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Crucial Conversations

I want to say thank you to Parkway Church for the last three weeks of gatherings. You have worshipped passionately. You have served faithfully even with Spring Break schedules and the disruption of the time change. You committed to extending our reach with the inclusion of Parkway Cuero. You, church, also welcomed straightforward Biblical perspectives on some of the cultural issues of our day. I thank you for being the church that is unified around the mission, the cause, and the message of Jesus even as we develop a fuller understanding of our own convictions.

Before the series, I sent a message out to our staff team preparing everyone to minister through the tough teachings. I warned that I would be tackling issues on objective truth, the value of all people, and the divine design of people by God. Knowing that these are hot issues in our culture today, I wanted to prepare us for the crucial conversations around the issues within the church.

I did this for two reasons.  

First, the issues swirling in society are felt and known in the church today. We have people in the church and loved by those in the church who struggle in each of the areas addressed through the Standing Strong series. This is because though we are not of the world, we are living in a broken, hurting world.  The world's pain and sin's dysfunction surround us so we must engage in these crucial conversations. This can leave us asking questions about giving up on our Biblical convictions or it can leave us hopeless because sin always multiplies. But through this series, we learned that we don't have to give up hope and we don't have to give us our convictions because God's Word has no expiration date and He is the highest authority in our lives. Issues swirl, but God remains on His through and His Word has authority over our lives.

Second, I prepared our team to engage in healthy conversations because truth can be proclaimed from a stage, but the truth is understood in relationships. Truth can be declared as we sit in rows, but the truth is digested in the context of personal relationships. Thankfully, we had some very good conversations on all sides of the issues throughout this series. As expected, even where there was disagreement, there was grace shared and a spirit of understanding communicated. If there are more crucial conversations that need to occur, I encourage you to engage in those conversations with the grace and truth that we are all committed to. One of the beautiful things about the Body of Christ is that we don't have to agree with one another on everything to do life and ministry together.  But we must treat one another with gentleness and respect which church you are very good at doing. With gentleness, respect, grace, and truth, we can all grow to be more like Jesus as we speak the truth in love to one another.

Again, Parkway, thank you for being you.
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