Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Matt Chandler on Gospel Ministry in the Bible Belt

I have a manifesto-type piece brewing on what it's like to be gospel-driven in the Bible Belt and, God willing, I hope to compose and post it soon. But in the meantime, check out this video of Matt Chandler (with a little help from John Piper) surveying the problem(s) briefly and brilliantly.

He talks about the girl who wanted to be baptized because her mom was sick. This reminds me of the local guy who blogged about his (I think it was) seventh baptism; this latest one was "for hope." (I counseled a guy out of a baptism last year because his reasoning sort of revolved around having been listening to a lot of worship music lately.)

Chandler, who pastors in Dallas, also talks about Bible Belt religion being inoculated against Jesus. This reminds me of something Ed Stetzer, who hails from the Northeast, once told me, which is that preaching the gospel in the church down here is like trying to give somebody something they've already been inoculated against with a synthetic version.

But the gospel is for the older brother, as well. It is the cure for all, the power of salvation for all who believe.


Philip said...

I've been using this term "inoculated" for years. I've been saying that being inoculated is having "just enough of something to keep you from getting the real thing".

I came up with that term/concept when trying to witness to my family members in New England. They go to dead, mainline churches a few times a year, or maybe even every Sunday, and it's so hard to talk about the Gospel to them because they think they are Christians.

I love what Chandler says about being happy when baptizing an atheist. I know how he feels!

Darrel said...

That is a great clip and point. That would describe my ministry area to a T.

Big City Girl said...

This is my first time hearing Matt Chandler, and it left me thirsting to hear more. This is wonderful and I second the comments above, however one of the things which really struck me was his comment about big churches.

I wondered, given the current state of America with over 50 million people without access to regular, affordable health care, and the number of homeless rising, why are they building $250 million churches in a city with multiple edifices at this price?

Jared said...

BCG, the short answer: Because American evangelicals are spoiled, selfish brats.

Jesse Wisnewski said...

@ Jared:

Thanks for sharing this. I'm a student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and am taking a class on Apologetics this summer. The reason that I'm writing is that my main project will be an evangelistic/apologetic for Cultural Christians (FYI: I'm from WV).

You referenced in the post above work you were planning on doing in this area. Have you completed that? If so, where can I find it?

If it's not to much to ask I'm also scurrying the web for books, articles, blogs, etc..., for research. Are there any that you recommend?

Thank you for your time,

Jesse Wisnewski