Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pastor Andy Stanley

Pastor Andy Stanley is the pastor of North Point Community Church.  He is, also, an author, a well known communicator and the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc.  NPM has grown from one campus in 1995 to five across the Atlanta area and has planted thirty strategic partner churches.

How to Navigate in Your Church During a Political Season

There is a huge difference between making a point and making a difference.

There is a difference between telling what you did wrong and inspiring to be right.

Neither Jesus nor Paul were content to make a point. 

It's fun to make a point, but hard to make a difference.

#1 - They leaned relationally in the direction of those they most agreed with.
     You can't make a difference in someone you haven't connected with.
     Sometimes the easiest route is the wrong one.

#2 - They were constantly at odds with the religious rights.
     It is all about approach.
     Jesus' "point-point-point" messages were to the Pharisees.  He preached to move the lost.

#3 - They were not concerned with guilt by association.
     You need to have influence in your approach.
     Jesus associated with the lost.
     Our Savior wasn't concerned with who He associated with.
     You can't influence without association.

#4 - They didn't judge outsiders for acting like outsiders (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
     We do a better job at policing others than ourselves
     Do not leverage your faith to get a political point across
     Colossians 4:5-6
     Let your conversations by full of grace

The early Christian church made a difference instead of making a point.
1 - Do not take a public stand on everything they want you to make a stand on
     Luke 20
     Matthew 21
     There are some questions that Jesus didn't answer.

2 - Do not fear guilt by association

3 - Do not attempt to police the behavior of people who don't believe what you believe.  It doesn't work!
     Our message is the gospel!!!!!

4 - When political and cultural issues intersect - talk about it.
     Talk to Christians.
     Set an expectation.
     Non-Christians get a pass.

My notes on this one may be a little confusing.  So, let me try to explain.

Pastor Andy Stanley got up and began talking about how we are entering a political season.  I began to think that this message couldn't possibly apply to me.  I was ready to put up my notes.  I ended up taking more notes from his message than anyone else's. 

The last set of four points was about how to go about making a difference instead of a point.  These are points straight out of the Bible referencing how Jesus handled situations.  Point number 4, he said was the most contradictory.  He spent all of his time talking about NOT intersecting politics and the church, but he concluded with - when they intersect, talk about it.  But, you need to talk about it to the Christians in your audience.  The non-Christians in your church get a pass at the message for the weekend, because the message is to believers. 

This message can apply to anyone.  Not just someone who stands behind a pulpit, or preaches to thousands every weekend.  This messages applies to you and me.  We need to be about making a difference in our church, our friendships, our family - not making a point.

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