Do You Have a Particular Burden or Love For Your Hometown?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
How do you feel about Minneapolis? Do you have a particular burden or love for your hometown?
That's a really good question. I say it's a good question, because I don't think geographically very much.
I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. I moved here when I was 28. And I'm 63 now, so this is home. And yet I don't feel a kind of ownership. I don't fight for this. I don't really care whether the Vikings or the Packers win.
So I'm not a real geographic home guy. I like to be where people are. I like to be where need is. I like to be where there are ripple effects of the word and of truth.
So, yes, I'm here. We have this slogan at Bethlehem called "Proximity implies accountability." And so I feel like, as my circles go out from my life, my responsibilities decrease. And so nearer is more important.
Yes, I would love to see God move here. I get up in the morning. I go to my window where my little nook is to pray, and I look at the city. I've got a beautiful line on the cityscape from my study window. And I pray, as I've prayed hundreds of times, "Lord, those tall high rises—fill them with the word of God. Fill them with Christian people. Fill them with your name."
You know that passage from Acts 5 where the enemy said to the apostles, "You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching." I just would love for that to happen. So I pray that way for revival and reformation to come to the churches.
I often pray for the larger churches that are not faithful to the word of God near my house. I know some of those pastors, and I grieve over the kind of shepherds that they are, frankly. And so I pray for that kind of reformation in the church.
I would love to see the 1,000-1,200 evangelical churches of the larger metro area of the Twin Cities awakened and revived and vital and passionate for the truth of Christ.
There's a new little effort to try to draw together pastors in relation to the Gospel Coalition, and that might have a future to it that would help us to pray more unitedly for the city.
So that's a little glimpse, maybe, into the way I think about Minneapolis and St. Paul and the wider metro area here.
But given things like this recording here, where I know people are watching from Australia, and the fact that I just got back from Germany and Russia where I met pastors who are loving God—I just feel, as I'm growing older, that there is a platform for loving the church globally as well as locally.
So I find myself stretched.