As John Piper has said, the power of the Holy Spirit “is essential for the challenges of an ever-expanding witness to Christ.” And at the 2018 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders this week, pastors from across the country will have the opportunity to hear teaching on “The Christ-Exalting Work of the Holy Spirit.”
Some of the Church Alliance team will be attending the conference as well. And while we cannot add to the teaching from the conference, we can come alongside these churches and pastors to protect them as their ministries grow and expand. After all, along with the “challenges of an ever-expanding witness” come challenges to our freedoms.
This sort of event makes one consider what a blessing religious freedom is. And, though not the intent of this conference, the fact that it is occurring reflects well on how these church leaders are stewarding that freedom. That is something for which we can all give thanks.
People unashamedly preaching the Gospel advances the Faith, and it is good for religious freedom. Doing so in a public manner, utilizing social media and all of the other tools available to us – again – advances the Faith, and it is good for religious freedom. And while the people attending this conference likely consider that heaven is much more “home” than the United States, we can still thank God for the gift of freedom that we currently enjoy in this country. Freedom to be filled with the Holy Spirit and openly share the full counsel of God’s Word – without fear of government intrusion.
We are praying that this freedom continues for future generations, and we are also – with God’s blessing – working to steward that freedom.
One way we are stewarding religious freedom is through the Church Alliance, which helps prepare and protect churches at a time when much of the legal landscape is unsettled. And unsettling.
As pastors and church leaders live out the Gospel and fulfill the Great Commission, we come alongside and advise them in the areas of the law that may hinder their ministry. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in this area of the law, and not so long ago, some of the Alliance Defending Freedom Team may have even been sitting in the seats alongside those at Bethlehem 2018 (they too were seminary students and pastors at one time).
If you are a pastor or church leader at the Bethlehem conference, we would love to see you at the Alliance Defending Freedom booth – stop by! If you are just passing through as a reader and are interested in learning about how we are serving churches, head over to our website. We are on a mission to serve churches across the country, and we would enjoy sharing this empowering opportunity with your church leadership team.
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