Three of your most passionate hopes for the Church.
This is the second interview in a series of five with Professor Scholte on the Christian Church today.
Interviewer question: “In our last interview we asked you explain the strategies or ideas that most excite you for helping a church to become and remain missional. This time we want to ask you to name three of your most passionate hopes for the Church at large, and why they are significant to you.”
Professor Scholte: “First, that the Church will balance great courage and great compassion. I once heard a story about a pastor that preached a strong sermon against abortion. In the weeks that followed his message a leading family in the church began to attend less and eventually stopped attending altogether. When the pastor called on the family and shared his concern about their absence their response was vague. Unknown to the pastor, or others in the congregation, the family’s teenage daughter had become pregnant, and without talking to anyone else, decided to have an abortion. Of course, the pastor was honestly preaching the Word, but the family who was hurting felt ashamed and uncertain about talking with the pastor about the issue.
I believe the Church needs to faithfully preach the Will of God as truthfully as it can, but I also believe that the Church must at the same time minister to hurting and uncertain people. It is not easy, but it is my hope that the church can preach with great courage and great compassion in large doses, at the same time. This is significant to me because I believe this will keep people listening to the gospel message and inspired to apply it to their lives.”
Interviewer Comment: “That is quite the balancing act. It seems an intersection or crossroads between faith and life.”
Professor Scholte: “Your exactly right. And we are so passionate about this that Scholte Consulting is starting a new podcast called ‘Faith and Life’ which will be sharing the Christian message with great courage and great compassion striving to meet people in positive practical ways at that intersection. We already have a very successful Facebook Community page ‘Religion & Culture’ that focuses on world religions and humanities so I think this new podcast will be a nice addition to the educational resources that we provide.”
Interviewer Question: “We are looking forward to hearing the podcast in the near future, and we can certainly feel the
passion you have for making this hope a reality. What would you say is your second passionate hope for the Church?”
Professor Scholte: “Second, that the Church will always strive to be ‘reformed and reforming according to the word of God.’ This happens best with solid biblical preaching which strives to make a connection between the teaching of the Bible and a person’s life. With sermons that are not just motivational speeches, or psychological discourses but truly reveal the message and design that God has for our lives.
And through good worship that opens people to the life changing power of Christ. So often it seems that worship in the church today is simply following a fad, or best practice method from a recent seminar. I believe that whether a churches worship service is traditional, contemporary, or mixed, in must be focused on connecting people with God. This is significant to me because when we strive for the integrity of reforming our lives to the word of God, the Holy Spirit will move within the Church. When the Holy Spirit ministers the Church becomes the living body of Christ.”
Interviewer Question: “So you passionately hope for a good balance of courage and compassion in the Church, and preaching and worship that reforms lives. What would be your third passionate hope for the Church?”
Professor Scholte: “Third, that ‘finding a need and filling it, finding a hurt and healing it,’ as Robert Schuller said so many years ago when asked how he was able to grow his congregation, can be a mantra for many congregations. If the Church remains focused on this idea I believe it will be successful in fulfilling the Great Commission. If every member of the Church is willing to learn how to use the Spiritual gifts God has given them, in the sphere of influence where God has placed them, there will be a spiritual revival around the world. This is significant to me because I believe the work of the Church brings the return of Christ closer to us every day.”
Interviewer Closing Comment: “Thank you Professor Scholte for sharing your three passionate hopes for the Church. We look forward to your new podcast, “Faith and Life.” Keep an eye out for the new podcast on www.scholteconsulting.com and if you have questions about the Christian church today or anything in the field of religion or humanities you can contact John Scholte at firstname.lastname@example.org. “