‘Fear not, little flock.’ And pray.

Meredith Flynn —  June 15, 2015
Mark Dever and Russell Moore (center) answered questions from 9Marks' Jonathan Leeman (left) and Phillip Bethancourt of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (right).

Mark Dever and Russell Moore (center) answered questions from 9Marks’ Jonathan Leeman (left) and Phillip Bethancourt of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (right).

Columbus | The culture has changed and is continuing to change–there’s no mistaking it. But Christians don’t have to live in fear, leaders said Monday night at a post-Pastors’ Conference gathering.

When asked what he would tell churches in the face of sweeping cultural change, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore quoted Luke 12:32: “Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”

“The main thing that I would say,” Moore said at the meeting hosted by the 9Marks ministry, “is let us be joyful, hopeful, convictional people who are not panicked, who are not distressed, and who are not tossed about by the wind.”

Moore echoed his Sunday evening Pastors’ Conference message, when he referred to the argument some have made about Christians being on the wrong side of history when it comes to cultural change.

“Brothers and sisters, we started on the wrong side of history. The right side of history was the Roman Empire. The wrong side of the history was a Roman cross. And the Roman Empire is dead, and Jesus is feeling fine.”

At the 9Marks meeting, Moore and Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., fielded questions submitted by the audience. The questions on current social issues covered a variety of topics, including homosexuality, transgenderism, and race. Dever, who also serves as president of 9Marks, urged pastors to pray with their congregations about pressing issues, and not just 3-minute prayers during transitions in the worship services. One of the main sources for his pastoral prayers, Dever said, is The Washington Post.

“…You need to pray for five or ten minutes; I mean, give some thought to your prayer.” When the Westminster Assembly of the 1640s would hold a day of prayer, they would pray as long as they would preach, Dever said. An hour-long sermon, followed by an hour-long prayer. “And the pastors would prepare their prayers every bit as much as they would work on preparing their sermons.”

Nearly 400 years later, maybe that’s an idea worth revisiting.

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.