I was inspired and challenged by hearing Tim Keller recently in London. To then have the chance to go and visit Redeemer Church in Manhattan, New York, which he has lead since 1989 and brought from an attendance of 15 to that of 3000 each Sunday, was a great privilege. His philosophy of ministry has enabled him to effectively present the gospel to the generation he serves, mainly singles and mainly young professionals.
When he spoke in London, he raised issues close to my own heart! The importance of reaching the cities for God - Deb and I moved from Bedford to S E London because of such a conviction. As we look to plant and establish new churches in the great cities of our nation this focus will be a challenge for leaders and elders all over the UK. People from all over the globe live here and we are increasingly aware that through them we can reach the nations.
Tim Keller’s stimulating views on preaching and using doctrines that have resonance with our culture as rafts on which to float doctrines that are more difficult to engage with – we need to consider these ideas and respond to them. Learning to do this will be a challenge!
He also stated that the political world only reflects the culture of the day and does not shape it. His call to go ‘up stream’ of our culture and to influence it reflected something of Mark Driscoll’s words from last summer’s Brighton Conference. Again – yet more for us to consider.
Having now spent a few days with staff members at Redeemer Church I found it to be an extremely impressive church - open, honest about what is has yet to accomplish and validating the message of its leader in all it does.
I am still processing much of Keller’s message to us. I do believe that this will prove to be yet another excellent contact for us in Newfrontiers; one I hope will continue and grow in mutual respect and appreciation.