Jim Cymbala's visit to Scotland
Jim Cymbala from Brooklyn Tabernacle came and spoke to large number of pastors and leaders in a number of cities throughout Scotland, in September 2023.
First a disclaimer, I've never read any of his books. I've never listened to his sermons. The one exception is when I visited a Baptist Church sometime around 2000 when I was a new Christian and they happened to be showing a video of him preaching. I recall being blessed by his strong preaching. That was it. I never read anything again.
I attended his recent meeting at Freedom City Church in Cumbernauld. Life changing is not an exaggeration. And I know I am not alone. I'm in a What's App group with some other pastors and leaders, and all of them have spoken about the personal impact that Jim's message had upon them.
One of the most moving parts of the meeting was the sight of a few hundred pastors and leaders kneeling at the altar, with a number of them crying out in repentance with tears.
That doesn't happen every day.
Jim had just preached, and shared some vulnerability in a way that pierced hearts. He called us to compassion.
Here was a man who could show off his 'success'. Big church. Big preaching gift. Big book sales. etc. etc. Yet he exposed 'success' for what it is. A fleeting illusion. True success is humility of character and the souls we reach for Christ.
Jim, in his second session, brought some challenges.
He rebuked us for exchanging true worship for a concert where no one is singing; he rebuked us for denominational divisions; he rebuked us for preaching long self indulgent sermons and encouraged us to remember the pressures people are under -- don't make believers suffer under sermons or worship services that are too long. Sometimes less is more. He also rebuked us for misusing the gifts of the Spirit and allowing manifestations to dominate church services in a way that is off-putting to the lost. Jim also challenged us to make sure we are preaching the one true gospel. He rebuked the idea of making secondary issues like 'five-point Calvinism' a benchmark of orthodoxy.
In a nutshell he reminded us to preach the true gospel, receive the Spirit's power, and preach the gospel with pure motives.
We hear you, Jim.
Personally, Jim has encouraged me and challenged me. I was encouraged because a number of his convictions are convictions I share. I was challenged because we all need to realign our hearts with our convictions.
So, this pastor is thankful to Jim for coming to Scotland in humility and with anointing.
Haste ye back, Jim.