INTERVIEW – Al Mohler, Part Four


It is a real pleasure to welcome to my blog again today, Dr. Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler should need no introduction to most of my readers, but I include a link to his
biography for any who need to know more, as well as a link to my Together for the Gospel Conference Round Up Post.

This interview is being serialised over several days. So far I have published parts one, two, and three. Today we continue to discuss Together For the Gospel.

Adrian
When I hear about the camaraderie that seems to have been part of the atmosphere of the T4G conference, it makes me think of my own experiences of being part of a band of brothers within newfrontiers. Through that experience, I am convinced that such a sense of belonging together is only possible when a group of men are led together by a certain kind of leadership – do you agree with that?

Dr. Mohler
Yes, I certainly do agree. I think that leadership has to be the humble sense of perceiving the common leadership of God in our midst. For us, that is not so much a mystical experience as it is the process of coming to a common mind, based in Scripture and theological reflection. There has never been a serious disagreement among us, and our friendship is based in a commitment to do only those things that would bring health to the church. If this is not the net result of Together for the Gospel, there is no reason at all for us to give ourselves to it. All four of us are busy enough already. That common focus keeps us very much together.

Adrian
Isn’t that the core of what the four of you do – both together and back in your own ministries? Do you think that the four of you actually fulfill similar roles in your respective spheres of influence outside your local churches despite your different formal positions and titles?

Dr. Mohler
Absolutely. The core of our common concern is a common calling to the Gospel ministry. Even though our respective titles may differ, we are all deeply involved in the pastoral and teaching ministry of the local church. Beyond this, we see the local church as the fundamental focus of our ministry and where God’s people are to be found. It seems to us that, as individuals, each of us has been placed exactly where we can be most strategically deployed at the present time. Yes, I would hope that that becomes something of a seminary president’s ministry by extension. I serve as something of a pastor to other pastors in my denominational role. This is first directed towards the students on our campus, but is extended to pastors throughout our denomination and beyond. There is a tremendous hunger among pastors for attention to their concerns and understanding of their challenges.

Adrian
When C.J. speaks about apostolic ministry with you and is referring essentially to a role in inspiring, training, mentoring, and facilitating the development of church leaders, do you sometimes (whilst presumably wanting to call it something else) think, “Hey, that’s what I do?”

Dr. Mohler
That’s what I’m trying to say. Ministry is a lonely and demanding task, and pastors especially need the encouragement of other pastors and church leaders. I am somewhat reluctant to embrace the more generalized term of “leaders” simply because our specific focus is on those who are called to Gospel leadership through the teaching ministry of the local church.

Adrian
Would you agree that it is that sort of leadership of other leaders that is one of the pressing needs of the church today?

Dr. Mohler
The relational aspects are absolutely important. If anything, my experience in recent years has reminded me of this urgent responsibility. I think you can find this within the New Testament—especially within the Book of Acts and the letters of the Apostle Paul.

Adrian
Is this value of being relational one of the key things, in fact, that ties the four of you together? Or are other things more important?

Dr. Mohler
The relationship among Christ’s pastors, ministers, and servants is a reflection of our common love for Christ and commitment to the truth. We must not only agree with each other concerning these things; we should truly love each other. I am humbled by the fact that God has given me some of the most pleasant, bright, kind, clever, and gifted persons as colleagues. I am especially glad of the fact that we care deeply for each other, for each other’s families, and for each other’s ministries. A common heart and a common mind. It is the common convictions and sense of vision that established our friendship—not the other way around.

Adrian
Are their other things that you all hold in common? How important are they to the success of the Together for the Gospel initiative?

Dr. Mohler
Well, we do hold other things in common. I am sure it is not an accident that we find ourselves at a rather common stage of life and experience. But when it comes to matters of more avocational interests, our paths quickly diverge. C. J. is a sports fanatic, and Lig was heavily involved in collegiate athletics. Mark and I are generally left out of their conversations on those matters. On the other hand, we are united in many common interests, ranging from books and music to culture and food. We truly delight in each other’s eccentricities. And, considering the four of us together, there are a lot of eccentricities to go around.

Continued in Part Five . . . .


About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and part of the leadership team of Jubilee Church, London for more than ten years, serving alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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