Can the outlooks of two generations coexist in one church? James Merritt, 59, serves as senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia. His son, Jonathan Merritt, 29, joined the church staff in 2008.
In many respects, they couldn't be more different. James represents the Boomer generation's approach to faith in Christ. Jonathan's Christian faith was forged in a postmodern context. When they start talking about theological or political issues, the sparks fly—so much so that James's wife (Jonathan's mother) has to leave the room and let them go at it.
But underneath their intense differences, there's a profound respect for each other. Each has a passionate drive to share the gospel and influence the world for Christ.
Leadership Journal's Matt Woodley met them in James's famous "Georgia Bull 'Dawgs' room," where he asked them about outreach, compassion, justice, and evangelism.1