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Category Archives: community

Lead09 Audio Available Online

The audio and video for Lead09 is being uploaded this week, here. God is advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ through his Church, scattered throughout New England!

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Lead09 Conference Starts Today

Lead ’09 begins today! And I can’t wait for the first session to start!

Together, men and women from Maine, New England and beyond will be exploring the themes of Gospel, Community and Mission.   This two-day conference is a call to each of us and our churches to take Jesus seriously–to radically reshape our lives around the gospel word so that we can truly be his gospel community on God’s mission.

Please pray that God will use this conference to exalt Jesus in the lives of all who attend and in the churches they represent. May God bring a great awakening of gospel renewal in New England!

Here’s Friday’s schedule…

Friday – October 9

* 12:30 : Welcome

* 12:40 : Gathered Worship

* 01:00 : Tim Chester – Session #1 Making God’s people the heart of God’s missionIs our gospel too small? Too individualistic? The Bible’s story of salvation puts community at the heart of God’s mission. The church is part of our identity as Christians.

* 03:00 : Tim Chester –  Session #2 Community as lifestyleHow can we live as a community – sharing lives, sharing decisions, sharing struggles?

* 05:00 : Jonathan Dodson. Session #3 What is the Gospel? The Three Dimensions – this will be a biblical-theological examination of the Doctrinal, Personal, & Social dimensions of the Gospel.

* 06:30 : Dinner

* 08:00 : Breakout Sessions –

  1. Too Busy for Mission?: Tim Chester
  2. Becoming a Missional Leader: Jonathan Dodson
  3. Gospel, Community, Mission & Orphan? Bill Legere
  4. The Shift: Our experience in re-churching the church: Mark Gedicks

Here’s the full schedule. Hope to see you there!

 

Fight Clubs Book Now Available!

I am pumped to announce that my good friend, Jonathan Dodson, has just released his book Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship! I strongly believe that God is going to use this book to help many men and women to fight sin and trust the Savior–through the gospel, without legalism or license, as a community, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God.

Here’s Jonathan in his own words…

My first book, Fight Clubs: Gospel-centered Discipleship, is now available free online and by print-on-demand. This book has been a process. My adult years as a struggling disciple of Jesus have shaped this book. From my failures in college to my successes in ministry, following Jesus has been both difficult and rewarding. Sufferings, temptations, and personal sin can be a beating. The gospel of grace uplifting. I thank God that He fights for me, for us, in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!

This book was written for the church, for disciples who struggle to follow Jesus well. It’s intended to equip you to fight the fight of faith in the power of the gospel, and to do so as Jesus intended, in community. My hope is that it will strengthen your resolve to fight the good fight of faith well (1 Tim 6:12), and in the strength that God provides (1 Pet 4:11). I hope it helpfully dismantles legalistic and loose patterns of discipleship and frees you to follow Jesus by grace. May it inspire you with the rich gospel motivations God has given us in the Son and the Spirit to follow hard after God!

Download the book

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Lead 09 Conference: Tim Chester is coming to Maine

Free Total Church book if you register today this week!!!

My church is partnering with Atmosphere Church to host a conference October 9-10 that we hope God will use to bring about gospel renewal throughout Maine, New England and beyond. It’s called Lead ’09 and the theme is Gospel, Community and Mission.  This two-day conference is a call to each of us and our churches to take Jesus seriously–to radically reshape our lives around the gospel word so that we can truly be his gospel community on God’s mission.

Our two speakers are both God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-dependent leaders who teach the Word of God  faithfully with passion, humility and urgency.  Tim Chester is a writer, Bible teacher and church planter in Sheffield, UK. An author of many books, Tim is also the co-author of Total Church, a biblically-rich book on what it means to BE the church. Jonathan Dodson is the lead pastor of Austin City Life in Austin, TX. His articles have often blessed our church family, especially “Fight Club” and “Anger: the image of Satan.” On a personal note, Jonathan is a treasured friend. Having served with him in both the local church and in global missions, I can tell you without hesitation that you will be blessed by his teaching.

You can find out more and register, here.

 

Spurgeon Sabbatical 09

From June 22-July1 I have the uber privilege of being part of the Spurgeon Sabbatical. Here’s what I shared with my uber-supportive church as I get ready to live in Exile (aka Massachusetts) for wee bit.

Hello Church,

One of the things of love most about WBC is the passion and commitment to be generous towards the Kingdom of God, all around the world, locally and globally. Not just when it’s convenient but whenever God calls and enables us to.

Well, I want to thank you ahead of time for being generous to God’s people, specifically a group of pastors  that I will be serving at the Spurgeon Sabbatical, June 22-July 1. Your generosity in sending me to serve these pastors who come from all over the States and even around the world has been recieved with thankfulness by them in the past and I know will once again this year. They realize that it is a loving sacrifice for your pastor to serve you  “from a distance,” catching up with emails and phone calls in the afternoon and coming back just for the weekend.

This will be my 3rd time leading the gathered worship aspects of the Sabbatical–each day will begin and end with a time worshipping God together in song, Scripture reading and prayer. These times are meant to bookend our rigorous study and lively fellowship. This year’s topic is “Romans 1-5 Judgment and Justification: Keeping the Main Thing in Ministry, the Main Thing.” Our two texts will be Simon Gathercole’s Where is Boasting: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul’s Response in Romans 1-5 and Mark Noll’s edited Where Shall My Wond’ring Soul Begin?  The Landscape of Evangelical Piety and Thought.

My time at the Spurgeon Sabbatical is more like a short-term mission trip than a vacation or simply attending or even leading a conference.  It will be exhausting. I will be away from my family. The days will be long. There will be intense soul-surgery. So…I humbly ask you to pray:

  • Pray that God would encourage Heidi in my absence.
  • Pray that I would serve with the strength that God supplies.
  • Pray that God would free me from the tempation of self-importance.
  • Pray that the 15 pastors would be personally renewed in their faith by our study of the gospel in Romans.
  • Pray that these men would return with their eyes fixed firmly on the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope and goal for their families and ministries.
 

The Church is God’s Wonderful Mess

“The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and sanctification center, where flawed people place their trust in Christ, gather to know and love him better and learn to love others as he has designed. The church is messy and inefficient, but it is God’s wonderful mess–the place where he radically transforms hearts and lives.”

–Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, p. 116

 

Fight Club = biblical accountability

No other book outside the Bible has taught me how to fight sin than John Owen’s On the Mortification of Sin In Believers (found in a recent compilation Overcoming Sin and Temption).  As I trekked through the 17th century English I discovered theological vistas I had never seen before, and hardly seen in any contemporary books on fighting sin. (And anything worthwhile almost always ends up quoting Owen anyways!) Owen helped show me how deadly and decieving sin is…and how life-renewing and joy-giving God is! I highly recommend him.

But, no other writing outside of the Bible and Owen has showed me what fighting sin looks like in a theologically rich and uber-practical way than my friend Jonathan Dodson’s. Jonathan has done an amazing service for the church. He  distills Owen’s On the Mortification of Sin (and yes…years of Pastor John Piper’s teaching, too!) and then delivers it in a strategy aimed to keep Christian accountability, biblical.  Rather than drifting off into legalism or unhelpful “confessional booths”.

Here’s my point. If you want victory over sin and deeper joy in God, read Dodson’s article “Fight Club.” Better yet–read Dodson’s article and start your own “Fight Club”.

Here’s an excerpt… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2008 in accountability, community, Jesus, sin