The greatest opportunities of our lives will not be those that we go after but those that come after us unexpectedly. They are God moments—not things that we would choose or even desire. If anything, they are “Moses” moments: “Not me Lord, send Aaron.” Sometimes in the middle of a whirlwind we find ourselves at the right place at the right time with a hard and unwanted job. We can either embrace the moment, follow God, face our fear and pay the price or quietly retreat into silence and human security only to wonder “what if” the rest of our lives. Those moments of opportunity carry with them the ability to act and a responsibility.
That is exactly how I feel about the Global Faith Forum that we are hosting at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. What all started as a call to the world for and out of a local church took us to challenging places around the world. Along the way people of other faiths have become my close friends. Many of them are world leaders—and initially the Global Faith Forum was a response to a request from several of them to come visit our church and meet other pastors like me. This multi-faith dialogue is so important for Christians because it’s the gospel message. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, and I believe that you can’t reach and hate a people at the same time.
It’s important to interact with people of other faiths because we share common needs. By coming together there are some things people of all religions want:
- We want others to know what we believe and we honestly want to know what others believe. Nobody wants to be judged or treated as second class. We want our message heard and this kind of dialogue gives us that opportunity.
- Each of us has questions about what the other believes, about their worldview, about why they do what they do.
- Each of us want relationships that we can trust so that when things are hard or difficult or a crisis comes we have someone to talk to.
- I believe we want legitimate friendships and opportunities to serve together in our cities and world for the common good.
The world is connected and I’m convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ. I’m also convinced it is no longer realistic and even safe to communicate and relate to people of other faiths in the same we did in the past. This is the 21st century!
Communicating words, however, is not enough. Hearts and relationships must be cultivated for real communication to take place. That’s the kind of great opportunity I hope the Global Faith Forum can be. Join us on March 6-7 at a historic event that is an opportunity to move from a conversation about other faiths, to a conversation with one another. It’s a historic gathering unlike most have ever been to, where leaders with different faiths and worldviews come together to talk about how we can better understand and communicate with one another in the 21st century.
Global Faith Forum
March 6-7, 2022
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX