By Joy Allmond
On March 28-30th, Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastor and author, Jim Cymbala, will come to The Cove to speak on “Ministering Christ to Others.” In this interview, Pastor Cymbala discusses the Gospel, Church misconceptions, and the Holy Spirit.
Cove: What are some of the things you will set out to discuss during this seminar?
Cymbala: I’m going to talk about the calling that’s on all of us to minister to people, especially those of us in leadership. We’re going to discuss the importance of the Word and the importance of the Word being the seed and planting that seed. We’ll explore what is the Gospel and what is not the Gospel.
Cove: I would imagine that most (if not all) of the people in attendance are already believers. Why is it important to review the Gospel with them?
Cymbala: It seems to be a review of that which seems simple, but foundational things can be lost. When we lose this, we’re at a disadvantage when we’re trying to produce fruit for the glory of Christ. We have to constantly depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. In some cases, He’s the forgotten member of the Trinity.
So, we’ll talk about that and also the kind of heart that’s needed to share Christ. Sometimes our sharing can become mechanical and sterile and we’re not seeing people the way God sees them. That can disqualify us from being really effective. When we preach the Good News but not have the heart of Christ, we miss the blessing and power available God promised us when we do His work.
Cove: What are some of the misconceptions the Church has about the Gospel?
Cymbala: There are lots of misconceptions, but there are a few very common ones I see. Some believe that Jesus died without call to repentance—to just believe. Once I was visiting a church in another state. At the end of the service, the minister said, “Right now as I close, pray this prayer out loud, ‘Dear Jesus, I know you died for me. I put my trust in you.’ Now you’ve just become a Christian.”
48% of the people who call themselves “born again” evangelicals do not believe Christ lived a sinless life. 1,200 people stop reading the Bible every day. This boils down to a lack of sound teaching in the Word of God.
Then on the other hand there is legalism. We tell God we’re going to try to live a better life. When we do this, we try to produce only what the Holy Spirit can. How can we be holy without Him controlling our lives?
This hinders us when we try to minister to people.
Cove: What do you hope to see happen as a result of this seminar?
Cymbala: I want to see God revive us, fill us with the Holy Spirit. I want Him to give us a new compassion, a new dependence on God’s word, a new faith, just a new beginning. The great thing about Christianity is no matter how you find yourself backsliding, getting hard-hearted, or getting mechanical in your worship, God is so good that He always can give you a new beginning.
For more information and to register for Pastor Jim Cymbala’s seminar, click here or call 1-800-950-2092. Will Graham, grandson to Billy Graham, and Executive Director at The Cove, will lead the closing session.