Let the Together for Adoption Conference session notes begin. First up was Darrin Patrick.
Darrin Patrick serves as lead pastor of The Journey in Saint Louis, Missouri, which he founded in 2002. Darrin also serves on the board of directors of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network as Vice President and is a regular contributor at the Resurgence. His passion is to help the church understand and live the gospel in the world. Today, The Journey runs eight services across four campuses and continues to aggressively plant new campuses and churches in the Saint Louis region and beyond. He has written two books, Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission and A Church for the City with Matt Carter. Darrin is married to his high school sweetheart, Amie, and they have four beautiful children: Glory, Grace, Drew, and Delaney. Darrin enjoys vacations with his family, basketball, good food, good books, good movies, and weightlifting.
“I didn’t want to build a good church, I wanted to build a great city.”
But here were the alarming stats in the city where he lives and works, Saint Louis: 15,000 single moms, 30% of people living in poverty, 3,000 kids in foster care, and 54% of kids not graduating from high school.
Preaching and gathering (proclamation) was not enough. We needed to do something.
We are called to love God and love people. If you don’t understand that is a tension. You aren’t doing either.
There is a natural tension there. Jesus felt it too. Yet, He was never so distracted by the needs of people that He failed to reach their greatest need through ministry and teaching.
Social justice will distract people from the gospel. It is imperative that we nail down the definition of the gospel. And understand that we don’t do works to receive grace but because we have received grace.
If you don’t know your neighbors, don’t go and do something to change the world. Go, get to know them, and go meet some of those needs.
Social injustice is taking advantage of people who have little or no power. Social justice is meeting the tangible needs of those who have little or no power and fighting systematic oppression that drives the injustice.
What do we do?
The church is called, first and foremost, to proclaim the gospel.
You must not use social justice to avoid the offense of the cross.
Churches should plant other churches.
The “institutional” church must equip individuals who will become the “organic” church.