Dr. Greg Waybright’s relational warmth, passionate preaching, and burden for reconciliation has inspired the Trinity community over the past semester and provided a gospel-centered vision for pastoral ministry. His combination of rigorous theology and compassionate concern for those on the margins has been a warmly received message throughout the Trinity campus.
This past semester, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School hosted Dr. Gregory Waybright, Trinity’s former President and current Senior Pastor of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, with the introduction of its Pastor-in-Residence program. Dr. Waybright provided a pastoral presence to the TEDS community by informally and formally meeting with students and faculty and teaching a homiletics course. Dr. Waybright also contributed to several Henry Center events. He kicked off our theme of “Church and Reconciliation” by moderating a Trinity Symposium panel discussion and fittingly concluded the semester by delivering the Timothy Series chapel messages. Throughout, he left an indelible impression.
The Church and Reconciliation
At the start of the semester, Dr. Waybright helped kick-off our annual calendar of events by moderating a Trinity Symposium panel discussion opening our year-long conversation on The Church & Reconciliation. He shed light on the reality that in many contexts the conversation around reconciliation was limited to the vertical dimension of reconciliation between God and man; however, with the growing diversity in urban areas, the scope of reconciliation has been expanded to include the horizontal dimension, particularly around racial and ethnic reconciliation. Though the church is not a social work agency, it is a family that takes care of its members in all of their struggles as part and parcel of what it means to be involved in God’s reconciling work.
God and Sinners Reconciled
In the final Henry Center event of the semester, Dr. Waybright preached two chapel messages entitled “God and Sinners Reconciled” in our Timothy Series, a series dedicated to those looking to enter the pastorate. He preached on a number of passages in the Gospel of Mark, including the faith of the Syrophoenician woman, Christ’s call to his followers to deny themselves and take up their crosses, and the story of the rich young man.
Dr. Waybright organized his sermons around his church’s own guidelines for reconciliation: first, we are to enter in to respect-filled relationship. Second, we must understand that we are called to follow Jesus as Lord, following him wherever he may lead. Third, we will walk with our unexpected, eternal brothers and sisters in a new spiritual family, with God our Father reconciling us to him and to each other. As God reconciles us in our families and in our communities, he will then send us out as his ambassadors of reconciliation. There is no brokenness so great that it extends beyond the reach of God’s restoring grace.
Practical Advice in Life & Ministry
Dr. Waybright also sat down with students and faculty after each Timothy Series chapel address for Q&A sessions related to his personal ministry, family life, and call to ministry. He shared about the triumphs and difficulties experienced after many years in the ministry, he stressed the importance of staying plugged into the Word and in prayer, and he called for a radical commitment to our neighborhoods and communities as ministers of reconciliation.
It was a privilege to have hosted Dr. Waybright, and the prayers of the TEDS community are with him and his family as he returns to Pasadena to pastor at Lake Avenue. If you missed any of Dr. Waybright’s sermons and discussions and would like to hear his insights and exhortations, check back with our resource page within the next month.
The Henry Center will resume its lecture series in the Spring semester with an Edwards & The Church lecture on Wednesday, January 21 as Josh Moody will present on “The Theocentric Vision of Jonathan Edwards: A Hands-On Guide for Pastors.”