Passing it On…Together
(This post, is a addendum to my previous post “Entrusted with Passing It On”)
Evangelical unity can be had because of the evangel, the gospel. If we are united together by the Holy Spirit of Christ, what matters is the primary things of the faith: our Triune God, the authority of the Scriptures, the exclusivity of Jesus and His gospel. It is within these primary issues of Christian unity, pastoral friendships is possible.
More than that, gospel-centered relationships between pastors should be developed and nurtured. We need to pass on the gospel trust together. Teaching and admonishing one another in a context of brotherly love. Because our mission is to make disciples who make disciples, entrusting faithful men with the gospel who would teach others also.
Together for the Gospel
I would gladly invite any of the men who have shepherded me, to preach in my pulpit. Consider this my open invitation. Secondary issues may be distinctives for unity within local churches, church planting networks, and denominations. But for pastoral friendships and mentorships outside of such delineations, I hold my hands open. I have no good reason to withhold my pulpit from an Arminian, to refrain from befriending a Presbyterian. I am even open to having a coffee with an emerging church “cultural architect”!
It has taken me many years to arrive at this place; and my faith is being stretched to even propose such a thing. But in humility, I believe we pastors can build one another up in the vocation.
Challenged Despite My Age
After all, when I am traveling for conferences or in need of a vacation, who would fill my pulpit. I would only give such a privilege to somebody I trust personally. Somebody whom I have trained up in the ministry, or somebody who has mentored me for the pastorate. I would not despise a preacher because of his age, and I only expect that they do not despise me of my age. Rather, my prayer is that we can challenge and encourage each other in ministry.
Yet I can only hope that the generation of elders above me would challenge me to preach the Word faithfully. Yes, let it be our prayer that my generation would be invited by the older to preach in their pulpits, to be given opportunities to grow in our ability to shepherd God’s flock.