The Fellowship (the church I serve) recently hosted Jeremiah Johnston on a weekend with the Unanswered Tour from Christian Thinkers Society (CTS). You can watch his message from Sunday here. I want to encourage you to do the same.
Jeremiah is the founder of Christian Thinkers Society. He earned a PhD and has served as a pastor. In other words, he knows his stuff intellectually and spiritually. He is a godly man who loves equipping the church.
On Saturday evening, we gathered our Bible study leaders from all age groups to spend 90 minutes with Jeremiah. He spoke about how to better understand Islam and then held a question and answer time to point our leaders in the direction of practical engagement with our faith.
On Sunday morning, he preached in our worship services. I previously asked him to address the question “Can Anyone Be Saved?” for his message. It was a powerful message about the hope we can have in the resurrection as a fact of history and a truth that will transform your life.
For The Fellowship, we made the decision to bring Jeremiah in a for a brief event this Spring in order to set up a larger one for the Fall. In October, he will return for a full weekend event. We will have a several church-wide sessions on Saturday and then Jeremiah will preach on Sunday. We will likely have him hold one more session on Sunday night to address the beliefs of Islam and how Christians can graciously engage their Muslim neighbors.
Here are six reasons to host the Unanswered Tour at your church:
- Believers will be equipped for the real questions. The church has become skilled at answering questions that no one is asking. Jeremiah addresses the prevalent questions of our day such as how the church should address depression, what to make of the feeling that God is silent about my pain, and what to think about the paranormal.
- Skeptics will feel engaged. Jeremiah speaks in such a way that it draws in those who are still looking for answers. No pat answers and no browbeating. He knows how to give solid answers to common objections to the faith.
- Personal ministry. Before services, Jeremiah walked the room, shook hands, learned who the visitors were, and personally prayed with people. He’s not a man looking for the speaker’s lounge to hide out before services. I loved watching him minister personally to people.
- He wants people to be saved. Jeremiah is a pastor who wants the lost saved and the saved to care about the lost. He has an infectious spirit that builds evangelistic urgency in the church.
- Helpful resources. He has published Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions and Jesus and the Jihadis: Confronting the Rage of ISIS: The Theology Driving the Ideology. He sells them at the tour stops and our church bought nearly everything he brought. I’ve read them both and you want your church members to have them.
- Your church staff will be encouraged. Jeremiah took several opportunities to publicly affirm our church staff. Too many guest speakers just talk about their own ministries. Jeremiah helped the church to encourage our pastoral staff.
- Jeremiah is godly. I trust Jeremiah as a man of God who is single-minded. He does not have an agenda to be famous because of your church or anything else. He is a man of prayer and the Word.
Here’s three ways to effectively host the Unanswered Tour:
- Do two events. We brought in Jeremiah for this short weekend event so that they larger one will be a huge hit. We know the reality: church members sometimes skip out when there’s a guest speaker. So, host a short CTS event in order to ensure a larger CTS event six months later will be well attended.
- Promote it widely. Jeremiah wants to help your church engage the community with God’s truth. Use social media, traditional mail outs, and every way possible to get the word out about your church’s weekend event.
- Set aside time for your leaders. Jeremiah knows how to ramp up the content for church leaders. Give him time to dig in a bit deeper with the material with them.
Obviously, I am very pleased with how the weekend went at The Fellowship. I believe in what God is doing through Christian Thinkers Society and Jeremiah’s ministry. You should definitely host the Unanswered Tour at your church.