The following is the talk I gave at Thriving Churches, Thriving Cities, Denver Institute’s annual gathering for pastors and ministry leaders. The topic: what does it mean for pastoral leaders and their churches to be involved in healing the public life of their communities? Thank you again for coming today. I’d like to introduce our final set of conversations today by speaking to the topic of pastors and public engagement. Today we’ve spoken about pastoral wholeness and integrity, and, in the breakouts, growing in pastoral excellence through navigating change and conflict. What might it mean, then, for pastors to lead churches working toward the healing of their cities? Let me first tell you a personal story. My first pastorate after seminary was serving Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza, a Spanish-speaking church in Brighton, Colorado. I preached in Spanish, led youth group in English, and, as the only white guy there, stuck out like a sore thumb. I realized a year into my pastorate that about 80% of my congregation...Read More
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