Tim Keller is one of America’s most renowned preachers, authors and thought leaders. Tim talks about what NYC was like when he planted Redeemer Church in 1989, how the city’s changed, how the culture has changed and how his preaching has evolved.
He shares the approach he would take if he was preaching regularly today, why founders get addicted to their church, why he left Redeemer when he did, and offers profound insights into post-Christian America, how to reach it, and even talks through how he works through personal discouragement and disappointment.
Welcome to Episode 339 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.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey gives his latest thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis and how to respond as leaders.
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I know we’ve all been impacted by the virus, but sometimes the best thing we can do when we’ve been hit by crisis is help somebody else, so we’ve partnered with a ministry called International Cooperating Ministries.
They’re a leader in global church development at work since 1986, equipping and helping indigenous church leaders around the world. They’re in 100 different countries. are EFCA accredited and have four stars on Charity Navigator.
For $35 a month, you can equip four pastors every single month with the training and tools they need to lead.
Text CRISIS to 33777 to get access to Carey’s How to Lead Through Crisis online course
3 INSIGHTS FROM TIM
1. The Church isn’t prepared to reach a post-Christendom culture
For 1,000 years, the Church has been able to assume a culture of Christendom in the West. Evangelicalism has been waiting for people to give in to the social pressure of going to church and then connecting the dots of the morality they were raised in and still believe. People don’t hold “being a good person” as high of a standard as they did 50 years ago.
People now value “being true to themselves” over “being a good person.” How we evangelize to that mindset is very different. We need to approach evangelism with an argument for why having your identity in Jesus is better than the identity that someone is currently chasing.
2. Political polarization is a major obstacle for churches
When Tim reads the Bible, he sees these 4 things clearly:
- Christians ought to be sold out for racial justice.
- Christians should be deeply concerned about the poor.
- Christians should be pro-life.
- Christians should believe that, at least for Christians, sex should only be between a man and woman in marriage.
Two of those beliefs look very conservative and two of those look very liberal, and the Church has to find a way to preach both. Most Christian churches will feel pressure to focus on two of these and neglect the others. You can’t give in to letting politics direct what you teach and believe as a church.
3. If Tim Keller started a preaching today, he would shift his message toward identity
Our culture is obsessed with building up our personal identity. So in response to that, Tim’s message would be:
“You think the meaning of life is to be free, but you’re actually not as free as you think you are. You have to live for something. Everybody has to live for something, and whatever that thing is you’re living for will enslave you, and you will feel guilty and shameful because you’ll never feel like you can live up to it.
I don’t care how you guys are forming your identity, there is no identity like the one that you can find in Jesus Christ.”
Keller says that you have to find a way to take the plot line of the culture, and give it a better ending in Jesus.
Quotes from Episode 339
The five components that contribute to human flourishing are relationships, spiritual health, fiscal and material stability, vocation and career, & wellness and behavioral health. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet
It doesn't say anywhere in the Bible your church has to grow. Ordinarily, if people are growing spiritually, and they're sharing their faith, the church will grow, but that's a byproduct. @timkellernyc Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
HOW TO LEAD THROUGH CRISIS: A NEW FREE COURSE
The world is experiencing a series of unprecedented challenges, and you’re leading in the midst of it all.
I’ve got a brand new online, on-demand course, called How to Lead Through Crisis, that can help you lead your team, your church and yourself through the massive disruption.
The course is the gift from me and my team to you and leaders everywhere. In light of everything that’s going on, we decided to make it available 100% free.
Inside How to Lead Through Crisis, you’ll learn how to:
- Cultivate a non-anxious presence that inspires confidence and trust.
- Care for yourself so the crisis doesn’t break you.
- Master the art of fast-paced, clear decision making.
- Gather and interpret the most reliable data that will advance your mission
- Advance digitally to scale past physical barriers and grow your outreach.
- Lead your team and congregation remotely
While no one has all the answers in a crisis this big, in the course, I share the mindsets, habits, tools and strategies that I believe will help you lead through crisis to get you and the people you lead to a new (and better) future.
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via
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NEXT EPISODE: ANNIE F. DOWNS
Annie F. Downs has seen her podcast downloads skyrocket over the last two months as millions tune in to her daily show. She talks about how to connect with your audience, how she pivoted during the lockdown, why so many people listen, why production doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think, and how to share more of yourself with the people you lead.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 340.