I had the privilege to serve as the camp pastor at the Fuge Camp at Southern Seminary in Louisville on July 9-13, 2018. Here is the outline of the sermons I preached. Pray these notes drive you to reflect on the truths of God’s Word as it propels us to His mission!
In Star Wars Episode 4, A New Hope, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi uses a Jedi mind trick on a group of stormtroopers to protect the safety of this ragtag group of heroes. As he waves his hand upon the investigative soldiers seeking to identify if the robots in the back seat are the ones on the most-wanted list of the Empire, he changes their mind with the iconic phrase:
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
The stormtroopers are forced to believe him and they continue on to safety.
Sometimes, I wish I could wave my hand around and get people to think differently. Especially, when it comes to ministry. Let me explain.
It is true that in any arena of life, people have the capacity to position themselves intentionally or inwardly hope that they will rise to a certain platform. While we wish that was untrue in relation to ministry, it unfortunately exists there as well.
As a pastor, I see the attempts around me and notice the trends inside me to advance our personal agendas. But as someone who teaches the truth for a vocation, obviously, I should beyond such trivial pursuits. When I teach from the Bible, I should be able to come from a grounds of moral and leadership superiority and yet I often discover that quite the opposite is true.
My denomination is caught in a divisive moment at a critical time.
In recent months scandals and controversies have swirled around certain pastors, presidents, and professors within the Southern Baptist Convention. While some controversies have been front-page catastrophes and others have been suspiciously quiet departures, it appears as if someone is cleaning house. Some claim that institutions are cowering before cultural pressure and others claim this to be a day of divine reckoning.
The 2015 ERLC Leadership Summit addressed “The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation” to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families, and their churches. This event was held in Nashville on March 26-27, 2015.
When it comes to race, our churches must reflect the united kingdom of Christ more than the divided states of America.
I haven’t gotten to watch all the videos from this event, but what I have seen has been so biblical, passionate, and helpful. One message was from pastor, author, and rapper Trip Lee. He does a great job in the video above talking about “Calling the Next Generation to Racial Reconciliation.”
Some great tips he shared:
Don’t treat people who are different too differently.
Don’t assume stereotypes.
Try not to flock to the people who look like you all the time.
Intentionally seek to understand people.
Persevere through difficulty and growing pains.
Don’t give up when it’s hard.
Ask yourself if you have unfair assumptions and fight against them.
Keep the conversations going.
We are not just looking for blacks and whites in the same room, we want blacks and whites in the same family – through Jesus.
All the videos from the @ERLC summit on the gospel and racial reconciliation now online and available: ERLC.com/videos