Denver Seminary’s podcast this week features a 40-minute conversation with the pastors of the “4Amarillo” partnership of churches in downtown Amarillo, Texas. We were all so honored and blessed by Don Payne, who came to Amarillo between Thanksgiving and Christmas to record the podcast. And we had a blast doing it.
I would encourage you to check it out. It’s only going to be on the Denver Seminary podcast page for the rest of this week. Even if you don’t have the 40-minutes to listen to it right now, at least download it, save it, and listen to it later.
On this podcast we talk about how our four friendships began (cheese enchiladas!) and then quickly evolved into our four churches committing to worship and serve together on an-going basis. We discuss the origin of the 4Amarillo logo and our first prayer meeting together. We tackle the issues that typically divide Christians and denominations and talk about how our churches and church leaders navigate those things. We’ve very specific about the things we do together: how we plan service projects and worship assemblies, why we swap pulpits and share resources. We talk about how good it is to serve together in the community, how important that is to our Christian witness, but how actually worshiping together in each other’s buildings is like a million times more effective. We also acknowledge the things we learn from each other’s churches and we emphasize, as always, that all we do is intended to point to our Lord Jesus who, as the Prince of Peace, is so much bigger than anything that might possibly divide us.
We’re also asked at the end to suggest a favorite Amarillo restaurant for anyone who might be visiting our city in the future. I am embarrassed by Howie’s suggestion. I am deeply appalled by Mark’s.
As for me being described on the Denver Seminary website and introduced on the podcast as “Reverend,” let me explain. When you hang out with three guys who have “Doctor” at the front of their names and then you’re publicly introduced by another guy who feels like he has to put something in front of your name, you wind up with “Reverend.” They feel sorry for me, I think.
I hope the podcast encourages you and inspires you to imagine and pray for the ecumenical possibilities in your own context. And then to boldly act upon them “so the world may know.” I would also love to hear your comments and any feedback on the interview.