Friday, February 5, 2010

Advance the Church

Great to see Jeff at yesterday’s Advance the Church regional conference. We heard several solid messages. Here’s the main thought, or most memorable point for me, from each speaker:

Matt Boswell, speaking on worship. Our ecclesiology is our true theology. In other words, what we really believe is reflected in how we structure the church and its worship. Also, as a worship leader, he “sided with pastors” that preaching is the most important element of worship.

Tyler Jones, speaking on "Living the Mission." Are we seeing an exodus from churches because pastors are willing to “lead” the mission but not actually live it? He posed some excellent questions for pastors, here are the top two: “Have you architected your life so it’s impossible to be on mission?” And, “Do you fail to share Jesus with lost people because of pride?” That is, because you secretly believe that as a pastor you’ve already done your job?

J.D. Greear, speaking on "Keeping the Gospel at the Heart of Mission." Church ministries are like cars that naturally veer hard to one side—unless we keep our hand tightly on the wheel, programs and ministries will become ends in themselves and not means to communicate the gospel and make disciples. Jesus’ signs were temporary—the eyes Jesus opened went blind again in death, those He raised from the dead eventually died. Our “signs” (displays of love w/in our communities) are temporary also—therefore, they must always be accompanied by clarity concerning the gospel message.

David Platt, on the Great Commission. We are tempted to do everything but what Jesus said in Matthew 28, namely, make disciples. Building a church is easy: have a great performance, a place, programs, and professionals to keep it all running. You can grow a church…while still forsaking the command to make disciples.

Bottom line: It was not a good day for church programs. They were rebuked for their pride, removed from center stage, and asked to sit quietly in the back row.

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