Posted tagged ‘Tim Chester’

Meaningful Meals – Excerpts from Tim Chester

August 24, 2011

While on vacation last month, I read through Tim Chester’s bookA Meal with Jesus.  I found it to be incredibly provocative and insightful regarding the life and mission of Jesus.  I was challenged in a number of ways and continue to revisit the exegetical and practical work Chester delivered in this little book.  Though I plan to write a review in the near future, I thought I’d highlight some quotes where Chester talks about the message behind meals.  I admit that I have never considered meals being this meaningful, and perhaps Chester belabors them in excess at points.  But Chester’s arguments are worth considering.  Though these quotes are not provided with context, I encourage you to make them “food” for thought (pardon the pun).


“Food matters. Meals matter. Meals are full of significance. ‘Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal. . . . Someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one’” (9-10).

“Our life at the table, no matter how mundane, is sacramental—a means through which we encounter the mystery of God” (10).

“So the meals of Jesus represent something bigger. They represent a new world, a new kingdom, a new outlook. But they give that new reality substance. Jesus’ meals are not just symbols; they’re also application. They’re not just pictures; they’re the real thing in miniature” (14).

“Meals should be an integral and significant part of our shared life. They represent the meaning of mission, but they more than represent it: the embody and enact our mission. Community and mission are more than meals, but it’s hard to conceive of them without meals” (14-15).

“The meals of Jesus are a window into his message of grace and the way it defines his community and his mission” (15).

“The meals of Jesus picture that day (when the first shall be last and the last shall be first), as he welcomes the marginal and confronts the self-righteous and self-reliant” (27).

“In Luke’s Gospel Jesus got himself killed because of the way he ate” (30).

“Meals slow things down. Some of us don’t like that. We like to get things done. But meals force you to be people oriented instead of task oriented. Sharing a meal is not the only way to build relationships, but it is number one on the list” (47).


Tim Chester on Assessing Gospel Communities

December 6, 2010

One of the recent projects I’ve been working on is development assessment metrics for our church’s growth groups and their leaders.  Our hope is that through these groups, our body will growth in the areas of gospel, community, and mission.  So I have been working to create a metric for evaluating our groups on various levels of development in these three areas.

Well, it just so happened that Tim Chester (as usual) is way ahead of the game, as he has recently provided some of his thinking about assessing gospel communities and determining the culture shifts that need to take place.  Chester breaks down the assessment in five areas:

1.  God: Are you God-centered?
2.  Love: Are you others-centered?
3.  The Bible: Are you Word-centered?
4.  Grace: Are you Grace-cnetered?
5.  Mission: Are you mission-centered?

Each category has a series of eight propositions/realities that are intended to serve as a grid or template for personal assessment.  Chester has also made this available for download here.   I found this really helpful, and when I get around to finishing the metrics of assessing our growth groups, I will try to make that available as well.

Great Sale on Two New Gospel Resources

March 27, 2010

Hurry, because you only have until April 1st to take advantage of this sweet deal by Westminster Bookstore.  Check it out.  You get two gospel resources for the price of one ($14.49).  Here’s a description of the two books . . .

You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions by Tim Chester

Product Description: A practical, interactive, and solidly biblical book designed to help Christians in all stages of life to find victory over sin by focusing on what God has already done in us.

It’s about heart change, not behavior change. That’s the conviction of Tim Chester as he seeks to help everyday Christians “connect the truth about God with our Monday-morning struggles.” This interactive book, laid out in workbook fashion, is for newer Christians struggling with sin and for more mature Christians who have plateaued in their faith as they seek to find victory over sin in their lives.

With a conviction that sanctification is God’s work and the journey to holiness is joyful, Chester guides readers through a “change project”-beginning with the selection of one area of life they would like to modify. Each chapter includes a question (e.g., Why would you like to change? What truths do you need to turn to?) to guide readers as they deal with a specific sin or struggle, truths from God’s word, and a reflection guide to help readers through their change project.

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

Product Description: This newest addition to the IX Marks series presents a clear, straightforward statement of the gospel, the third mark of a healthy church.

What Is the Gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.

Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.

LEAD09 – Gospel | Community | Mission

September 4, 2009

Lead09If you have frequented Christian conferences in the past, especially large ones, you will recognize that they are normally situated in predominately churched cities such as Atlanta, Louisville, Nashville, Orlando, Dallas, etc.  Well, I want to draw your attention to the LEAD09 Conference coming up this fall, not merely because of the great speakers but also the fact it is in a pioneering region where there is a great need for church planting and gospel labor.

LEAD09 will take place on the weekend of October 9-10 in Auburn, Maine (I know, it’s hard for me to type the word Auburn being the kind of Bama fan that I am), and the focus of the conference is threefold: gospel, community, and mission.  Here’s how they describe it on their website:

LEAD09 is designed to challenge your beliefs about what the church is and what it means to be called as a follower of Jesus. The modern church needs a moment to examine itself. It is time to ask pertinent questions about our ways. Are you ready to engage yourself in understanding the role of the church in your life, your culture and your world? Are you willing to take the challenge to live sacrificially for the sake of Jesus and his Kingdom?  With the main theme of “gospel | community | mission” Lead09 is open to people of all ages. We are excited to see the Church come together for Lead09, with people from high school to retired pastors; college students to pastors; lay leaders to paid staff. Lead09 strives to not only talk about community, but display it.

If you are in the New England area, this is a conference you will not want to miss, but I don’t want to limit the encouragement to those within a reasonable drive-time.  If you register by September 18, the cost for the conference is a reasonable $75, so be sure to check it out.  Having the opportunity to learn from men like Tim Chester and Jonathan Dodson will be invaluable to your ministry.  Here’s the conference schedule and topics Chester and Dodson will be addressing.

Friday – October 9th

12:30 : Welcome
12:40 : Gathered Worship
01:00 : Tim Chester – Session #1 Making God’s People the Heart of God’s Mission
03:00 : Tim Chester –  Session #2 Community as Lifestyle
05:00 : Jonathan Dodson. Session #3 The Three Conversions of the Gospel
06:30 : Dinner [maps & discounts of area restaurants will be available]
08:00 : Breakout Session – [4 to be offered TBD]

Saturday – October 10th

9:00 : Welcome – Gathered Worship
9:30 : Tim Chester Session #4 Making God’s Mission the Heart of God’s People
11:00 : Jonathan Dodson Session #5 Structuring Church for Gospel-centered Community
12:30 : Lunch [maps & discounts of area restaurants will be available]
02:00 : Breakout [4 to be offered TBD]
03:00 : Jonathan Dodson Session #6 Identities of a Missional Disciple
05:00 : Tim Chester – Session #7 – Mission as Lifestyle [this final session will be open free to the public]