Q&A with Bishop Claude Alexander

Q&A with Bishop Claude Alexander


Bishop Claude Alexander has served as the senior pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 26 years. A graduate of Morehouse College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he has exercised leadership in various civic and religious capacities. He serves on the boards of Charlotte Center City Partners, Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, <i>Christianity Today</i>, the Mission America Coalition and the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops. He is also the vice chairman of the GordonConwell Board of Trustees.

Q: In addition to leading a large church in Charlotte, you are also a civic leader in your community. How do the Scriptures inform your engagement and leadership outside the church? 01

Both the Old and New Testaments speak of God’s people exerting a redemptive and sanctifying impact on society. In so doing, a witness is given to God. Through the Word becoming flesh, dwelling among us and revealing the grace and truth of the Father, we are given our example and a challenge to likewise dwell among those in the world and reveal God’s grace and truth. As light and salt, we are called to be clarifiers, transformers and preservers. This is done through the good works we do, the love we show, the peace we pursue, the justice we seek, the humility we display, the mercy we extend and the righteousness we exhibit. As Jesus was moved by compassion to bring healing to others, so are we called to restorative action in the world, fueled by compassion.

Q: As the pastor of The Park Church for more than 25 years, how have you seen Bible engagement change in your congregation during that time? Are people more engaged, less engaged or engaged in different ways with the Scriptures than 25 years ago? 02

I have seen a diminishing in the acceptance of the Bible’s authority in the hearts and minds of our culture. As a result, the Bible is no longer seen as necessary to people as it once was. With the emergence of secularism and pluralism, which make all claims of truth subjective and equally valid, the Scriptures seem to have less sway.

With that being said, the advent of YouVersion and other Bible apps have made access to the Bible greater than ever before. With the access comes a greater possibility of people engaging with the Scriptures.

Q: According to Barna research, many people are “hearers of the Word” rather than “readers of the Word”— that is, they hear the Bible read and preached at church but do not read it on their own. From your long experience in the pulpit, how have you seen the preaching and proclamation of God’s word transform people’s lives? 03

The preaching of God’s word has been and continues to be a means by which many are brought into a saving and transformative relationship with Jesus Christ. Where the word of God is declared, people are challenged to meet the God of the Scriptures in ways that critique, convict, heal, restore, revive and guide them. Also, when pastors preach through a book of the Bible, members are encouraged to increase their reading in preparation for or reflection on the messages that are preached.

The challenge then becomes developing a personal hunger and thirst for the word of God during the week. That is why we use various read-through-the-Bible challenges each year. This year we are using OWNit365 Whole Year Bible Plan.

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