Sunday morning was tense across America as churchgoers sought to balance their faith with the friction in Ferguson. Many Pastors rose to the arduous task of comforting the hurting hearts as many reflected back to last summer. As the sub-conscious cries of "not again" ring out, Pastors are faced with again comforting laity with scripture. Pastor Bryan L. Carter of Concord Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas did a remarkable job doing just that on yesterday.
Pastor Carter taught from Mark 4 where Jesus calms the storm saying: "Peace, Be Still". Pastor Carter so eloquently explained that Ferguson is in crisis, a storm. He also explained to congregants in each service (8am, 10am and 12pm) that the local church is the hope of the world and should lead the charge for reconciliation. In touch with the storm at home, Pastor Carter noted the striking similarities between Ferguson and Dallas. Injustice across America hadn't overshadowed the tragedies here at home. Carter referenced Ferguson, Dallas, New York City and countless other cities in America.
In his 30 minute message, Carter challenged Concord Dallas to build bridges, engage people who are different than them and build lasting relationships with them. He also challenged the members and visitors to prioritize education in their respective communities. Citing disturbing details from within the Dallas ISD, he issued the challenge to also raise the value of education. Educational opportunities have been lost due to the alarming rate of teen parenthood and Pastor Carter also challenged parents to raise the bar for parenting.
Quoting Proverbs 22:6, Pastor Carter reassured parents that they are needed and are vital. He conceded that teen parenting has ripped the core out our communities and the community hasn't done enough to reduce fatherlessness. He encouraged all in attendance not to devalue the 'daddy factor'. Providing eye opening statistics, Carter also referenced those who are without their fathers.
For this, he celebrated Paul, a great mentor. From this point in the message, Pastor Carter outlined the importance of genuine mentorship. In order for the next generation to achieve its purpose, mentorship is imperative. He said of Paul: "He pulled something out of Timothy that Timothy didn't know he had in him." The older generation has a responsibility to reach back and help the next generation, not just sit back and wait for it to happen.
The trends among young people in this current society are disturbing indeed but the savior has rebuked the wind and seas that threaten the community. The disciples asked Jesus: "...careth not that we perish?" Equipped with the power of the risen Christ, Pastor Carter issued these points for calming the storms raging in communities worldwide:
- Get involved in mentoring
- Watch the news, but through the lens of your Christian faith
- Know that the Lord wants to use you in your community
Standing behind his own words, Pastor Carter and Concord Dallas have risen to the challenge. Next week, Concord will celebrate its "Back to School Sunday". In attendance for next week's services will be 12 mentoring agencies from across Dallas. Pastor Carter, a successful Pastor, effective leader and successor savant intimated that the true success of a church is measured solely by its presence in the community and in an effort to prevent any tragedies akin to Ferguson, Concord is stepping up in the community saying "Peace Be Still".
Click here to watch the sermon in its entirety