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!
Category Archives: mission
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 mission – Is 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 lifestyle – How 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 –
- Too Busy for Mission?: Tim Chester
- Becoming a Missional Leader: Jonathan Dodson
- Gospel, Community, Mission & Orphan? Bill Legere
- The Shift: Our experience in re-churching the church: Mark Gedicks
Here’s the full schedule. Hope to see you there!
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.
For a long time, I used to argue that the Gathered Worship (aka, Sunday church services) were primarily for Christians. And to really show that I went to Bible College, I would argue that the main purpose for such meetings is for edification. And if evangelism took place, it would be because non-Christians saw a group of Jesus followers edifying each other well. I’m beginning to see that such a divorce between evangelism and edification is unnecessary and reveals a minimized view of the gospel.
Taking his cue from Tim Keller and summarizing Keller’s paper, The Centrality of the Gospel, Mark Driscoll resonates what I too believe is the point of gathered worship.
“My articulation is, Sunday is for the worship and the adoration and the exaltation of Jesus, and if everything is about Jesus, then it works for Christians and non-Christians. Everyone needs Jesus, and the gospel is for Christians, too. It’s not just something you believe and then move on with the rest of your life. The gospel of conviction of sin and repentance and trusting in the finished work of Christ is something that every Christian practices every moment of every day, and I think it’s a truncated view of the gospel if it’s a few laws, or a sales pitch we give to someone, they pray the prayer, and then we’ve concluded our evangelistic endeavor. I think it’s a very reductionistic view of the gospel.”
Mark Driscoll, Modern Reformation “Christless Christianity” May/June Vol. 16 No. 3 2007 Pages 39-42
Our perspective always determines how we think, feel, and act. This short video should make your heart grow more tender, your mind think more purposefully, and your hands act more swiftly. You can watch the video, Miniature-Earth, online or download it to your computer.
The strength of this video is bringing mind-numbing, global statistics down to a workable, impactful number: 100. As I watched, I felt more a part of the global community, that there might be something I could do to make a difference, that I’ve been blessed to be a blessing to others. Watch it and let me know how it impacts you and how it might impact others through you.
“The question is not, ‘Where does God fit into the story of my life?’ but, ‘Where does my life fit into the story of God’s mission?'”
Those words by Christopher J.H. Wright have helped me better understand “mission”/”missions”. The article caused me to see afresh the biblical reality that missions is not so much what we do for God and His Kingdom, but what God is up to in the world and how he brings us alongside of his redemptive purposes for his creation. Every Christian and church should ask “What is God’s mission?” and “Am I on God’s mission?” As a pastor, I am struck with the question “What’s the difference between a church with a mission’s program and a missional church?” Chris Wright points me to God’s mission as the starting point. This article has confirmed in my mind that we serve a God with a mission and that it is in the “DNA” of every Christian to be on mission with God. Anything less is sub-Christian.
“The map of global Christianity that our grandparents knew has been turned upside down. At the start of the 20th century, only ten percent of the world’s Christians lived in the continents of the south and east. Ninety percent lived in North America and Europe, along with Australia and New Zealand. But at the start of the 21st century, at least 70 percent of the world’s Christians live in the non-Western world–more appropriately called the majority world.”
“More Christians worship in Anglican churches in Nigeria each week than in all the Episcopal and Anglican churches of Britain, Europe, and North America combined.”
“Christianity has never had a territorial center. Our center is the person of Christ, and wherever he is known, there is another potential center of faith and witness.”
“Already, 50 percent of all protestant missionaries in the world come from non-Western countries, and the proportion is increasing annually.”
“So another piece of unlearning we must do is breaking the habit of using the term mission field to refer to everywhere else in the world excpet our home country in the West.”
“The real mission boundary is not between ‘Christian countries’ and ‘the mission field’, but between faith and unbelief, and that is a boundary that runs through every land and, indeed, through every local street.”
“The whole Bible presents a God of missional activity, from his purposeful, goal-oriented act of Creation to the compeltion of his cosmic mission in the redemption of the whole of Creation–a new heaven and a new earth.”
“All mission or missions that we initiate, or into which we invest our vocation, gifts, and energies, flow from the prior mission of God. God is on mission, and we, in that wonderful phrase of Paul, are ‘co-workers with God.’ This God-centered refocusing of mission turns inside-out our obsession with mission plans, agendas, goals, strategies, and grand schemes. We ask, ‘Where does God fit into the story of my life?’ when the real question is, ‘Where does my life fit into the story of God’s mission?'”
For an in depth study on the biblical theology of mission check out Christopher Wright’s most recent book The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative
And if that book floats your boat, you’ll want to get Andreas Kostenberger and Peter T. O’Brien’s Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A biblical theology of mission.
And by all means don’t forget John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions.