Evangelical Tribes Give Me Hope

One of the privileges of leading Transform Minnesota is the opportunity to intersect with churches and Christian leaders from many different “tribes” of evangelicalism. The perspective we have inspires us as we see and experience the many diverse ways that churches are proclaiming Christ and caring for their neighbor.

In North Minneapolis, I interact with a group of pastors and leaders at the Bridge of Reconciliation, who from their faith are responding to joblessness and educational disparities among their neighbors. The Church here is a prophetic voice helping people change their patterns of life, and it is a voice of hope assuring people that there is a power that overcomes the world.

Across the river, Mission: St. Paul has gathered 20-30 Christians every month for five years to pray for revival and against a spirit of lethargy that they sense is holding back the Church in their city. These leaders are specifically attuned to spiritual warfare and engage in intense prayer to advance the Kingdom of God.

Back in Minneapolis, I’ve attended parts of the Desiring God conference and am inspired by the thousands of men who approach Scripture with an intellectual rigor, drawing life and vitality from understanding the nuances of the Gospel and articulating the finer points of doctrine.

Then there was the “young pastors” conference I attended in November. Around the room sat a 150 wide-eyed (mostly) young pastors wearing skinny jeans and faux hawks, bursting with excitement to be in ministry and filled with Pentecostal excitement to follow Jesus and invite others to do the same.

I could go on about other groups, circles and tribes of evangelicalism that are fighting for justice, praying for revival, digging into Scripture and reaching lost people and younger generations.

It’s this broad perspective of the Church that gives me hope. And I have hope not only because I believe, but because I can see it. When I encounter people suffering and hurting, or people trapped by sin or I groan at the dysfunctions and corruption of society, it is this perspective of the Church of Jesus in all its different modes and styles that renews hope in my soul.

It is a privilege to lead an organization that gets to network with all kinds of different churches, because it allows me to see the Church in a unique way and gives me this distinctive hope.

This is the hope, the promise, the vision that Transform Minnesota wants to share with others: Imagine what Minnesota would look like if Christians were connected to each other, worked together, put our faith into action and proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus and lived out His Kingdom values throughout our state!

 

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Carl Nelson is president of Transform Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis with his wife Kari and 3 children.


January 13, 2014

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