Lon Allison is executive director of the Billy Graham Center.
The Perfect Blend of Love & Justice
It is Monday of Holy Week. I try to arrange Mondays, whenever I’m in town, to be a day of reflection and prayer (for at least a good part of the day). By design, I read and pray more deeply than the other days of the week.
Today is the best example of that.
Yesterday, our local church, Wheaton Bible, offered a wonderful worship experience. Our pastor preached a great sermon on the Palm Sunday passage. The music, the message, and the sight of hundreds of children marching through our sanctuary waving palm branches still linger in me. Then, Marie (my wife) and I watched the History Channel’s Bible mini-series last night. The episode focused on the ministry of Jesus, his entrance into Jerusalem, ending with his arrest. All of the images and words of our worship and the film are working deeply in me this morning, which leads me to what I now offer you.
Jesus came into the world the first time to absorb justice, not to exact it. Those words from my pastor are my big takeaway. The love of Jesus leads him to the cross. The justice of Jesus leads him to absorb the righteous justice of God against all sin. He will die in our place out of love and, because he is the judge, with perfect justice. Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It was John Stott who said something like, "It is hard to hold in our minds both the love of God and the justice of God, but he is both and at the same time" in the The Cross of Christ. It is at the cross where perfect love and exacting justice meet. “When I survey the wondrous cross….”. I’m singing the hymn now as I sign off on this blog. A blessed Holy week to all.
How will you be celebrating Holy Week? We'd love to hear about it! Let's continue the conversation on our facebook page!
Posted March 25, 2013
Chandler Im is director of Ethnic Ministries at the Billy Graham Center.
3rd Asian American Gathering Blesses Many
Over 150 Asian American leaders gathered at Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles March 11-13 for the third Asian American Leadership Conference, held in Los Angeles. Young Nak Presbyterian Church is the second largest Korean-American church in North America. It was a tremendous joy to see next generation English-speaking Asian American pastors in their 20s and 30s having a deep interest in planting and supporting multiethnic churches in North America!
I had the privilege of presenting a seminar entitled “Korean American Churches’ Issues & Strengths.” During and after the seminar, I had a heated and emotional debate with two second-generation Korean American pastors in early 30s. Both had seen painful church splits. Even as I listened, I encouraged them to press on despite disappointments and frustrations in ministry.
Another highlight was Rev. Chip Ingram, senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, teaching on five “premises” that leaders need to keep in mind when promoting life transformation. These include:
- Clarity: If you can’t define it, you can’t achieve it.
- Metrics: You get what you measure, not what you hope for.
- Evaluation: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
- Authenticity: You can’t impart what you don’t possess.
- Modeling: More is caught than taught.
My prayer is that God would use these premises in each of our lives as leaders—and as a result, his church would be well and his kingdom would grow.
What would you add to this list of five premises? We'd love to hear about it! Let's continue the conversation on our facebook page!
Posted March 20, 2013