Carter Conlon’s New Book Is a Personal Testimony, Prophetic Voice
It’s hard to imagine that Carter Conlon, the senior pastor of Times Square Church in Manhattan, was once bound by fear.
After all, he succeeded David Wilkerson—one of the most influential Christians of the 20th Century—at a high-profile church in the world’s most influential city. Conlon recently returned from a conference in India where he addressed 4,700 pastors and often speaks in some of the most hostile regions on earth.
Yet there was a time when he was paralyzed by fear and turned to alcohol to numb its affect. In college, he would avoid the spotlight at any cost, breaking out in a sweat if called upon. Social situations were equally as challenging.
“Fear was a dominant part of my life for nine years, but the Lord set me free,” he said.
That deliverance happened 34 years ago when he first confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. And now, after living a transformed life and experiencing the freedom that only the Gospel can give, the native of Canada seeks to help others overcome fear.
His latest book, Fear Not: Living Courageously in Uncertain Times, is a personal testimony, prophetic voice, and devotional wrapped in 147 pages.
The book came out in August. In the first chapter, Conlon writes: “I don’t believe I need to convince you that the days ahead are going to be more difficult than ever.” That chapter is entitled, “The Coming Storm.”
And on October 30, Hurricane Sandy unleashed her fury on Metro New York City and the Jersey Shore and left a wake of devastation not seen since 9/11. Conlon says this is the time for the Church to rise up and not cower in fear.
“Fear is one of the main weapons the enemy uses against the church to keep it from going forward,” he said. “In the Old Testament, fear is what kept them out of the Promised Land.”
“There is a season of storms on the horizon—socially, politically, economically. People will have to get through fear to make a difference. [Christians] can’t be in a state of panic like everyone else.”
In a recent radio commercial that aired on 1010 WINS, Conlon exhorts New Yorkers to overcome fear by praying: “We need to cry out to God like never before. It’s so important to let Jesus bring peace into your situation. It’s important not to panic or give in to fear and all the things fear wants to bring into our city you and into our society.”
Prayer is a cornerstone at Times Square Church. From 2007 through 2009, the church hosted “Prayer in the Square,” a rally in Times Square that drew approximately 60,000 believers the last time it was held.
Prior to 9/11, Times Square Church went into a season of prayer as the leadership sensed a calamity was coming to the city. Following the terrorist attack, they were already in place to minister to a broken community.
The scenario was different prior to the recent super storm, but the results were the same. Earlier this year, Conlon sensed the Lord leading the church to help 100 inner-city congregations open food pantries. With $1.5 million set aside for the project, called “Feed New York,” the church began the application process months ago. When the flood waters came, they were ready to put faith into action.
“Because we had inroads in the most affected areas, we were able to bring in 50 truckloads of food soon after,” Conlon said. “We would not have been able to take those steps (earlier in the year) if were bound in fear.”
In Fear Not, Conlon says the experiencing the Love of God is the key to overcoming fear, quoting 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear has torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (KJV).”
Conlon writes: “You must be convinced today that God loves you! He loves you with a love that sent him to a cross to get you back. It is His love that brings the genuine believer out of fear and into an incredible security about the future.”
And that love will compel believers to reach out to others, during times such as Hurricane Sandy and any other future storms.
Another key scripture in Fear Not is 2nd Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
“Not only will we be given a spirit of power, but we will also be given a spirit of love,” writes Conlon. “There is a genuine love of God that flows from the heart of those who are given to His work.”
In Conlon’s next book, he focuses on how we can be like Joseph, who persevered through certain trials in order that a nation might be saved during a famine. Unshakeable: Trusting God When All Else Fails will be released in January.
According to Conlon, God will faithfully lead us through our trials so we, in turn, can help others make it through their storms.
“God is always a step ahead,” he said.
-By Tom Campisi