A prominent pastor and church planter issued a strong rebuke to the Church for allowing “elitism” to “fester” within the Body of Christ and called on Christians to “go into the streets” to share the Gospel with every race and social class.
Michael Carrion, senior pastor and general overseer of the Promised Land Covenant Churches, shared with thousands gathered for the Exponential Conference in Washington, D.C., how he was shocked when God called him to plant a church in the South Bronx.
“My church plant looked like this,” he said. “Jesus in the center, multicultural, multiethnic, multi-class. Literally, Promise Land, as a movement, started just like this. We didn’t have the best of the best.”
The Western Church, he warned, has become “spoiled and disoriented with the elitism we have allowed to fester in the church.”
But when planting his own church in a difficult setting, Carrion, a highly-educated pastor, said he discovered he didn’t need another “gimmick” or church-planting technique to reach the local community.
“We needed Jesus at the center,” he said, “because the people that we were servicing, the people we were engaging, came with some problems and some drama. And none of the problems and drama had I ever taken a class in seminary to prepare me for when it got to the church. Nothing taught me how to engage a person that was gender-confused, or a repeat offender.
“I needed more of the Holy Spirit,” he stressed.
One way the church can combat elitism is by “deconstructing” “celebrity pastors and church planters,” the pastor said, adding: “Whenever you take something apart in the name of Jesus, Jesus can make something new. In His providence, there’s a plan. We need to find out what that plan is.”
Promised Land Church, the pastor said, gave “hope” for adjudicated young people who in turn ministered to their family and friends. Before long, the church had 300 members of all races, classes, and ages. Today, Carrion has planted seven churches across the Bronx.
Carrion cautioned church planters against taking the glory for themselves, warning: “Be careful that you don’t reflect your image instead of God’s image as you open up your church. Church planter, if this movement is going to be Christ-centered and Spirit-led, we have to never lose sight that we are a people of resurrection.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett