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Multiplication Anticipated

15. November 2017

Features, Theme Articles,

  —Jerry O'Neill

Recently my wife and I sat at our dining room table enjoying a dessert of “It’ll Kill Ya Pie,” discussing with a young urban pastor and his wife their marriage, their parenting, and their ministry. It was a delightful evening spent with a delightful couple. I like to say that, by our age, Ann and I have lots of experience; hopefully that experience has also led us to at least a little bit of wisdom. We are certainly no Aquila and Priscilla, but we know the importance of coaching and encouraging those younger in the faith.

The evening with the urban pastor and his wife brought to mind a ministry with which I am involved in another culture where the growing church is comprised mostly of first-generation Christians. The members of the presbyteries know their theology fairly well; but when it comes to applying their theology in daily life, they desperately need help. It is one thing for us to teach systematic theology and biblical studies in intensive courses. It is a very different thing to help those who haven’t seen the practical outworking of Christian life modeled for them.

The last time I was with these brothers, a faithful pastor and esteemed leader said to a man he was talking to, “If you don’t agree (with me), just be gone.” After that event, I pleaded with the pastor and told him that his attitude was not right, and that it certainly cannot foster biblical Presbyterianism, which is the goal right now in that country. It is never “my ...

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