A few years ago, I came across an Indy Star (the major newspaper in Indianapolis, Indiana) article that featured statements by several lay Christians about the Gospel and the Christian sexual ethic. At a time when many Christians tripped over or muttered a response to such issues, I was impressed by these Christians’ ability to winsomely articulate Biblical truth. What did all of these Christians have in common? They were/are members of Living Stones Church in Crown Point, Indiana.

Meet their Pastor, Dr. Ron Johnson, who leads a growing church as well as the Indiana Pastor’s Alliance, an alliance of clergy, churches and Christian organizations who have come together to impact Indiana for the glory of God and the good of its people. In this conversation, we discussed:

  1. The connection between the Gospel and public/community life;
  2. How Living Stones “programs” or systematizes such efforts;
  3. Why such efforts have helped Living Stones grow as a church; and
  4. His goals at the state level and how he balances his responsibilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pastor Johnson tells a great story about his run for the state legislature while still a student pastor.
  • An explanation of his admonition to not be a “pulpit prostitute” and to recover a prophetic role.
  • He asks a great question, “Aren’t you tired of just blessing the chicken?” Many communities have limited the role of the pastor to benign prayers at community events. It’s time to change that!
  • His “billboard” statement: “Jesus Christ is Lord of all.”
  • Great quote: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.