Pastor Lutzer Poised to Assume Wider Media Role
Pastor Lutzer Explains His New Media Role and Opportunities Ahead
My wife, Rebecca, and I have always prayed that God would lead us in His will, and He has been faithful in giving us clear direction throughout our lives. This has been especially true in the past few months as we have been challenged to step into a new role that will enable me to give more attention to our growing Media Ministry. I look forward to devoting more time to you, our faithful listeners.
During the past few months I have been greatly encouraged by the impact of Running to Win throughout many areas of the United States and abroad. Last fall we conducted two radio rallies, one in Nashville and the other in St. Louis. The response we received was far greater than any one of us could have predicted. Hundreds attended to hear me speak on the topic, “When the State Becomes God.” I realized then that Moody Church Media was not only far reaching, but people were eager to hear the Bible applied to their growing concerns with our decaying culture.
In the months ahead and in order to expand Moody Church Media, I’ll be transitioning into a new role as Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church. This will give me more freedom to speak at rallies, hold seminars, and write books that speak directly to the issues of our time. And, I will have more opportunity to help train leaders who will shepherd the church in the next generation. And of course, Running to Win will be going into more markets!
As many of you may know, I was born in Canada and for years I ministered here in the United States as a Canadian citizen. However, many years ago I became an American Citizen because of my growing love of this country (My wife, Rebecca, and our children were already American citizens since they were born here). So, the United States is my chosen homeland, and I have to say, “I am proud to be an American!” As the years have gone by, I’ve found my burden for this country constantly increasing.
The world is a different place than when I became Senior Pastor of The Moody Church 35 years ago. I feel as if I’ve had a ringside seat watching the turn in light of America’s unraveling spiritual and political culture. Should we publicly oppose same-sex marriage or should we just show people God’s love? Should we minimize (or ignore) doctrines such as God’s judgment and focus on the more positive aspect of the Christian life? Or, can we do both? Should the church have nothing to do with politics, or is there a role for political involvement if done correctly? What does faithfulness to the Gospel look like in a nation that’s lost its way? We desperately pray for revival, but what if it doesn’t come?
These are the kinds of questions to which I have given a great deal of thought. It is my intention to speak to these and other issues and to give both direction and hope to a wider audience. Rebecca and I have also conducted seminars for pastors and their wives, and in the future we may come to your area!
You, our friends, have had such a great part in our Media Ministry! Your prayers and gifts to Moody Church Media have made all of this possible, and with these changes we need your support now more than ever before. Thank you for helping us “make it across the finish line.”
In order to better understand what this transition will mean for Pastor Lutzer we sat down with him to ask him some questions.
Q: You want to devote more time to speaking and writing on issues that are important to the church. What will this look like?
A: Some time ago I preached a series of messages titled, The Church in Babylon: Unleashing the Power of a Spirit-Filled Witness. That is where I see the church today—it’s facing the same issues as the Jews in Babylon who had to adjust to life as a minority population serving God in a pagan culture. I intend to write a book that uses this background to many of the issues facing the church today.
Also, I will speak to these issues through Moody Church Media and through interview, rallies, and seminars. Although I am 73 years old, given the longevity of my parents (my father died at 106, and my mother at 103!), I am trusting God for many more years of productive ministry!
Q: You speak about relating the Bible to the problems facing the Church today. What kind of insights will you use to give the Church some hope when so much of the news today is discouraging?
A: I believe that the evangelical church has lost its sense of history. Sometimes we think and act as if the Church has never before faced the issues we face in our contemporary culture. One of the perspectives I hope to bring to the table is the lessons learned from church history. Historically, the Church has faced the same challenges we do now and has been victorious on many levels. Think of what the Church is facing today in other countries where the penalty for faithfulness to the Gospel is death. We can learn from the courage of those who have gone before us; God is with His people even when everything seems to be falling apart around us.
And, by the way, in 2016 Baker Publishing will be releasing a book I am writing on the Protestant Reformation. The year 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther courageously nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Certainly our culture is very different than in those days, but just so, we must rescue the Gospel in our day as well. Church history is a rich source of instruction and hope.
Q: How is the internet being used today to further your ministry, getting the Word of God to as many people as possible?
A: The internet is a powerful tool because it reaches over forty percent of the world’s population. Through social media and our website, moodymedia.org, we are currently reaching people in over 200 countries. As we continue to explore new media-based outreach methods, we hope to reach a whole new generation and even more countries with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Q: What about the ongoing ministry of The Moody Church?
A: The Moody Church has begun the search for a new Senior Pastor. It would be impossible for me to continue as the Senior Pastor and assume the wider role I have outlined.