In a few weeks, the church I help pastor at, Central Peninsula Church, is embarking on big assignment. What do the Scriptures say about hot button issues like race, immigration, sexuality, women, psychology, politics, masculinity, ecology, money and technology. No, we are not trying to make people angry and leave the church! Our hope and prayer is to help equip people in our church, with a thoughtful Christian response to these issues. Instead of Christians being viewed as extreme and irrelevant, what if we were seen as an asset to society and not a menace? What if we were known for what we are for and not merely what we are against? What if we respectfully and loving working together with others for the common good of our society?
What other hot button issues would you add to our list?
Honestly, I haven’t been this nervous to preach in a long time. I’ve wondered a few times, if we have bit off more than we can chew. These issues are ginormous in scope! They cover multiple disciplines like sociology and anthropology. So, we’ve decided to stay with what we know, the Bible. I’m a pastor, not an expert.Each time we preach, we’ll teach on a passage a Scripture that deals with each issue. Here are a few other guidelines Mark Mitchell, our Lead Pastor, wrote for our teaching pastors:
- Be fair towards both sides of the issue, despite your own preferences.
- Don’t act like an expert on a topic if you’re not one!
- Find Jesus in the issue. Did Jesus address this?
- Model humility and graciousness towards those who disagree with you.
- Don’t feel like you have to tie everything up in a neat little bow. Leaving people with some tension isn’t always a bad thing.
What other guidelines would you add to the list?
Please pray for me and our teaching pastors. Not only are we going to have to study to preach a specific passage, but we are going to have to read lots of additional material. It’s going to take more time and energy than a normal sermon, that’s for sure.
One of the most helpful books, I’ve read this year on this topic is by Scott Sauls, Jesus Outside the Lines. It is a great book that I highly recommend. In fact, Scott is coming to be with us on July 20th at CPC North. He’s going to be fantastic!