Episode 553

ERLC Releases Guide For Gender Confusion, An Answer to Prayer by a Mississippi Church & Essential Resources for Sermon Illustrations

Feb 27, 2024

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has released a practical resource to help churches navigate difficult questions and scenarios surrounding the topic of gender confusion. A Mississippi church, Longview Heights Baptist Church, became the answer to a Romanian pastor’s 30-year prayer for partnership in serving his community. And, preachers and teachers are in regular need of illustrations. They hold the listeners attention and aid in the learning process. Sam Rainer offers a couple of helpful sources to find illustrations.

Transcript

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has released a practical resource to help churches navigate difficult questions and scenarios surrounding the topic of gender confusion.

The guide contains a theological framework addressing the topic of gender from a biblical worldview and offers answers to practical scenarios that churches or pastors may face or have faced regarding the topic. The guide also contains links to additional resources on the topic of gender confusion from a variety of Christian sources.

“Nearly one-third of Generation Z (the youngest generation for which we have statistics) identify on the LGBT spectrum. It may have (arguably) taken longer for the sexual revolution to reach our churches, but the time is long gone when we could assume it would pass us by completely,” ethic leader Brent Leatherwood told us.

The resource is available at ERLC.com

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A Mississippi church, Longview Heights Baptist Church, became the answer to a Romanian pastor’s 30-year prayer for partnership in serving his community. The church’s medical team, led by Jan McMurphy, collaborated with local believers in Romania to provide medical care and share the Gospel. This partnership, initiated by IMB missionary Linda Gray, focused on communities with Roma and Gypsy populations often viewed as outcasts. Their work not only provided essential health services but also opened doors for local pastors to share the Gospel, marking the beginning of a long-term relationship between the church and the Romanian community.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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Preachers and teachers are in regular need of illustrations. They hold the listeners attention and aid in the learning process.
Sam Rainer offers a couple of helpful sources to find illustrations.

Real life. About half of my sermons include a personal illustration, preferably a recent one. It’s good for your guests and new members to hear a little about who you are and what’s happening in your world. Additionally, your members are more likely to relate to you if you open up about your own life.

History. I utilize historical examples in about every other sermon, typically in the middle of my sermon. These illustrations help teach church history, historical theology, and local history. More importantly, history can connect generations. An example from the 1960s can unite Boomers and Gen Z. An example from the 1940s can connect Millennials and Builders. I intentionally pull from different eras of history in order to relate to different generations.

Find more suggestions in Rainer’s article in the Baptist Press Toolbox.

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