Thursday, April 23, 2009

GCC reflections

Here are a few random reflections from our time away this week at the Gospel Coalition Conference . . .

  • It was a delight to see 3300 men gather to be encouraged to center their lives and ministries around the Gospel. We are not alone in our focus at Grace.

  • It is awesome to worship together with so many. Heaven is going to be great. Can't wait.
  • I was encouraged in our mission as a church. . . to celebrate, proclaim and live the Gospel on the Central Coast and beyond. We are moving in the right direction. Proclamation and incarnation! Both most happen. Our way forward is service.

  • It was exciting to see so many great expositors breaking the bread of God's Word, each with a different and unique personality and preaching style. There is only one Piper. One Keller. One Carson. There is not one way to preach God's Word. Preaching is truth through personality. I and our guys each need to be who God created and is shaping us to be.

  • Keller really made me think about idolatry. The idols of my life, the idols of our Central Coast community, the idols of Grace Church. Idolotry is alive and well in our lives and culture. The Gospel discerns, exposes, and intends to destroy our idols.

  • I was challenged to keep thinking out how we might be "all things to all men" to win the lost and unbelieving. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 shook me up. How do we keep contextualizing the Gospel here on the Central Coast. How do "participate in the Gospel" by giving up our own tastes, interests, traditions, and fixations for the sake of those who do not yet believe? I think we've got some work to do.

  • Its all about team ministry. We have a great team of faithful gifted guys who love the Lord and you his people. Its exciting to see Matt and Ben, who they're becoming and how the Lord might use them as they head off to seminary next fall. We need to keep gathering and investing in young men who will give themselves to Gospel ministry. Faithful men who will teach others also . . . . ala 2 Timothy 2:2. Strategic, multiplying ministry.
  • It is so valuable and challenging to visit other churches and meet with other ministry teams. Different churches do things different ways. There is more than one way to structure and do Gospel ministry. Systems and organization are important shepherding tools. Programs are not the goal, but shepherding. I want our pastors, elders and leaders to shepherd the flock of God among us with eagerness and passion.

  • I really want to see unsaved people meet and come to faith in Jesus. I want the Lord to pour out His Spirit on our community for the salvation of men and women. I desire to see conversion growth, not transfer growth.

  • I want my flame to BURN for the Lord . . . . ala 2 Timothy 1:6. Lord, kindle it afresh. I'm still holding back. I'm still constrained. I'm still fearful to let it all out.

  • It is a joy to serve the Lord here at Grace. We have a healthy and growing church. Not a perfect church . . . far from it. . . . This is a really exciting, strategic, fun place to do ministry.


Lisa Lewis said...

So glad to hear how full the time was for you all and the deep reflections you share. We as part of the Body of Christ in the locale of the Central Coast have some good things going on, but as you reflected, are not fully moving forward on the Way. You mentioned proclamation, incarnation and service. Richard Foster brings forth three additional streams of life in Christ: contemplative, charismatic (Spirit life) and holiness (separating ourselves unto holiness) I look at these six streams and think of your often repeated phrase "learning to live with the tension". Seeking a balanced life as an individual is dicey enough; learning to lead in a balanced way is even more challenging. All the more we as the sheep need to pray for wisdom and protection for our shepherds! Thank you men for going forth for Christ and showing us the Way! I look forward to following...

Mama Mote said...

Even though it was not the best timing - you in Chicago and me with my last week here - I'm so glad God gave you the opportunity to go as a group to be revived and, hopefully, refreshed for when you return. I will continue to pray for you as you shepherd - all of you - and will keep watch through the website and (can't believe I'm saying this) Twitter. I doubt I'll get caught up in that, but it might be a way to see what YOU'RE doing at any given moment. Anyway, will see you Tuesday for sure if not before.