Surge Intensive with Tim Chester

Four times a year, the surge network gathers for Surge Intensives. This one was led by Tim Chester. Tim is a church planter with The Crowded House. He is the author of Total ChurchA Meal with Jesus and You can Changethree books that should be required reading for every Christian and church leader. Tim talked a lot from his new book Everyday Church, which is a great read.

Here are a few notes:

  • Pastoral care happens in the midst of everyday life.
  • We take the task of pastoral care out of the everyday life and make it extraordinary.
  • We need daily encouragement not to turn away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12).
  • All that matters is gospel intentionality in everyday life. If you take out gospel intentionality, all you have left is everyday life and everyone does that.
  • Our image of gospel ministry happens on a stage and that is not ministry, ministry is what we are doing throughout everyday life.
  • Sometimes pastoral care is helping someone survive until tomorrow.
  • Don’t try pastoral care in everyday life unless you get grace (Matthew 7:1).
  • If people leave you and feel condemned, something has gone horribly wrong with your pastoral care.
  • It isn’t about you as a leader pastoring those below you, it is about you as a community pastoring each other. You are a sheep before you are a shepherd.
  • Our aim isn’t to make people moral, our aim is to make people whole in Christ (Philippians 3:8).
  • We aren’t in the business of cajoling people into commitment, our business is helping people see joy in Christ so the treasures of this world look broken.
  • Pastoral intervention should always offer good news. They should leave thinking, “that is such good news” even if we have challenged or rebuked them.
  • Positive thinking does not equal good news.
  • Law does not equal good news. Law says, “You should not.” The gospel says, “You need not, because Jesus offers a better refuge, a better way.”
  • Our negative emotions arise out of what is going on in our hearts. Our problem is that we don’t believe the truth about God as we should.
  • Behind every sin is a lie.
  • In the moment of sin, we decide that what sin offers is better than what God offers.
  • There are 4 truths (the 4 G’s) about God and most of our sinful behaviors arise from our unbelief in these 4 simple truths about God.
  • The 4 truths are God is great, God is glorious, God is good and God is gracious.
  • Only God brings true and lasting joy.
  • The answer is not to fear man less but to fear God more.
  • The Spirit of God speaks through God’s word into people’s lives.
  • Pastoral care is not a technique that you can teach or learn, it is the Spirit’s work.
  • Creating a culture of gospel care means more than just teaching it, you must model it.
  • Discipline and discipleship are the same word in Scripture.
  • A leader should let everyone know that they struggle, but only let a few know what you struggle with.
  • Most of our evangelism assumes people are ready to make a decision for Christ. That’s not where our culture is.
  • The primary way we view life is through stories.
  • We can use the story of the Bible: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration and look for ways to intersect the gospel with their story.
  • Everyone is looking for salvation, everyone is looking for a way to be fulfilled and accepted.
  • How someone thinks they will be when they arrive gives you a sense of what salvation is for them.
  • No man, no person can give you ultimate satisfaction, meaning and identity (John 4).
  • When sharing the gospel, ask questions, particularly “why” and “what” and “how” questions. Such as “Why does that matter so much to you?” or “What are you hoping for in this area of your life? What do you expect from that?” or “How is that working for you?”
  • People are always looking for confirmation of their story of life.