Bishop Mark Lawrence: ‘Faithful Preaching’ Key to Church Growth

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Lawrence has previously said he will wait a year before making any major changes in South Carolina. That said he has a low tolerance for weak, uninspired preaching.

“I feel unabashedly comfortable talking about my personal experience with Jesus Christ,” he said. “We [as a church seem to] get all tied up arguing about whether Jesus is the only way to God. He is God.

“The trouble with so much preaching in The Episcopal Church is that it resembles a new moralism. We ought to oppose the war. We ought to support the Millennium Development Goals … It’s a religion of nagging.

“Our preaching needs to be faithful to the gospel of the lordship of Jesus Christ. When our preaching is faithful, the Anglican/Episcopal tradition is more than capable of reaching our culture for Christ.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* South Carolina

Posted March 27, 2008 at 8:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Charley wrote:

I’m am beyond tired of pastors who are worried about everybody but the lost souls sitting in front of them every Sunday morning.  Mark Lawrence does not seem to be this kind of pastor, now thankfully, bishop.  Very refreshing.

March 27, 10:48 am | [comment link]
2. Cennydd wrote:

+Lawrence’s statement about “the gospel of the lordship of Jesus Christ” seems to have fallen on deaf ears at the highest level of leadership of The Episcopal Church.  His comments are refreshing.

March 27, 11:41 am | [comment link]
3. Doug Hale wrote:

I wish he was my Bishop.

March 27, 12:08 pm | [comment link]
4. TLDillon wrote:


March 27, 12:18 pm | [comment link]
5. AKMA wrote:

A very good sign for the vitality of the church in SC—it will be interesting to see how Bp. Lawrence goes about invigorating preaching ministries; I hope that bishops who disagree with him about certain topics won’t be reluctant to learn from him if he succeeds in this mission.

March 27, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
6. Albany* wrote:

The job of the preacher is to clean up the mess made by our sixties parents as pastorally as possible, realizing that we—this Church—made the very people to whom we are preaching. Looked at from this perspective, self-righteous excess and impatience are avoided.

March 27, 2:36 pm | [comment link]
7. Laura R. wrote:

“We [as a church seem to] get all tied up arguing about whether Jesus is the only way to God. He is God. . . The trouble with so much preaching in The Episcopal Church is that it resembles a new moralism.”

What a brilliantly concise summary of what has gone wrong in the Episcopal Church!  God bless and prosper Bishop Lawrence.

March 27, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
8. WestJ wrote:

I’m glad he is my bishop.

March 27, 3:45 pm | [comment link]
9. Chris wrote:

I’m unclear as to why he’d make major changes in any case - SC is doing quite well, thanks.  It’s reasonable to assume 815 could grow hostile towards us though, so you’ve got to keep your options open.  The recent SC clergy day with ++Schori was in one participant’s opinion a disaster.  Not a good harbinger….

March 27, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
10. Harry Edmon wrote:

A “religion of nagging” is a religion of Law.  That is the problem.  Christianity includes both Law and Gospel, with the Gospel as the preeminent message.

March 27, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
11. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

I believe the context is in the question asked of him, and he answered, not him initiating the statement, as in creatio ex nihilo.


March 27, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
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