I will conclude by underscoring King’s commitment to biblical principles as it is evidenced in the ethics of his methodology, his respect for authority, and the use of biblical precedents to encourage action. We can all learn from the wisdom, candor, and boldness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he lead a nation to think differently in a time of great turmoil and discrimination. May the Church continue to vie for justice wherever the belittling of God’s image destroys the dignity of humanity.
This blog is an article that I wrote for my church newsletter that may be helpful for others to read who are looking to plant churches and send missionaries around the world. I hope it is a blessing to you:
One of many signs of health is reproduction, I have been thinking about this a lot recently, especially because I am officially “Uncle Walt” as of January 4, 2010! (shameless, I know). In the same way that reproduction is a sign of health in humans and animals, it is also a sign of the health in a church.
It is quickly becoming the passion of our church to multiply itself via church planting. The church is God’s chosen instrument to reach the world with the Gospel, so we are making God’s mission our mission by seeking to strategically place churches around the globe. Our long-term vision is to become somewhat of a church planting hub that is continually equipping and sending groups from our church to live their lives somewhere else for the sake of the Gospel.
With our passion for starting new churches comes unique yet fun challenges. One initial challenge that our staff is looking to tackle is the need for our church to continually raise up men and women who are equipped to carry the Gospel around the world. This goal should not seem unusual because it is calling of all believers to be able to multiply themselves in the lives of others (Matt. 28:19).
Preparing the church to take the Gospel around the world should be the norm in every church. It saddens me to think that the vast majority of church members and attendees in our country have been given the impression, either verbally or non-verbally, that a good Christian is one who comes to church, listens to a sermon, sings a few songs, tithes and goes home. Though these things are important to the Christian life, what I have just described is only a shadow of God’s desire for every believer. Though the expectation upon each Christian is greater when the church seeks to have everyone proactively advance the Gospel movement, the vibrancy of the Christian life is unparalleled when the believer is fulfilling the reason for their creation.
At the most basic level, the mission of the Church is to worship the Triune God, edify the bride of Christ (the Church), and evangelize the world. By the power of the Holy Spirit the church is self-perpetuating and nowhere does Scripture assume that a specialized para-church institution will raise up those who will fulfill the calling of the church on her behalf. This is why I stress that leaders should be trained within the church. With that said, para-church institutions are extremely profitable insofar as they seek to come alongside the church as they equip believers for God’s calling on their life together.
It is not my intention to diminish the ministry preparation that seminaries and other para-church ministries offer, rather it is to challenge our church to take ownership of making disciples who are able teachers, counselors, and evangelists around the globe. I am convinced that if every opportunity to instill a love for God and His mission is taken in the nursery, in children’s and adult Sunday school, in small groups, and as older believers disciple younger believers, the hunger to fulfill and be equipped for God’s mission will follow. Far too often the local church understands the nursery, children’s Sunday school, and youth group to be a babysitting service so the parents can enjoy a worship service without any distraction. This should not be! At every age, every opportunity should be taken to instill a love for God, His mission, and to deepen our knowledge of the depths of God’s Word.
As your church staff, we are continually looking for opportunities to streamline all that we do to make disciples that are up to the joyous task of moving their lives to another community and simply being the light of Christ at a new church, as you go to work, in your children’s schools, in your neighborhood, at the store, and for those of you who are really spiritual, even at the DMV:)
The endgame of this blog is to call everyone to act with a renewed purpose in all that we do in the church. This does not change what we do, but it changes why we do what we do. Because those who serve in the nursery, with our children, and with our youth are teaching and caring for the next generation of ambassadors for Christ: missionaries in the workplace, to their neighborhood or to other nations, as pastors, church planters etc. We must take every teachable moment captive for the purpose of equipping them for God’s purpose in their lives. In the same way, adult Sunday school classes are a training ground for our teachers to instruct in godliness, and to cultivate a love and knowledge of God and His Word and mission.
An aside to the Seminarian:
The last thing I would want the reader to take from this article is the devaluing of theological education that takes place in seminaries, Bible colleges and institutes. Years spent in these programs function as a time of accelerated learning in the life of the believer as he or she prepares for God’s calling on their life. During this time the seminarian is taking in vast quantities of intellectual knowledge about God. While retaining knowledge of God is essential for growth, it must not be confused for getting to know the person of God through a genuine growing relationship. It is a necessity in the Christian life to grow in knowledge of God, but when it is not accompanied by a deepening love of God it leads to a hardened heart. Some goals that a seminarian can keep in mind during their time of intense study is (1) not to forsake the meeting of God’s people, (2) maintain an active role within your local body of believers, and to (3) continue to cultivate personal spiritual disciplines so that the Bible does not become a textbook and the person of God is not reduced to an object of intellectual scrutiny. During my time in seminary I have kept these principles in mind and I have never had a season in my life where my head and my heart grew together in such harmony.
Many of us (even myself at times), cringe when it comes to talking about the issue of diversity in the church. In this blog it is not my goal to use the guilt of the past as a bludgeon to move believers into action, but to begin a conversation that assumes that we are the generation that is capable of more than agreeing that change needs to happen. So let’s go to work for the Kingdom.
I often daydream about a scene of an unchurched person walking their dog one late Sunday morning. As this person and their pet turn right on the main road, they peacefully walk by the local church as the service is being let out. As this person and their pet walk by, the pet owner begins to notice that there is something peculiar about the scene in the church parking lot, but cannot quite put her finger on it. There are people of different ages, socio-economic status, and ethnicity in joyful community as they make their way to their vehicles. The pet owner continues on with her walk, but is often reminded about what she saw in the parking lot that day.
The closest scene that resembles my daydream is in a parking lot after a ball game when home team is victorious. But the trivial rallying point of athletics pails in comparison to the weight of the human soul being made alive in Christ, and living in biblical community (the church) with believers from all walks of life. Stated plainly, it is no task to rally diverse individuals for something external to themselves (sports, music, politics), but gathering diverse individuals into the bond of brotherhood for the sake of God’s glory strikes at the core of humanity: particularly a humanity that has been made new in Christ.
As I began my own ministry I struggled when it came time to find a church to serve. My desire was to serve an economically, generationally, and racially integrated church, but the reality was that I had two primary options, serving in a largely African American church, or in a mostly Anglo church. As I began to struggle through these issues, my heart began to long for some sort of middle ground.
Defining the “Middle Ground”
I began to promote an abstract concept of what a middle ground ought to look like, but my ideas proved to be hollow and superficial. As a result of my hollow conclusions, I began to meditate on scripture, and a fairly simple vision developed. The middle ground that I longed for was the Church, the Church in all of her intended glory, as an earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven. With that said, I do not want to over simply the issue by stating the obvious (namely, the church should look like Heaven) because believers are agreeable to such a goal, but the difficulty is developing a process for the Church to arrive there.
Step One: Candid conversations among friends
(More steps forthcoming)
An important step for the church to make toward mirroring the Kingdom of Heaven is to have candid conversations that span across cultural, socio-economic, and generational lines that are rooted in genuine relationships. Christians across this country desire unity in the body, but are afraid of having blunt conversations because the last thing they want to do is offend their brother or sister in Christ. As a result of this fear, thousands of Christians are walking around with good Kingdom intensions, but are crippled with the anxiety of the unknown.
A special note on the issue of race: By encouraging conversations across cultural, lines that have been drawn for us in generations past, I am by no means asking everyone to turn off our brain and erase our nation’s history from our minds. Our history is a part of our heritage, and its effects are real and should not be ignored. On the other hand, I encourage each of us to ponder the fact that the primary identifying mark of the believer is Christ, not race (Col. 3:1-11). As those who identify themselves with the Gospel, we are new creations and have been given the ministry of reconciling to all men and woman to Jesus Christ, crossing racial, linguistic, socio-economic, and generational barriers (2 Cor. 17-20).
In my humble opinion, there has never been a generation in this nation’s history that is more capable of having God honoring and candid discussions about Kingdom issues as those who comprise the church today. In generations of old the goal for Christians was to be blind to race and culture (treating everyone as though they were the same), but I think that is less than an ideal solution. In the current cultural milieu, the celebration of diversity does not have to be sacrificed for the sake of unity. In fact, the diversity of the body under the unifying blood of Christ is a powerful testimony to those both inside and outside of the church.
It is not our intent to lob a series of ideas into the blogosphere. We would like to model (to the best of our ability) how these steps flesh out in real life and ministry. Attached to this blog is a conversation that I had with some friends, and I pray that it would be one of many honest, Christ-centered, Kingdom minded conversations that are had across the country. Of course you do not have to cover the same issues or content that we covered, these are just issues that we thought were important (you do not have to have a moderator either). If you have any questions our suggestions about anything pertaining to these, issues please comment below and the Baptist 21 crew and I would be delighted to interact with you.
Each day after kindergarten my mother would ask me what I learned in school that day as I ate my afternoon snack, and without fail the five year old Walter would respond, “nothing.” After giving my customary answer, I would always add, “but at story time we learned…” It didn’t matter if the story was fact or fiction, I would be swept into the depths of my imagination until the story came to an end.
It is with stories that we recount the events and of the past, and we await our turn to contribute to the ongoing saga of humanity. Believers desperately desire to bring glory to God, and contribute to society so that we would be remembered favorably in the story of human history.
In recent years, Hollywood has rediscovered the power of a well written story, and it is evidenced by the release of the blockbuster hit The Chronicles of Narnia, and by the overhaul of network television. In the 90’s and in preceding decades, television shows were intentionally written to be thirty to sixty minute episodes that were designed to stand alone, with the rare exception of an episode that was “to be continued.” Television shows such as Lost, 24,Smallville, and Prison Break have revolutionized the way Americans watch television.
It is now common for a television show to have one continuous plot line from season one, episode one, to the final credits of the last season. The shift in network television has resulted in movie rental franchises dedicating a section in every store to television shows in DVD form, so those who are swept away by a show, a season late can catch up on the storyline and the drama from the previous seasons. I can’t count how many Facebook invites that I have received announcing a marathon of a show in order to prepare for the upcoming season of a show. If I am completely honest, I too have been lured into this fad, because I watched the fourth season of House MD in less than two weeks with my roommates this summer.
Humanity’s natural bent for stories should be helpful to inform parents about how to teach their children, pastors in teaching their congregations, and relaying simple truths to others. I must give a disclaimer before I begin to talk about children, I am currently not a parent, but I pray that one day the Lord will allow me to have some natural children, as well as adopt a few. So I speak as one who is in excited preparation for teaching my children biblical truth. With that said, as a child I can remember well-meaning Sunday school teachers giving me arbitrary acronyms to memorize the attributes of God. In light of man’s bent towards narrative, it is more beneficial to read one of the great stories from scripture, such as the parting of the Red Sea, and highlight the character of God within the context of a story. Children and adults alike are prone to remember propositional truth couched in a narrative rather than truth statements held against a blank backdrop with no “hooks” for the truth to hang. Lastly, stories are a wonderful tool that can illustrate abstract concepts like faith to a child who may have difficulty understanding an isolated reading of Hebrews 11:1.
A few resources for teaching children:
The Chronicles of Narnia, By C.S. Lewis
The Wingfeather Saga that currently has two volumes, By Andrew Peterson
Big Truths for Young Hearts, By Bruce Ware
The Jesus Storybook Bible, By Sally Lloyd-Jones
The use of stories in the pulpit, or in a Bible study has the ability to show the authenticity of the teacher. When I use “story” in this sense, I am speaking not of fairy tales, but of a testimony that identifies real people, specifically the teacher, with the hardships and truths being taught in the teaching moment. Secular media has begun to use the non-threatening means of stories to communicate even the most controversial messages. The story of Harvey Milk was released as a feature film and publicized the homosexual agenda in a way that even those who believe that marriage is between one man, and one woman would be able to sympathize with his humanity.
Truth embedded in a real life scenario is a powerful witnessing tool. We would be unwise to discount the Holy Spirit’s work through a Christ-centered testimony. I have heard too many “testimonies to the grace of God” that spent 95% of the time detailing how deep in sin they were before they came to Christ, giving only a moment to the redeeming work of the cross. In fact, those of us who trusted Christ at a young age often pass on the opportunity to share our testimony because it is not dramatic enough to intrigue listeners. Both of the former scenarios are less than glorifying to God. Any testimony of the God of heaven and earth snatching a sinner out of the grip of a Hell bound eternity is a story worth shouting from the rooftops. Every time a believer tells their story it should be Christ-centered, not man-centered. A helpful rule is to spend a short time recounting life before Christ, and the bulk of the testimony giving the content of the Gospel, and when applied, how it changed your life. As a result of hearing your story, the listener should be able to navigate their way to the foot of the cross, not recount all the details of a lost and sinful existence (they already know that story, their own).
God instilled the desire in all of humanity to be apart of a story, because all of humanity is called to participate in the story of God redeeming his creation. The story of scripture details God’s plan for redeeming the earth from its fallen state. Scripture not only tells the story of redemption, but it calls believers to be apart of the solution. The major plot movements of human history are, creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, and the church exists during the redemption phase.
The imagery of redemption is to “buy back,” or to “buy free.” In a kidnapping, a free person has been taken captive, and is being held for a ransom. Another free person pays the ransom and buys back the captive’s original freedom. Applied to the storyline of Scripture, every part of God’s good creation has been taken captive by sin at the Fall, and Christ came and died in order to pay the ransom for sin. The church exists in a time of tension, despite the fact that Christ has already died to redeem creation, we are awaiting the complete redemption known as restoration (or consummation). Albert Wolters says it best, “Both the already and the not yet aspects characterize the interlude between Christ’s first and second coming. The first coming establishes his foothold in creation, while the second coming accomplishes the complete victory of is sovereignty.”
The church has been entrusted with the “ministry of reconciliation,” on Christ’s behalf (2 Cor. 5:18). As a body, the church should work hard be a conduit of grace in every aspect of their community. The actions of the church should make onlookers hunger and thirst for the kingdom of God. As a word of warning, as churches seeks to serve their community, let us be careful that we do not substitute the ministry of proclamation for service, but using the service opportunity to actualize Christ’s foothold of redemption, and as a launching pad for a loving proclamation of the story of Christ.
Few and far between are Christians who have a firm grasp of the grand narrative of scripture, and an understanding of their role in redemptive history. God’s story of redemption, the greatest story ever told, should be on the forefront of our minds, and on our lips, in a world that is dying while searching for a redeemer, and wanting so desperately to be a part of a story.
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