Pardon the personal nature of this post, but, Summit Church, on the occasion of my 40th birthday I wanted to put out a few reflections about my beliefs for our next decade and tell you a story in case you didn’t know it. Summit Church, I plan to be here, serving as your pastor, until God takes me home–so this is for you. Continue Reading…
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What an incredible weekend! I had a great time preaching at the pastor's conference at 1st Baptist Jacksonville on Tuesday, teaching on "keeping the message central" in our own AdvanceTheChurch regional on Thursday, and then speaking to a ton of college students all around the Southeast at the 20/20 conference on Saturday on why Jesus was the only way.
Advance has turned into a movement. The vision is seeing the Southeast (and the world) changed by seeing Gospel-loving churches planted and dead, dying churches revitalized. There is such a hunger for this by both those in the "pews" and those in the "pulpit." We had over 300 church leaders come on Thursday, and the sense of God's Spirit was powerful.
Some of my favorite "quotables" from the day were this:
"Many Christians are too 'offended' by the world to share Christ with anyone. We are offended by sin rather than deeply in love with sinners." – Tyler Jones
"Many pastors have architected their lives so that it is impossible for them personally to do the mission." – Tyler Jones
"So, my Reformed friends, let's not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let's go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let's take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let's speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both "just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." My house church friends, let's have community, but let's be sure it is focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let's focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let's focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus." Tyler Jones, quoting Ed Stetzer
"Every time I start to get impressed with how big my church is, I remember I serve a Savior whose greatest and most important work was 12 leaders he produced. When Jesus prayed to the Father before leaving the earth in John 17, he not one time mentioned the masses or the miracles. 40 times He prayed for His 12 disciples." – David Platt
"We seem to be really good at doing a lot of stuff God never told us to do. He never told us to build seminaries, colleges or buildings or establish networks. Nothing is wrong with those things, except that we do them all to the exclusion of the one thing He told us to do in Matthew 28:18-20, namely 'make disciples.'" – David Platt
"We disinfect people rather than disciple them. We define holiness by what Christians avoid rather than by being committed to the mission of God." – David Platt
"If you're not in a place where you feel desperate for the Spirit of God, then there's no way you are on the front lines of the mission. When we are on the front lines we feel desperately our need for God's help."
To hear actual talks from the conference, click the link off of each conference above (audio for AdvanceTheChurch coming very soon!).