We want leaders to grow up too fast. We want them ready-made at an early age. The reality is the best leaders are those who are seasoned. They have battle scars and callouses on their souls. The best leaders have made mistakes, fallen down but got back up to make a difference in the lives of people. They have persevered. The best leaders are developed in a crock pot, not a microwave.
I believe the NT portrays for us a consistent pattern of governance by a plurality of Elders. However, it is important to realize that even if this is not the case we can still determine whether or not women should be appointed to positions of senior governmental authority.
“The stresses and strains of dealing with people—with souls—wears you down in a unique way,” he observes. Besides, he notes, even some companies in the secular world are starting to use sabbaticals. “They realize that refreshment makes a better employee.”
Seattle’s Mars Hill Church paid a California-based marketing company at least $210,000 in 2011 and 2012 to ensure that Real Marriage, a book written by Mark Driscoll, the church’s founding pastor, and his wife Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list.
1. It’s dishonest.
2. It’s egocentric and lazy.
3. It may eventually harm your reputation and will bug you in the long run.
4. It’s poor stewardship and bad strategy.
5. It disadvantages those actually gifted.
Andrew at Evaluating Christianity has put up some excellent posts of advice on how to debate William Lane Craig (one, two, three, four, five). The reason Craig wins all his debates with atheists is not because his arguments are sound, but because he is a masterful debater. Craig has been honing his debate skills literally since high school. Not only that, but he is a Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus. Let me repeat. Craig has done 20+ years of Ph.D+ level research in the two fields he debates, has published hundreds of academic books and papers on both subjects, and has been debating since high school.
I’m at the Preach the Word conference through Acts 29 today and as always, posting my notes to the sessions I attend.
Harvey Turner is the founding and preaching pastor of Living Stones Churches based Reno, Nevada, with locations in Northern Nevada & Northern California. Harvey has studied at Multnomah University, Western Seminary, and received his Masters in Missional Leadership at the Resurgence Training Center in Seattle, Washington. Harvey also serves as the Regional Director for the West Region of Acts 29, which oversees church planting in Nevada, California, and Hawaii for the Acts 29 Network. Harvey and his wife, Rachael, have three children.
Harvey looked at how to present the gospel in preaching, which for me was incredibly helpful. Here are some thoughts:
The origin of Living Stones Church was taking sound doctrine to people who didn’t know Jesus.
At least 50% of the growth at Living Stones is conversion growth.
When the church gathers, evangelism should be in mind, it should be evangelistic.
Because Jesus came and is coming again, we have to share that. It will happen.
Preaching is not complete if it is not evangelistic.
Your ministry (2 Timothy 4:1 – 5) will be fulfilled if you are an evangelist.
It is possible to do ministry and not fulfill your ministry.
People don’t become Christians to be seen as good, to be good people, to be well thought of. People become Christians because they met Jesus.
People are intrigued by Jesus. It is our presentation that creates a stumbling block.
Jesus helps us when we tell people about Jesus.
A spirit filled church is a church that lifts up Jesus.
You can’t plant a church with a bunch of Christians from other churches.
If your church plant is not fueled by evangelism, you will attract all the bitter Christians from other churches. You don’t want those people.
You need to cater your ministry to those who are not in your ministry.
The ministry of the church is for the sake of God’s elect.
Election is not just the people who are already followers of Jesus. Election are those that are found and those that will be found.
Every sermon Jesus gave was to followers of his and those who didn’t know him.
Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand.
If you are taking your church deep, you will be raising up an army of evangelists. That’s a deep church.
The call to discipleship is the call to be a fisher of men.
The only way to do ministry is to reach people who don’t know Jesus.
The best evangelists in your church are those who just got saved in the last 4 weeks.
What glorifies God is when a sinner meets Jesus.
Evangelism is work, no two ways about it.
The apostle Paul is the first reformed guy and instead of waiting for the elect to come to the church, he went around preaching to people who didn’t know Jesus, looking for the elect.
Preaching evangelistically must come your personal evangelism.
The only way to communicate to people who don’t know Jesus is to talk to people who don’t know Jesus.
You aren’t invited people to the evangelical subculture, you are inviting them to Jesus.
When you preach, always talk to non-Christians. Talk to them even if they are not there.
Preach in such a way so that it is obvious that you believe that someone is going to get saved.
When you preach, you need to say less and prove more. We need to prove what we say.
When you preach, it should be overly obvious that you believe everything you say.
Preachers are the lead theologian, missionary and apologist for your church.
You have to model evangelism for your church.
Think through things your church is doing that hinders evangelism.
The gospel has to be the center of every sermon.
Evangelize the saved and the unsaved in every sermon.
A lot of guys don’t preach the gospel because they’re bored with it.
Maybe the reason churches swell at Christmas and Easter because that’s the only time most churches preach Jesus.
Believe that when we preach about Jesus, people are going to get saved and be changed.
This was easily the most challenging session to me as this is an area that I need to grow in as a communicator.
I’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers is Mark Driscoll. Mark is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. He and his wife, Grace, co-authored Real Marriage, which became a #1 New York Times best seller. His audience, fans and critics alike, spans the theological and cultural left and right. He was named one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years by Preaching magazine in 2010, and his audio sermon podcast is regularly #1 on iTunes’ Religion & Spirituality chart and has been among the Top 50 of all podcasts at times.
Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:
It’s impossible to take the Bible and not see mission.
Being sent is everywhere in the Bible.
God’s people are on mission to see more people become God’s people.
People showed up at your church, they expect to hear from the Bible.
To preach to men you have to say hard things.
Churches have this opportunity to teach men how manage money, be married, raise kids, work hard. Nowhere else will teach them all that.
Let God speak through your personality and who you are.
Give yourself grace to find out who you are and grow into who you are meant to be.
There is a difference between a flock and an audience, shows the difference between a pastor and a speaker.
The weekend kicked off in a powerful way at our Good Friday service at Revolution
If you missed it, make plans to be there next year
Always a powerful night remembering the cross and what Jesus did in our place
Last night was simply unreal at Revolution last night
We kicked off a brand new series on the Old Testament
We had 8 people indicate that they accepted Christ
And then I found out today that since last year, Revolution has grown by 187%
I’m just stunned
I loved looking at the connection cards last night to not only see those who took that life changing step but also reading the connection cards of those who brought them putting in the prayer line that they were praying for their friend to accept Christ
Love the passion that Revolutionaries have to see lives changed and to believe in the power of the gospel for lives to be changed
Last night was also our first night with The Crossing officially joining us
So excited about the energy and passion that they have and will bring to our church
We announced last night that we are having another newcomer’s brunch on May 1st
We have so many new people that we are doing them back to back
If you missed last night, you can listen to it here
What I’m excited about in this series is the fact that I will get to preach on stories and books of the Bible I haven’t preached on before
You can also download the study guide for this series here and this week’s devotional questions are here
If you are looking for an easy to get into the Bible, this is it
Our spring small groups just ended and the stories of what God did over the semester have been so cool to hear
Over the summer, we are going to take a break from small groups and do community dinners throughout the summer as an easy way of getting to know other people
There will be more details about this in the coming weeks
Just finalized this past week with Paul our sermon schedule for the rest of the year
So pumped about what we will be preaching on
Today was an awesome low key day in our house
It was nice coming off a busy couple of weeks to have nothing going on
It will be capped off by my favorite night of the week: date night
This week, we are starting an experiment in leadership development at Revolution, pretty excited about it and how God might use this to help our church multiply quickly
Right now, there are a ton of things that are happening behind the scenes as we make plans to multiply our church several times in the next few years, I would covet your prayers for myself and our leaders for wisdom as we plan and lead and follow God’s plan for Revolution
To go along with that, in a few weeks I will be heading up to Soma in Seattle to spend a week at their leadership training school
They are an Acts 29 church that is doing some incredible things in Seattle and have multiplied several times
It is crazy to think we have together almost a full decade
We are blessed to be one of those couples that has done the hard work and is happier today and more in love today than when they got married
On our anniversary, I shared some of the things we’ve learned about marriage over the years, you can read them here if you are curious
Recently, I’ve been doing a bunch of reading and researching on leadership development, community, discipleship and mission
There is a lot going on behind the scenes of our church preparing for the future and how we take everything to the next level
I will be sharing some of these things over the coming months, all I can say is: I and the leaders at Revolution are more excited about what God is doing in and through our church and what he will do in the future than ever before
It is awesome
Katie and I are heading up to the crossing tonight for their 2nd to last service
Really excited for them to join us and be a part of what God is doing in our city and church
Last night we announced what Easter weekend will look like at Revolution
Good Friday, we are showing the film from Mars Hill called Who Killed God?