Gospel Links for Gospel Culture (6/21)
My journal entries and emails to close friends in my first six months as a pastor included a fair amount of anguish as I wrestled with challenges I’d previously only prepared for intellectually. Still, I’m extremely grateful I’d been instructed about many of the challenges I would face as a new pastor.
I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would have been if I hadn’t at least engaged in that intellectual preparation.
What about us in a Western civilization so influenced by certain truths of Christianity? We now often live in some understandable fear of what the culture will do if we stand up for—or speak too loudly about—Jesus Christ.
Every new person walking through the doors on Sunday morning is a stewardship from God for, at a minimum, that day. They are image bearers in need of grace coming to hear the gospel, whether they realize it or not. They are our responsibility. So, we must labor to be kind, wise, and Jesus-focused each Sunday.
Whatever else we learn about church life, we learn quickly that it will at times come with conflict. We are, after all, sinful people attempting to share community with other sinners. It’s inevitable that problems will arise, inevitable that there will be angry words, unfortunate misunderstandings, unintentional insults. While there will be many great blessings that come through the local church, there will also be real sorrows.
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