Recently, I spoke at the Extraordinary Women conference outside of Charlotte in Concord, N.C. My topic was Jesus’s powerful question, “What do you mean, ‘If I can?'” (see Mark 9:23) Bible teacher, Angie Smith, was also one of the speakers and she asked me an interesting question, “Jeremiah what is the favorite part of what you do with Christian Thinkers Society?” I could have answered any number of ways:
(i) creating content that is relevant and also historically/biblically reliable; or
(ii) meeting other gifted speakers, authors, and artists; or
(iii) my work as a hybrid apologist bringing together the best of scholarship to a wider audience for the purpose of eliminating the suffering of unbelief and doubt faced by so many Christians; or even
(iv) seeing numerous decisions for Christ through our events, broadcasts, and resources – both first time decisions, but also those returning to their faith after serious doubts or difficult life circumstances.
I didn’t offer any of these important reasons in answer to Angie’s question. My answer was, “Angie, my favorite aspect of serving through Christian Thinkers Society is the opportunity I have to engage with so many people in the raw moments of life through our events and on our radio show. I love to meet them, pray with them, but most importantly, listen to their stories and answer questions from a biblical perspective. The Bible gives life!”
Case in point: last weekend I prayed with Kim. She lost her husband to suicide eight years ago. I prayed with a mom because her son, Grayson, attempted suicide at age nine because of bullying (he is eleven now and doing well). I listened to a mom share the story of her son who left the faith because he was sexually abused by another church staff member and just cannot understand why God would allow this. I discussed the importance of a biblical worldview with a mother whose two children both left Christianity while attending university.
Friends, are you listening? There are so many who are hurting and their hurt is compounded because of silence and the paralysis of being stuck in the pain of life. If you are a Christian leader, pastor, or someone of influence, please be approachable. Be humble. Be available.
Audrey and I did not launch Christian Thinkers Society to hit a certain number of social media “likes,” or to stand on big platforms, or have significant media exposure. To be sure, those are symptoms and byproducts of ministry in our era, but they are certainly not the goal.
I often remember Jesus, who ministered to the point of exhaustion, because he listened, was available and approachable.