There’s no question everything is changing in culture and the church and few people have their finger as tightly on the pulse as author, blogger and thinker Ed Stetzer.
In this wide-ranging interview, Ed talks about the culture war and why Christians are losing, how to use your social media voice, how the culture continues to change and what’s next for the future church.
Welcome to Episode 237 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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The Terms of Our Surrender by Ross Douthat
Internet Church Isn’t Really Church by Laura Turner
Leading Change by John Kotter
Leading Change without Losing It by Carey Nieuwhof
Evangelical Writer Kisses An Old Idea Goodbye by Sarah McCammon
Our Kids by Robert Putnam
Leadership Pain by Samuel Chand
Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch
3 Insights from Ed
1. The Christianity faith is not declining
Some people say that Christianity is declining, but Ed is actually encouraged by the numbers he sees. A decline in nominal Christianity is creating an increase in a more serious, robust faith among believers.
What’s going away is nominalism, but the percentage of people who are devout Christians isn’t shifting, which means there’s still so much opportunity for the mission force to continue engaging the mission field.
2. You can’t war at people and reach them at the same time
You don’t have to spend too much time scrolling social media to find angry Christians voicing opinions about current events. Their judgmental voices are being heard loud and clear. Unfortunately, a lot of the people hearing them aren’t believers. They don’t know what the love of Jesus looks like and they certainly aren’t seeing it played out within the posts and comments of many of His followers.
Christians are absolutely allowed to have and voice opinions, but in this ever changing culture, when everything seems to be turning more and more secular, the question is what is more important? For Christians to attempt to win debates with harsh tones or to show and share the love of Jesus to a broken and hurting world? Jesus did not call us to get angry at a secular world. Even in what feels like the hardest of times, He has called us to love.
We must remember that spewing out anger and judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy. You can’t war at a people and reach them at the same time.
3. Nothing good happens without some pain in the process
Few good things exist in life, if at all, that don’t come with a side of pain. Love, marriage, parenting, family, work, success, leadership – they are all wonderful things, but nothing good happens without experiencing some level of pain in the process. There’s really no way to escape it.
Leadership is often a willingness to lean into the pain that other people refuse to lean into. Many people don’t realize how difficult living through life’s experiences is going to be. They aren’t ready or preparing for the challenges ahead. As a leader, make sure you recognize and can be secure in the fact that pain is inevitable in your own life, so that you can lead others through the painful parts of all that is good within theirs.
Quotes from Episode 237
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Lysa TerKeurst
The last three years of Proverbs 31 President Lysa TerKeurst’s life have been almost unbelievable: discovering infidelity in her marriage, and living through both cancer and another life-threatening illness. Lysa shares openly and honestly about how she lived and led through the deepest personal crisis of her life, how she battled disappointment and how she figured out which parts of her life should be kept personal or private (and why secrecy is such a bad idea).
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 238.