Insights from Crawford Lorrits, pastor, author, and founder of Beyond Our Generation in an interview at The Drive Conference 2022 at North Point in Atlanta:
The process cannot be the objective.
If Gospel unity is the goal then you will become diverse.
Love and unity is always based on sacrifice. This requires disadvantaging myself for the good of others.
Too often we create more division when we focus on diversity because we are celebrating differences more than focusing on what unifies us.
Every church needs to understand that the Kingdom of God is bigger than us and includes the nations.
The rudderless pursuit of relevance will make us irrelevant.
What is most noble may not be the most relevant but it is most important.
On Truly Following Jesus:
Too often Christianity is more of a reference point than the center of my life.
In the Western world hyper individualism has taken over so that we pick and choose our own spirituality. We assume God will give us all good things to help me be a better version of who I want to be.
We use the word “followers” rather than the word “believers.”
We become more like Jesus.
We don’t pick and choose what parts of what that means. We choose to move forward with what has already been chosen.
The Church is to be a model and a vision of the glorious Kingdom of God to the world. We aren’t to hide from the world.
Jesus is not just alongside of me. He is who I passionately want to become like.
Jesus is not just part of my life. He is my life.
On Character and Leadership:
We need to distance ourself from our platform. We are called to lead, but that is not our identity. We are stewards of something greater than myself.
If you are too obsessed with the perks, privileges, and title of your leadership then you are disqualified from leadership.
The greatest thing I bring to my leadership is my faithfulness of my Lord.
There is no sustained impact apart from brokenness because God wants to trust you with visibility and platform.
God won’t give you what you want because you aren’t sticking around long enough to get what you need. You keep leaving place to place then you will are just injecting mediocrity.
To really do something, you need to become something.
God wants to create a holy handicap in us so that we will be fully dependent on Him.
On Politicizing the Church:
I have wept over the co-opting of evangelicals bowing at the shrine of political power.
We have moved secondary passions into primary positions.
Christian is never an adjective but always a noun.
Christianity is becoming unrecognizable to what Jesus wanted.
Do not keep people from coming to Jesus because of our politics.
Too often we mix our Christianity with Americanism.
We need to think right about what is going wrong.
The white house is not heaven and the president is not God.
I am committed to this country and would die for this country. This is the greatest country on planet earth, but God does not stand up when our national anthem is played.
Don’t let politicians bully you to their side of the aisle. The Church is the alternative.
The Church has become a depository of grievances.
People are taking good words and redefining them. For example, what is referred to as a “conviction” is too often truly a grievance.
Crisis is a gift. You don’t manage your way out of a crisis. You lead your way out of a crisis.
There is no such thing as leadership apart from courage. There is not a distinction between pastor and leader. Shepherds don’t just sit around petting the sheep!
We have settled for surrogate and artificial gospels. There are lost people out there and we are arguing over secondary issues!
Ministry is not a gig or a game!
Jesus died that we might all have an opportunity to say “yes” to Him!
We need to repent for all of this misplaced passion!
Don’t give the devil a stick to hit us upside the head with!
We have been recruited by our culture, and we think our favorite news outlet is the 67th book of the Bible.
Anybody involved in church ministry needs to study 2 Timothy. It’s a prophetic letter for our time right now.
Timothy is a reluctant and timid letter.
Nero is turning up the heat on Christians. The church was bullying Timothy. Paul was like Timothy’s dad, and Paul was about to die.
Even with all of this, Timothy was encouraged to keep moving forward.
- Timothy, remember who you are. You need resilience so remember You have the calling. You are loved and valued. You come from a legacy of faith.
If God is calling you then what you have is enough. You don’t have to become someone else. Bring all of you to your calling.
2. Timothy, you have a gift. Instead of throttling that gift back, step into it!
3. Timothy, you have supernatural resources!! “God has not given us the spirit of cowardice but instead lean into what God has given you – the Spirit of God, discipline
4. Timothy, stay after it! Here’s the bullseye of your ministry. Advance the gospel and pour into others who can advance the Kingdom as well. The fulfillment of the great commission is not a project, it is your life! Endure! Persevere!
Our people need clarity and leadership. We cannot come representing constituencies. Discover the will of God and do that!