Jon Tyson thinks the church missed a moment in rushing to get back to normal after COVID, and is perhaps missing a moment because of our response to racial reconciliation.
As usual, Jon offers some deep insights into this cultural moment, what the future church needs to do, how he and his family recovered from catching Coronavirus, and how to find real rest in the midst of an exhausting era.
Welcome to Episode 363 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 shares the new characteristics of churches that will be in decline five years from now.
Leaders in Living Rooms
I want to introduce you to a great podcast that is a part of my personal repertoire.
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3 INSIGHTS FROM JON
1. The Church is missing a big opportunity during COVID
The Coronavirus has been one of the biggest opportunities for the church to step in and be Jesus to a broken and traumatized world in our lifetime. But rather than reaching out, repenting and changing, we went into hiding and asked, “When can we reopen?”
And in our quest for normalcy, we didn’t learn any of the great lessons we needed to learn in this season.
The normal the church is longing for just isn’t coming back. We keep seeking the old normal rather than asking “What does God want us to do in this season?” When our grandchildren ask us, “What did you do in the coronavirus? And all we can tell them is the list of shows we watched on Netflix, that’s not our best story. Sadly, for many Christians, that’s all this season has meant for us.
2. Politics could be doing more harm than good in your church
The U.S. is a broken and fractured nation. We live in a time of totalized political narratives. Neither political side can concede any ground, and that could be affecting your church. Jon has been a pastor for 20 plus years, and he’s never seen people leave the church over any issue, including sexuality, more than he has over politics. It is by far the most divisive subject to tackle.
He thinks the cause of this is because America is totally secular now, and that means that in our cultural understanding, there isn’t any afterlife. So, we are trying to fit an eternity of justice, joy and happiness into every moment. As the church, we need to offer an alternative to the divided culture, not amplify it from our stage.
3. If you want to share the Gospel with any community, you need to acknowledge their “sacred core”
Every community possesses a non-negotiable belief at the center of it, and until it’s acknowledged, you will not get any openness to have influence with them. For example, if you’re trying to bring the Gospel to someone in the gay community, you need to acknowledge that they think Christians just want to “pray the gay away.”
When Jon approaches this topic with his church, he says:
“I know that there’s pain in your heart because you feel like in order for God to love and accept you, you have to become heterosexual. And I just want to say today, that’s not true. The gospel is not a gospel of heterosexuality, and that gay people must become straight. The gospel is the gospel of the Lordship of Jesus and that idea has all sorts of implications”
He then shows that he understands how anxious they must be for coming into a church service talking about homosexuality. When Jon takes this approach, he is gaining the ability to speak to someone in the gay community and for them to actually listen to what he’s preaching.
Quotes from Episode 363
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
LEARN HOW TO LEAD THROUGH CRISIS
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Next Episode: Nik Wallenda
Nik Wallenda has set numerous tightrope walking world records, including being the first man to cross Niagara Falls, and wirewalking across Times Square, the Grand Canyon and more. Nik talks about how to train for adverse conditions, responding to failure and constantly changing conditions, how to reposition your mission when your model breaks, and how to push past fear and anxiety.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 364.