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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

David Hardage: Cross Cultural Ministry

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston advises Christians to not ignore the important questions they have. “We don’t allow any question to paralyze us in our faith,” he says. “I’m blessed by all the questions that are coming in on AskJJJ.com. This is the show where we tackle the tough questions and we take seriously the commandment to love God with our heart, soul, and mind, and love others.”

The call to love God is fittingly accompanied by the call to love and reach others. Dr. David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, known as Texas Baptists, oversees the outreach organization. Texas Baptists includes about 5,300 churches statewide.

“It’s very humbling and challenging,” Hardage says of his role. “People are immigrating to Texas from all over the world and migrating from all the other 49 states.”

The organization reaches people in numerous evangelistic capacities, and notably through the Baptist Student Ministry programs on higher education campuses. “I believe, nowadays, the most impressionable people in society are 18, 19 and 20-year-olds,” Hardage says. “We look at the college and university campuses as a mission filed.”

Each person who is a believer, whether filling a ministry or a mainstream vocational role, has a calling and a mission. While demographics and more change, the role of a Christ-follower remains foundational. “It’s just living out Gospel with a sense of disciple-making,” Hardage explains. “The Gospel still speaks to people wherever they are. The Gospel will not return void.”

Hardage underscores the service of people who serve as teachers, coaches, and in positions in which many lives are affected. “Ministry is not just behind the pulpits on Sunday,” he says. “I want to be a man of integrity. I’ve got to be the same on Sunday as Monday.”

Johnston reminds listeners of John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” He says, “When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, it inspires us to welcome the Kingdom of God on Earth and also make the world a better place – to confront evil with good.”


Dr. David Hardage is the executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, known as Texas Baptists. He has served as a pastor and interim pastor, and served in leadership roles in faith-based and educational organizations. Texas Baptists encompasses about 5,300 member church congregations in Texas. At colleges and universities, the convention is carrying out the great commission through Baptist Student Ministry programs. The Texas Baptists organization supports evangelism, discipleship, missions, legislative advocacy, and offers counseling resources.

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Lee Strobel on Miracles

 

Author of “The Case for Miracles,” Lee Strobel explores stories of the miraculous in his latest book. He joins Dr. Jeremiah Johnston to discuss the book and the necessity of evangelism, as outlined in I Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

“If you have the cure to a fatal illness, you would be immoral if you kept it to yourself,” Strobel says. “The reason for us to give reasons why we believe what we believe is increasingly important. We have a defensible faith and can share that we are following Christ because there is solid, evidentiary reasoning behind our reason to follow Him.”

Evangelism can mean inviting people to church, helping provide for their needs, or simply sharing one’s story of salvation and redemption. Johnston emphasizes the need for believers to write their testimonies and tell them.

“Other people are more interested in spiritual matters than we think they are,” Strobel says. “Relate it to the other person: ‘I used to think like you did.’”

The miracle that Christianity centers around is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “I came to faith through a miracle, which is the resurrection,” Strobel says. In researching “The Case for Miracles,” Strobel further explored elements of the supernatural in the faith. “My sticking point was, ‘Is God still doing miracles today? Do we have credible evidence?’ I researched examples where there are no naturalistic explanations. Even in peer-reviewed, secular journals, there are examples where there is no natural explanation other than God intervening. Some of the stories I encountered absolutely blew my mind.”

Strobel’s takeaway from the book is for Christians to be bold in their prayer lives. “You can ask God for miracles in your life as well,” he says.


Lee StrobelLee Strobel is perhaps best known for his classic book, “The Case for Christ.” A former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, Strobel has authored more than 20 books, and has inspired many who have heard him speak as well. His book, “The Case for Miracles,” explores the miraculous in modern times.

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Dr. Jack Graham: Keys to Ministry Faithfulness and Balance

 

Pastor of the Dallas-area church, Prestonwood Baptist Church, for three decades, Dr. Jack Graham is a seasoned pastoral leader. Discussing the basics of ministry and an effective work-life balance with Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, Graham says, “The greatest thing you can do is to tell a person about Jesus and the way of salvation and the way to know Christ and live forever. The ministry of the Church is to find a need and fill it – find a hurt and help it.”

Leading in ministry is a challenge, and believers do well to remain teachable and dependent upon God, Graham says. “The Christian life is not hard. It’s impossible in our own strength. Ministry is the same,” he said. “I made the wonderful discovery of the Spirit-filled life.”

While Christians can mature with time, they are also at risk for becoming cynics with difficult life experiences, Graham notes. “As you get older, you would think it would get easier to believe, but there are things that can happen and challenge people’s faith and make it harder to believe,” he says. “I’ve endeavored to maintain my role as a student. Keep your knees on the floor and your nose in the book.”

The way the Church will continue to survive and thrive is through evangelism and avoiding turning inward too much, Graham says. “Every day is an opportunity to get up and do something that makes an eternal difference in someone’s life,” he says. “When Jesus is at the core of our ministry, His love flows through us.”


Jack GrahamDr. Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, and is known for his role as a faithful teacher through PowerPoint Ministries. The mission of the ministries is “to glorify God by introducing Jesus Christ as Lord to as many people as possible, and to develop them in Christian living using the most effective means to impact the world, making an eternal difference in this generation.”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Drew Dyck: Your Future Self Will Thank You!

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston and Drew Dyck, author and editor, discuss the importance of developing winning habits. Even the Apostle Paul admitted to struggling with his behavior: “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

Christians today face the need to be balanced, self-controlled and consistent as well. In his book, “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science,” Dyck gives practical strategies for growing in self-discipline. The book’s focus is something that everyone can relate to, he says.

“I was hoping it would resonate with others. There is a gap between what you do and what you seem to be able to do,” Dyck says. “Self-control is foundational.”

While limiting oneself might seem negative, it is truly freeing, Dyck says, enabling people to withstand temptations and to do things they should even when they least feel like it. “As you choose to do the right thing – as you say ‘no’ to temptations – your willpower can actually increase,” he says. “Just like a muscle, if you give it resistance, if you use it more, it grows stronger with use.”

Habits, whether they are good or bad, are default actions that people take in various situations. They are unconscious routines that are a result of familiar cues and perceived rewards. If the habits are not in line with a person’s values or goals, he or she may initiate new practices. Initially, fresh habits require extra effort, but eventually, they become easier, Dyck says. Striving can be viewed in a negative way, but it is biblical. “I think the key is, instead of striving against God, strive with the Spirit,” he says.

Johnston encourages listeners to prioritize prayer in all they seek to do. Sometimes, goal-setters want to call it quits when they make a mistake, but perseverance is key, Dyck asserts. “As a Christian, we have the ultimate fresh start,” he says.


Drew Dyck (1)Drew Dyck is an acquisitions editor for Moody Publishers and a contributing editor at CTPastors.com. He released his book, “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science,” in 2019.