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Until Baptists demonstrate love for each other, the gospel of love they preach will not attract others, speakers told the opening session of the annual Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference June 21.
Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla.,former pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, pointed to five attitudes that should characterize Christian’s dealings with each other—harmonization, identification, intention, compassion and submission.
It pays to be nice
Baptists have a tendency to “square off” over divisions and seek first to discover differences about each other, rather than areas of agreement, he said.
Christians who do not return evil for evil, nor insult for insult present a positive witness before a watching world, he stressed. Brunson mentioned The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, written by two women who rose to the top of the advertising business by following a simple philosophy: “It pays to be nice.” He suggested Baptists try that tactic.
“If they don’t like us, they won’t listen to us,” he said.
People don’t hear the gospel because they are “turned off by the condescending and self-deluding way we talk” about the sins of others, Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, N.C, said. “Gospel people speak with humility.”
Those things said at the conference are for all the Christians. We can attract people to our churches when we as Christians and church members act like followers of Christ. If people do not find us friendly how are they going to stay in contact with us? How can we reach an ear if we do not have an open attitude? Jesus golden rule was to love our neighbour.Friendliness and responsiveness to others that others will also be easier to approach us is what we do have to have in mind.
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