Archive for September, 2012
I’m looking forward to traveling to Minneapolis for the Desiring God National Conference this weekend. I would encourage you to “listen in” or live-stream if you are unable to attend. At the very least, download the audio/video after the sessions. Below is the information DG just sent out with the live-stream schedule:
If you’re not able to join us in Minneapolis for the conference this weekend, each of the main sessions will be live-streamed in both English and in Spanish at www.desiringgod.org/live.
The following is a schedule for the live-stream feed (all times Eastern). The live-stream feed will not include musical worship. Messages marked with an asterisk (*) are approximate start times only. The actual start times may vary based on the length of musical worship prior to teaching. Be sure to tune into the stream a few minutes earlier than scheduled for these sessions.
Friday, September 28
8:30* – 9:30 PM, John Piper, Prelude to Acting the Miracle: Putting Sanctification in Its Place
Saturday, September 29
10:00* – 11:00 AM, Kevin DeYoung, Incentives for Acting the Miracle: Fear, Rewards, and the Multiplicity of Biblical Motivations
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Ed Welch, Sinners Learning to Act the Miracle: Restoring Broken People and the Limits of Life in the Body
2:45 – 3:45 PM, Jarvis Williams, Acting the Miracle in the Everyday: Word of God, Means of Grace, and the Practical Pursuit of Maturity
4:15 – 5:15 PM, Panel Discussion, DeYoung, Moore, Piper, Welch, and Williams
8:30* – 9:30 PM, Russell Moore, Acting the Miracle Together: Corporate Dynamics in Christian Sanctification
Sunday, September 30
11:00* AM – 12:00 PM, John Piper, Remember the Gospel, Act the Miracle: Future Grace, the Word of the Cross, and the Purifying Power of God’s Promises
By now, you’ve likely read that a fourth century text fragment has been found which purportedly proves that Jesus had a wife – likely, Mary Magdalene. Of course, this story line is nothing new. Remember Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code?
Just in case there is any confusion, here are a couple of good responses to all the hoopla:
“The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship”
by R. Albert Mohler
“The Far Less Sensational Truth about Jesus’ Wife”
by Michael Kruger
Jesus does in fact have a wife – the church: the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33).
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28, ESV).
This past Thursday, our pastoral staff got away for a one day retreat to remind ourselves why High Pointe exists. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into a mode in which we merely exist for ourselves—to increase attendance, grow our staff, increase offerings. As High Pointe has grown, so have our offerings and our staff. However, we want to ensure that such growth and increase be seen as the result of faithful and fruitful ministry, which God has blessed, not the end goal, which we have produced.
I hope to move this conversation beyond the pastoral staff, lest we forget our purpose and mission. In order to see our reason for existence, I will ask what I think are the key questions YOU need to be asking. I hope the answers will be clear in and of themselves.
What is the goal of our ministry at High Pointe?
At the end of time, when all is said and done and the elders stand before the Lord to give an account for High Pointe’s ministry (1 Corinthians 3:10-15), what will we have hoped to accomplish? Our goal as elders is stated by the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:28—to present everyone mature in Christ. Our ministry (teaching, preaching, praying) to High Pointe is all to the end that we might present you as whole-hearted followers of Jesus on that final day. This is the end for which we toil and labor (Colossians 1:29).
How will we seek to communicate this goal, our mission?
Our ministry goal falls in line with Jesus’ commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Simply stated, High Pointe exists to see all peoples become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. All this is to the glory of the Triune God, and we seek to communicate this mission in all our gatherings, beginning with our membership classes.
How will we accomplish this goal, our mission?
The primary means that God has given the pastors/elders of His flock is the ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:2-4; Eph 4:11-16). Therefore, we will seek to see people come to faith and maturity in Christ through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Col 1:4-6, 25, 28; Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20; 1 Cor 1:18-2:5).
OUR STRATEGY is found within the great commission. We will make disciples of all nations by (1) reaching unbelievers of every ethnicity with the gospel of Jesus Christ, (2) incorporating such new believers into the body of Christ (as manifested in a local church) by baptizing them in the name of the Triune God, (3) and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded.
What might High Pointe look like if we were whole-hearted followers of Jesus?
While we are on this earth as pilgrims, this picture will be imperfect. Nevertheless, we hope that by grace through faith, with new hearts and God’s Spirit dwelling in us, that we would represent our king Jesus as faithful ambassadors and glorify Him as we live together in this place where God has called us together.
Such a church, I think, would look very similar to the first church in Acts 2:42-47: a church founded on and devoted to the apostolic faith (gospel); a church devoted to a common life rooted in the gospel; a church that responds appropriately, in the power of the Spirit to everything God is for us in Christ, both individually and corporately, formally and informally. Such a church will display a powerful witness of unity and love, which magnifies the Father’s glorious wisdom in salvation. May God work in us all that we might be such a church.