Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

God’s Beloved Life

Efrem.jpgLast weekend Efrem Smith, author of The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting With the Movement Shaping Our Culture
and a pastor from … in Minneapolis MN, preached at Willow Creek and all I can say is “Wow.” He blessed us and challenged us and inspired us — fantastic sermon. He preached from 1 John 3 and, in effect, he deconstructed and then reconstructed some current ideas by making this argument:

You can’t have God’s Beloved Community until you have God’s Beloved Church, and you can’t have God’s Beloved Church until you have God’s Beloved Life …
New life in Christ is designed to create the Church and God’s Church is to be a blessing to the Community. The sermon ended on a powerfully dramatic note when Efrem talked about “love lifted me” and Bill Hybels asked him if he could sing the song. Well, Efrem said “No” but an African American woman in the front row said she could — and she sure could!
OK, truth be told, I’m not a little proud that Efrem is a Covenant pastor at Sanctuary Covenant.
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Dave Leigh

posted January 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I was there, too, Scot. And frankly I thought a revival was about to break out! What a rare and wonderful experience!
I especially liked Efrem’s comment that King’s phrase, “the beloved community,” was his way of speaking of the Kingdom of God in a mainstream way. I take Efrem to mean that King was contextualizing the KOG for his contemporary audience and social context.
As our secular world celebrates the civil rights movement, they are happy to call King Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But they tend to ignore that his real title was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a reverand before he was a doctor. And isn’t it wonderful to see how a reverand preaching the Kingdom of God could have such an impact so as to energize and direct the civil rights movement!
What might happen next as we continue to press out kingdom teaching in our own social contexts today?!

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Jeremy Berg

posted January 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Yes, we are SPOILED in the Twin Cities with so many dynamic pastors in such a small radius. It’s hard not to be a church hopper when you can have Efrem Smith, Greg Boyd, Leith Anderson and, say, John Piper in one month.
Efrem is a blessing to the Covenant for sure.

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Don Schiewer

posted January 20, 2010 at 12:45 am

As a pastor at a Covenant Church in Toledo, OH – I have had the pleasure to meet Efrem at a church planting conference…what a cool cat! He has so much to offer the church – I am thankful that his voice is being invited to the table…

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