Luis Palau, who started his missionary career in 1962, has traveled the world preaching the Gospel to millions. Yet, the 80-year-old Argentinian evangelist says there are still a few special locales remaining on his bucket list of places to bring the Good News.
Palau, who recently preached to an estimated 60,000 people in New York City’s famous Central Park, has “personally shared the Gospel with more than 30 million people through evangelistic events in more than 75 nations, and hundreds of millions more through radio and television,” according to his self-named ministry, The Luis Palau Association.
In the first of a two-part interview with The Christian Post, Palau comments on his most recent campaign, NY CityFest-CityServe, which brought together 1,700 local churches to assist their communities and schools through service projects. He also shares what he has learned by working with the NYC Latino evangelical community and lists some of the top places around the world where he would still like to preach.
The interview was conducted on Saturday, July 11, before Palau was to deliver his main message on stage at NY CityFest in Central Park. The transcript has been edited for clarity, and the questions re-worded for better context.
CP: What is the NY CityFest Central Park event about?
Palau: Today (Saturday, July 11) is a climax of sorts of a certain wave but it will carry on. This now will go on, God willing, for many years. The cooperation is growing among churches. The number of churches, I think, is growing. Some, the minority churches, the Latinos particularly, but others also, have always felt a little isolated. I think now they feel more integrated, properly so. I think there’s going to be in the future more working together. I hope the Latinos, senior people who have authority over congregations or denominations, that they will see that this is an opportunity to lead the Body of Christ, the Church, forward.
Some that I thought have a reputation in town, but have not involved themselves, I think have forfeited the authority over some … many, many currents of the evangelical movement and they’ve forfeited their authority and they’ll never recuperate it.
Many of the pastors who are small church pastors, the vast majority have to work two jobs, they’re bi-vocational. I honor them for that. I just bow before these fellows, who with their families have two jobs: pastoring a church and working for a cash-living. I honor their faithfulness and the spouse’s faithfulness. So we learned it by accident. We wanted to have a meeting at 10 a.m. and none of the churches appeared, only a few hot shots who had a secretary and an assistant, you know. Then we realized, they’re working that’s why.
Those Latino fellows, and there are others, too, I think that these guys are gonna be leaders in the future. And not the long-term future. I was exhorting some of them right on the platform: “It’s your chance to bless the Body and lead the Body of Christ.” Because the Body of Christ needs leadership, not authoritative or from the top down, but just moral, spiritual, motivational, in the Holy Spirit. … Motivate God’s people to witness and to serve and do it in fellowship. That was the prayer of the Lord Jesus.
I’ve been speaking in a lot in the churches the last two years and one of my main themes is John 17: Father, may they be one so that the world may believe that you sent me. So (Jesus’) great passion was that “the world may believe that they sent me.” How is that done? By uniting the Body. How do you unite the Body? By being filled with the indwelling Christ, because He says, “Father, you in me and I in them so that we may be perfectly one.”
What makes us one is not the form of baptism or that we have male or female pastors or secondary issues, but it’s Christ in us. That gives us the motivation to love. Anyway, long sermon there. But it’s true, it’s important. And I think the leadership of the evangelical movement of New York is gonna change hands. It was in hands that refused to use the authority that God gave them and now I think you’re gonna see Latinos, Jamaicans, Koreans — I was excited to be in a Korean church where they really tried to bring in Latinos, and they did, quite a bit. They have to keep working on it, because there are cultural things and so on.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Christian Post