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July 9, 2018 8:58 am
Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you the truth for a new generation. This is TMG radio in Matthew 1618.
Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. But the real encouragement the preservation of perpetuity of the local church will talk about the health care in the feeding of the local church today on this edition of the program. My name is Alex McFarland. Very glad to be talking to longtime friend and colleague Rick Lorentzen. I'm also glad because I'm down here at the ocean, although not on vacation.
I wish I were good be good video but Rick it is so good to be with you, my dear brother for those who may not be aware. Rick Lorentzen is the pastor of nags head church on the coast of North Carolina, a guy that I have looked up to for a long time, Rick. I want to say you have shaped my life. Probably way more than you realize and were both liberty grads, but you are the author of a brand-new book, and I'm excited to talk about that but first college Wednesday.
Thanks for being on truth for new generation radio and data. Good to see him.
Thank you, thank you for inviting me. It's always good to see you and I'm glad you my little detour your trip to combined stop and visit you sitting here in your office with you. I will remember 2021 years ago when I came to see you one day with an absolutely ulterior motive. I wanted to preach. It nags head church and I do remember I was down at Ray dancy at a camp. I made an appointment to come see you and you were so gracious you let me share about my vision for apologetics and you did let me come and preach and I just want to say thanks for two decades of encouragement and role modeling that we fed you back several times in some way out. I guess he is a glutton for punishment.
I guess we half cocoa we love what you do love your ministry also did or did it give us a little background on you and Gail and how God has worked in your life of these past decades, so we were both liberty grads graduated in 77 effect June 18.
That's our 41st wedding anniversary congratulate and the long haul, but the ministry almost all of that time and guts to construe a whole lot of journeys together. We have three children who are all grown, all here in negative church all serving God volunteering in ministry and in the and so we moved here to the Outer Banks in 1986 and then became. I became the pastor of this church in 1991 Sussman over 27 years January 91. So were excited to be here were at that kind of twilight era of our of our lives and ministry of 62 years old and and not sure how much longer God wants me to continue doing this. But as long as he doesn't want to be faithful to him and in preaching his word and and shepherding the flock that he's given me well as long as I've known you on that you are a faithful preacher of God's word and I think that's a big reason that the favor of the Lord has been with you, but on as long as I've ever known you to be here. You've gotten a lot of accolades on the Rick Warren years ago gave you certificate of a purpose driven Church and I see that on the wall right there and you've been covered in you know media and the newspaper. You've done a lot of innovative things when I think about nags head church in your leadership. I've watched a lot of innovation that God's given you to reach people with the gospel of Christ, get it give us because you know people hearing this out of the country.
If you are vacationing on the eastern seaboard.
If you come to the coast of North Carolina. Don't forget to go to church on Sunday and nags head is good one.
Before we go any farther. What's the website.
How can people find you well. The church website is just simply nags to church.org.org.org right next to church.org and it tells a lot about our church and and though that's our gateway to our church through the Internet.
If you will. If you could describe nags head church now 21st-century today after two decades of your leadership. What is nags head church makes a church we we want to be a community of missionaries here on the Outer Banks reaching our community but then also the world. We do a lot of missions things as well, were heavily involved in missions where we seek to be a church year when people come to visit us.
Check us out. We want them to understand there's likely to be anything here that were there to embarrass them to to threaten them were going to do all that we can do love them or to proclaim the word to them and the gospel and which we notice the only thing that really changes lives and so were an active church in our community and we believe it's we tell people we believe it's a sin to bore people at church.
A message comes our worship gatherings and and were very contemporary and things move right along. And there's the use of video and and and or music are banned, they they they bring forth a great time of worship doing that so it's a it's a welcoming week we get a lot of people tell us how welcoming we are, and we strive to do that. Our folks are heavily involved in ministry.
Over 90% of our church membership is involved in ministry here in the church. A man that's incredible how from the time that you became a Christian and got college into ministry to the very present day. How have you seen the American spiritual landscape change over the years that has changed tremendously and I became a Christian in 1966 I when I was 11-year-old boy and know what I've seen happening, especially in the last well since the really since the century began, I think there's been a huge shift and in spirituality were no were receiving. For example, we hear a lot about the millennial's drifting away from church and that they want to be spiritual people, but they just can't relate to the church and in and receiving the course. Although the moral shifts in our country and in society as is sadly I think amongst Christian people and and I not talk about this a lot to our church how important it is not to adopt the worldview of the world. But our worldview needs to come from from God from the Bible and got a trust in him and we got have wisdom and we have to walk with discernment because it is really hard these days harder than it was when I was when I was younger man to to stand for the truth, the word of God without getting some repercussions right out were talking with Pastor Rick Lawrenson of nags head church is the author of a brand-new book called the replanted church and I when we come back we can talk about this because Rick studies show that something like 8/10 churches are plateaued or declining. And so for some insights on jumpstarting the church that's maybe kind of coasting you don't want to miss this with Pastor Rick Lawrenson and nags head church state in back after this. Hey, if you are anywhere near Cary, North Carolina.
You need a joint best-selling author and apologist Dr. Alex McFarland. Christian apologist and talkshow host and founder of stand to reason Greg Coble and the president of heroes of the cross and pastor of colonial Baptist Church Family Court at colonial Baptist Church on Sunday, July 22 for the reasons to believe apologetics conference because apologetics isn't a conversation of one your teams and millennial's will learn how to protect and defend the great truths of Christianity.
How to navigate through hostile learning environments in college and high school doing more than just surviving. It's the reasons to believe apologetics conference at colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, Sunday afternoon, July 22.
Doors open it to conference begins at 230 and wraps up by six. Learn firstname.lastname@example.org first Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarland for the life answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers. Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation.
These apologetics teams. We train speaking churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times.
From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true. What about gender and moral issues. Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come. 864-977-2000 eight and always be ready and spread the lack of Sunday and hallelujah and we all can look back to team the radio Alex for eligible continuing our conversation with Pastor Rick nags at church to remind you as you hear this, people will be traveling across the country to our apologetics camp at North Greenville University, and that was so excited.
We got people from about 15 states coming to learn how to defend their faith.
Young people middle schoolers high schoolers you can keep up with what were email@example.com.
We got two big national conferences this fall.
Fall of 2018 in September will be in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Right there 30 minutes from the Nashville airport middle Tennessee State University were doing a debate at the conference. We got Josh McDowell coming Jay Warner Wallace more than eight apologist and Christian worldview speakers. Then in October were going to be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana October 20 627 wherever you are. You will not be disappointed. You will be inspired. You will be informed and equipped mobilized and dispatched so that when you get home you can live more consistently for Christ and hopefully implement worldview apologetics strategies for your discipleship and evangelism programs for the conferences we do and then we've got several coming up over the years and months ahead. Go to truth for a new generation.com truth, for truth for a new generation.com right now I want to continue our conversation with Rick Lawrenson, pastor of nags head church is also the author of the new book the replanted church. The reason Pastor Rick that I wanted to have you on is because if we got in this correspondence. Once we've gotten it 500 times people write or they call and they say our church is kind of run at a gas unit were not seeing growth when icing evangelism will get a blip here and there and then people move on and study show.
I know HP London a Focus on the Family 10 years ago.
He was telling me that 82% of churches are plateaued or declining in a plateau doesn't last very long. I mean if you're not going up your mill. Is that fast before the break, you told us about the. The landscape of of the 21st century what was nags head church like when you and Gail arrived 20 years ago and well we got here 1991 and actually began attending the church a little bit before that and it was a church, a small congregation of I would say 20 or 25 what we might call active regular members. There wasn't anything going on for the children oftentimes will come as guests to the church for Sunday school and and I would take my three children back to a room and teach them the Sunday school lesson that I had not prepared for. But they have nobody there for my kids and and you were a visitor as visitor wind, but I tell people that I described the church then is as it was a church in the 1990s that was still doing churches over the 1950s and he looked around the church and the people who were there were primarily people who look back in the 50s as the good old days and and him and there was so there was no vision for reaching the current culture that the current community they were reaching them at all. In fact they were there were not only declining as a church. They were probably just a few years from closing the doors.
That's the church that we came to weep. We prayed about coming here we are provided to you to come and and and thought you know God, why would we mean is nothing there for my family about three young children and but God had me drive past this church building daily in my and my job that I was working in construction and every Dell drive biotin and is like the spirit would we be whispering in my ear you know I could do something there. That's a great location, the community is booming.
I can do something there so when asked me to, said okay, let's give it a shot.
Amen. At well don't you think a lot of churches are in a similar position that there there are a lot of churches like that a lot of churches that need to be this I think is a subtle difference between revitalization, which is I hear a lot about that today and certainly those are churches that are maybe plateaued, maybe maybe need a shot in the arm replanting essentially is is same little room, wipe the slate clean and start all over again and there there a lot of churches that that's what they need a lot of churches in that that their community around them is changed so much that they're no longer reaching the community around them. Doesn't look like the church but yet the church continues to shrink and there's a there's a neighborhood around them all around them and they need to replant that church history needed that the folks there need to call in a new pastor who looks like the community around them here and say hey were kingdom minded here is not about our church by church, you know, so if this is about Jesus church and we want you to come in.
Here's the building here's the keys reach this community and that's replanting as well. That's not what we did but that's another way of replanting and and that's what the title of the book means really is and it might same location but really, essentially, for all practical purposes a different and new church right right in and in very many ways exactly why are people afraid to embark on a new thing point what we know. It's God's church. It's not ours. He has promised that he would build his church. But why is it hard for people because I've seen this. You know, many places where the neighborhood changes the staff in the church doesn't look anything like the current neighborhood people are being reached is on is like people, dig their heels in like we will hold our ground wire we afraid to really let God do the driving. I think it's because of the unknown.
You know and and right now are doing a series just started Sunday here in a church from Hebrews 11 and Sunday I preached Hebrews 11, one, two and three and and of faith is evidence of the unseen no and and I think I think it's a lack of faith. Largely, I think it's a lack of of the compassion. I think we settle in, and we get comfortable with us for no more, and we look around and everybody we see in an church we know them and us were very comfortable with that. But we forget who we are and why Christ is saying this and even save us to be comfortable with our with our holy huddle. He saved us to reach this world and to go into the world and reach the world of the gospel and and that's a scary thing for a lot of people were talking with Pastor Rick Lawrence, and of nags head church the website again next to church that work out will you continue getting into his book the replanted church because even if your church is thriving right now, we all want to reach more people with the gospel.
We all want to see cell say in the great commission furthered cystic team because we'll be right back with more of our conversation with Pastor Rick Lawrence hey if you are anywhere near Cary, North Carolina. You need a joint best-selling author and apologist Dr. Alex McFarland. Christian apologist and talkshow host and founder of stand to reason Greg Coble and the president of heroes of the cross and pastor of colonial Baptist Church Family Court at colonial Baptist Church on Sunday, July 22 for the reasons to believe apologetics conference because apologetics isn't a conversation of one your teams and millennial's will learn how to protect and defend the great truths of Christianity. How to navigate through hostile learning environments in college and high school doing more than just surviving. It's the reasons to believe apologetics conference at colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, Sunday afternoon, July 22.
Doors open at two conference begins at 230 and wraps up by six. Learn firstname.lastname@example.org for centuries the Bible has inspired humanity and shape the very world we live in. But how do we know this book is the word of God, not merely the words of man, what we believe about the Bible is based on what we believe about source. The God who speaks explores the evidence of the Bible's inspiration and authority to some of the world's most respected biblical scholars have essentially a geolocation, so it's true to say that Paul wrote Romans is equally true to say that God's decision. We saw that sets the Bible apart from everything else in the ancient world and its religious pantheon of gods and goddesses. The God who speaks is a feature-length documentary from the American family Association available now in the God who speaks.all that program. Alex the firm until it Pastor Rick Lawrence and planted sure plaintiff church which is a great book I've read it on. I can honestly say I've read your book, which if you going to interview somebody it's good to actually have read the book. That's a good idea and how can people find book you can. The book is found on Amazon good Amazon.com type in my name Lawrence and Ellie WRE and SON should pop up also have a website that links it simply Rick Lawrence and.com go there and in that there's a link right to the book. What were some of the hurdles and and I do want to say without sincerity.
It is an honor to have you on diamond a different church almost every weekend, 45, 46 weekends a year and I have been for 20 years and I've watched from afar and see what God is, has done through you here and it it is exciting what surely that there had to be some hurdles along the journey and and what were some of those Rick well, you know, and in any when you when you deal with people you are dealing with people who are none of us are perfect is going to be some obstacles along the way they're going to be people who resist any kind of change, and there can be people who not only resist but but will outright oppose you and try to stop you and try to stop God is doing frankly and and it's sad because I really think for the most part, those people are Christian people, but they face at this with the just don't get it, and they've lost her sense of purpose and that and there in a church that may be no has no vision and a so they don't see anything of value to changing and and so that there was opposition good bit of that. Those are some of the hurdles that that we experienced early on, and you occasionally experience even now all these years later, but it but it's it's with far less frequency because now we've established the kind of church.
God wants us to be and people come in understanding that, and if they don't want to be a part of this kind of the church, then we encourage them to find a church that they are more comfortable with them will help them do that even is been said that there are 345,000 churches in America 350,000 somewhere in that neighborhood. And yet right now I just read a statistic this week and prepping for this interview about the rise of nines and O NES and millennial's and younger like don't believe in God, what's the disconnect I mean more than 1/4 million Protestant churches. More than half a million ordained clergy honest is 100 million adults that are born again, and yet are country seems to be getting progressively darker. Please help us understand this well.
I think the biggest disconnect for four especially for the millennial generation is that they never say never.
That's a big word but too often as they viewed professing Christians live out their lives in the community in the church, whatever it might be.
They did not see genuine Christianity, the son of passion for the Lord and and didn't see it and they saw cell to I hate to use this work is is you so much against the church, but they saw a lot of hypocrisy and and I think think my generation had the greatest opportunity to change the world. When we went through revival in this country in the early 70s called the Jesus movement yes yes I and I live through that and I saw that but 10 years later, it was like you know where was it, and that generation which is my generation had the opportunity to do so impact the future and I think we dropped the ball. I think where we just, let it go. Can God give us a do over all I believe so. I hope so it is.
I think that's really hope for America where were almost at a time. Regrettably, and I want to do this again, but talk to the person who kind of assumes that all the chapters been written and they need to get a fresh vision for what God might do in the days ahead.
I like to say to people with your heart is beating in your lungs breathing in your brain is making waves. God's not through with you yet God can do amazing things he can change resurrect scale and if he can heal the sick, raise the dead, he can breathe life into a congregation.
That's right, the replanted church is a great book. I would encourage you to read it wherever you are in your journey for Christ and in your local church and they can get email@example.com.
Rick Lawrence and.com is a link to well you've got ministry work today and I've got to hit the road so you have to go. Thanks for listing folks and tell somebody about the show, but even more importantly tell somebody about Jesus in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 10231, Borough, NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404.
Give firstname.lastname@example.org or truth for a new generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next day as we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio