Posted tagged ‘Missional’

Cultivating Gospel Mission :: PLNTD + New England Conference

May 29, 2012

PLNTD announced today its second regional conference of the year – Cultivating Gospel Mission, scheduled to take place on September 20-22, 2012 in Portland, Maine. Main session speakers will be Scotty Smith and Caesar Kalinowski, with breakout sessions with Jared Wilson. This week only, you can register for 50% off regular ticket price for just $29 (discount ends Friday night). If you live in the New England or Canada area, be sure to check this training event out.

Here’s a blurb from the conference website:

We live in a day where it is commonplace to hear the words “gospel-centered” and “missionally-driven”. The danger, however, is to use those phrases in ways that diminish their meaning to that of a cliché. At the 2012 New England Training Event, PLNTD partners with the Gospel Alliance to focus on why those phrases are grounded in God and His purposes for the church.

Every church planter and pastor should lead their people to live gospel-centered lives on mission as those who have been sent by God. What does that kind of life look like? How does articulate this kind of vision to people in their community? These are the kinds of questions we hope to address as we gather together on September 20-22.

This training event is open to anyone who would like to be instructed and encouraged to cultivate gospel mission, including pastors, church planters, aspiring ministry leaders, leadership teams, and the like.

Unlike the typical conference format, the goal of this training event is interaction, integration and application of teaching and instruction. Our desire is that you leave equipped with practical instruction, edified through meaningful fellowship, and encouraged by Christ-centered passion for greater kingdom advance.

Join us as we press into the call to be oriented around the mission of church and saturated in the message of the gospel!

Life in Gospel Communities

May 22, 2012

Fromt the Crowded House Network (Steve Timmis/Tim Chester), here is a great video of what life looks like in a gospel community.

HT: Z

Restless Love

March 7, 2012

There’s a lot of talk about being missional these days. There’s not a lot of visual aids, at least not like this one. I found it incredibly moving. May God raise up many men and women like Sara in our generation to take the gospel in the heart of brokenness and ruin and see the transforming power of King Jesus.

[vimeo 17998361]

Gary Rohrmayer on Engaging in More Spiritual Conversations

January 31, 2012

Gary Rohrmayer has written a helpful little book (76 pages) called Spiritual Conversations: Creating and Sustaining Them without Being a Jerk. In it, he provides a lot of practical helps to engaging unbelievers and overcoming evangelistic entropy.  Below are five ideas for increasing spiritual conversations with people in your life (from chapter 7):

1.  Make It a Priority

It is important for mission ally minded followers of Jesus to think strategically about their conversations throughout the week. If you don’t plan it or make room for it, the likelihood is that it is not going to get done. . . . If leaders are going to be serious about connecting with people, they need to uncover at least 5 new contacts a day, equaling about 35 a week, which will lead to 3 “sit-downs” for a meaningful conversation.

2.  Pray for Opportunities

Include in your praying . . .
* that God draws them to Himself (John 6:44)
* that they seek to know God (Acts 17:27)
* that they believe the Scriptures (1 Thessalonians 1:4-7)
* that Satan is bound from blinding them to the truth (Matthew 13:19)
* that the Holy Spirit works in them (John 16:8-13)
* that God sends someone to lead them to Christ (Matthew 9:37-38)
* that they believe in Christ as Savior (John 5:24)
* that they turn from sin (Acts 17:30-31; Acts 3:19)
* that they confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
* that they yield all to follow Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15)
* that they take root and grow in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7

3.  Get Out and Into Your Community

Look at your calendar and see what fills your week. I encourage spiritual leaders to think about tithing their time to community service and interaction (about six hours a week). . . . Networking is more about join in than it is about just hanging out in coffee shops, bookstores, and restaurants.

4.  Establish Routines and Cultivate Relationships

Beyond the tithe of your time in your community I encourage leaders to establish routines and patterns so that you build a relational presence with business owners and servers. Think strategically about all your interactions and pray that you can be a redemptive influence within that social network. A couple of telltale signs of this are, “Do people know your name?” or “Do you know people’s names?”

5. Be Available to Those Around You

As pastors and leaders we need to be spiritually sensitive to those Divine opportunities where God can use us in His redemptive plan. . . . There are times when we need to push beyond weariness and busyness and allow God to interrupt our agendas and schedules.

Questions to consider:

* How many contacts does it take for you to get a meaningful sit-down with a person?
* When is the last time you asked God to open new doors of opportunity for you?
* If you were to tithe to community service and interaction what would your work week look like?
* What relational commitments are you making in your community?
* What places do you frequent in your community?
* How do you overcome spiritual insensitivity created by your weariness and busyness?

 

Interview with Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert on the Mission of the Church

October 4, 2011

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing about a new reading initiative out of the PLNTD Network for planters and pastors alike.  Our first reading project will be reading two new and important contributions to the subject of the mission of the church.  The first one is the sequel to Total Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester called Everyday Church: Mission by Being Good Neighbours.  The second one is by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert entitled, What Is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission.

IX Marks recently sat down with Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert to discuss their new book, and their interview is broken down in two parts (links are downloadable MP3s).

Part 1 – discussion on the mission of the church, social justice, and the gospel

Part 2 – exegetical considerations on the mission, the poor, and the kingdom of God

///////////////////////////////////

For additional resources, consider:

* Rethinking Missional: Reconciling the Mission of God and the Mission of the Church by Kevin DeYoung


 

 

Communities of Light, Part 2 (Practical Implications)

September 28, 2011

In yesterday’s post, I provided some biblical-theological reflection on the theme of “light” in Scripture.  These biblical truths and gospel realities are foundational to our identity as God’s people and instructional to our mission in the world.  In particular, I would like to argue that communities of light are (1) counter-cultural, (2) confessional, and (3) compassionate.

Counter-Cultural

The most obvious implication of being a light-embodying community is the qualitative distinctiveness we are called to bear in a world characterized by darkness. We a city on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14).  God delivered us out of the domain of darkness that we might put the character of God on display in a world that cannot bear to see the light.  As God’s representatives, we are commissioned to reflect God’s holiness and righteousness in a world characterized by ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).  As God’s representatives, we are commissioned to hold fast the world of truth as lights in the midst of a “crooked and twisted generation” (Phil. 2:14-16).

As a counter-cultural community, followers of Jesus have a responsibility not only to avoid fellowship with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14), but they must expose their unfruitful works as well (Eph. 5:11).  The temptation with this responsibility is to excuse the unnecessary offensiveness of irresponsible and often times foolish behavior of immature Christians. The knee-jerk reaction to wrong-headed approaches to be a counter-cultural community of light tends to downplay the significance of being light.  This is rather unfortunate because the illustration of darkness and light could not be more stark in contrasting terms, and the responsibility of believers to be a distinct counter-cutural community more clear in its calling. Time and again, we are commanded to cast off the works of darkness and walk in the light (Luke 11:33-36; John 12:35-36; Rom. 13:12-14; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:3-14; 1 Thess. 5:4-8; 1 John 1:5-7).  If we are going to be the people of God, we must faithfully live out our identity as children of light and fulfill our mission of declaring the excellencies of God who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9).

Before I go on to the next practical implication, we must be careful to avoid one major assumption.  The basis of us being counter-cultural is not being moral in our behavior or conservative in our values.  What makes us counter-cultural is Jesus.  He is the light of the world.  We have entered His kingdom and submitted to His reign and rule.  He is the one who has made a new humanity and sets the grounds on which we live, and move and have our being.  To the extent that we embrace the gospel and its implications in all of life and unreservedly submit to His rightful and universal claim as Lord is the degree to which we can legitimately consider ourselves a counter-cultural community of light.

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2011 GCM Collective National Conference Audio

September 22, 2011


I’ve attended quite a few conferences the past ten years.  Some of them engender hype; others bring in large crowds due to the evangelical celebrity culture.  But then on a rare occasion, there will come a conference that surprises you in unexpecting ways.  It is not that I had low expectations but that the conference accomplished far more than what is typical for conference these days.

Last week, I attended the 2011 GCM Collective National Conference, and I came away with far more than inspirational thoughts or trendy methodology.  I walked away with a greater love for Jesus and His church.  Everything, I mean everything, was focused on the gospel.  I loved it.  I was convicted by it.  I was tremendously helped by it.  In fact, I can say with a certain level of clarity that there is few, if any, conferences that were as personally edifying and ministerially beneficial to me as this one.  Having said that, I encourage you to download the audio of the main sessions (the breakout sessions are currently being edited and will be available soon).

Thank you, GCM Collective, for a superb conference and a very affordable price.  I took home with me a mother load of gospel nourishment and application of what it means to be gospel communities on mission.

Main Session Audio

GCM Collective Vision
What Is the Gospel
:: Jeff Vanderstelt
Gospel-Centered Discipleship :: Jonathan Dodson
Generous Church :: Steve Timmis
Stealth Church :: Steve Timmis
A Movement of Multiplication :: Jeff Vanderstelt

Breakout Session Audio

/// Coming Soon ///

The Mission of the Church

July 18, 2011

One of the most significant topics and sustaining conversations in my generation is the mission of the church.  Fifteen years ago, “missional” wasn’t in most evangelical’s vocabulary, even less so in their practice.  But in recent years, there has been so much talk about mission from all corners of evangelicalism that there is a struggle for consensus for what the mission of the church actually is.  Some missional practitioners have recently sensed this need and have come out with a Missional Manifesto.

Exactly what constitutes the mission of the church and how individual Christians life a mission-oriented life seems simple enough, but it has been (and will continue to be) a topic of many books and conferences. At the last Gospel Coalition Conference, Moody Publishers sponsored a session on that very topic, with Matt Chandler facilitating the discussion.  Panelists included Kevin DeYoung, Trevin Wax, and Jonathan Leeman, all of whom are well-respected, careful theologians among the younger generation of Reformed evangelicals.

I encourage you to watch the video below.  I also encourage you to check out DeYoung’s forthcoming book co-written with Greg Gilbert on this very topic.

This is discipling.

June 30, 2011

A great little video which packs a big punch. From the FourSquare Church:

HT :: Caesar Kalinowski

The Places and Purposes of My Work

March 18, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I was discussing with a few guys on Twitter how and where we spend our time working. When I came to Grace nearly three years ago, there was no “office” space for me at the church building, which meant that I was to do the majority of my work either at home or somewhere in the community.  For me, this was a huge win because I’ve always struggled with the idea that a pastor’s ministry is to be confined to an enclosed office space.  That’s not to say it is entirely wrong; it’s just not who I am and how I try to function.

Over the past three years, I have gone back and forth try to determine where is the best place to work for accomplishing certain tasks. With two young boys (3 and 1), my home office is not the ideal place to work, so I have ended up as a patron at various coffee shops and eventually landed at a local Panera Bread where I spend most of my “office” time.

I’ve ministered in churches which have a rather strict policy for where and when a pastor works (“office hours”).  Needless to say, the confinement approach was less than appealing and effective, and fortunately for me I have the privilege of working on a pastoral team with a high level of flexibility and trust.  In any case, I thought I’d post what my typical work week looks like, including the places, times, and purposes of each.

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Tim Keller on the Nature of a Missional Church

February 17, 2011

From his lecture “Contextual and Missional” at Urban Plant Life Conference in London, Tim Keller talks about the nature of a missional church:

A missional church gears absolutely every single part of its life–its worship, community, public discourse and preaching education–for the presence of non-believers from the culture surrounding it. A missional church’s congregation reflects the demographic make-up of the surrounding community–and therefore it gives non-Christian neighbors attractive and challenging glimpses of what they would look like as Christians.  A missional church’s worship is ‘evangelistic’ in the sense that it makes sense to non-believers in that culture, even while it challenges and shapes people with the gospel. A missional church’s people are outwardly focused, so involved in the local community, and so alert for every opportunity to point people toward Christ, that evangelism happens naturally through relationships.  Because of the attractiveness of its community, the contextual nature of its message, and humility of its people, a missional church will discover significant numbers of people always in the midst, ‘incubating’ and exploring Christianity.  It must welcome them in hundreds of ways.  It will do little to make them ‘comfortable’ but will do everything to make its gospel message understandable.