Advance 09

John Piper gathers a group of men who have a heart for the church to talk about various issues facing the church:  Bryan Chapell, Matt Chandler, Ed Stetzer, Danny Akin, Tyler Jones and Mark Driscoll.

There were some messages that stood out to me. Piper always is a treat to listen to and learn from.

As much as I have been struggling with Driscoll lately, his message “Mission Idolatry” was good stuff, much of the material drawn from G.K. Beale’s book We Become What We Worship, but applied to church and missions.

Ed Stetzer’s message “Keys to Understanding the Church” and the Kingdom does a good job of examining how many church plants and missional (I’m really getting sick of this term) movements have derailed from the purpose of the church.

Advance 09 Conference page >>>

Commending Christ: 2009 Desiring God Pastors Conference

Evangelism was the subject of this years pastor’s conference at Desiring God, and what a great conference this was. 

Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist carried the weight of most of this conference, preaching 3 very helpful messages examining each from the context of the need, the pastor and the church.  Dever carefully helps us to think through both the doctrine of evangelism, as well as offering very practical ways of doing evangelism. 

One notable example of Dever’s personal evangelism is that he intentionally builds relationships with non-Christians, such as his barber, his mechanic, etc., for the expressed purpose of long term evangelism.  

Dever’s church intentionally does not have an official evangelism program.  Dever see’s the role of the church as being to support the congregation in their evangelism.  Dever encourages all forms of evangelism strategies that members of his congregation pursue.  Results are not tabulated, nor records kept.  The goal is to encourage and mobilize his people.

You will be challenged by Dever because his evangelism is deliberate, and his passion for it is contagious.

Matt Chandler brings a message titled “A Shepherd and his Unregenerate Sheep.”   This was a fascinating account of Matt’s ministry and his attempt to run from a pastorate of established evangelicals.  Matt’s heart was to reach out to those that the church has overlooked.  But through this process Matt says that God gave him a heart for the average church goer, because he saw them as being the faithful who have been led astray.  Don’t miss this message.

Michael Oh is a Korean pastor in Japan, which he says is probably the most difficult missions field in the world. Oh is unique, in that as a Korean, his family lived through a holocost on the scale of the Nazi holocost at the hands of the Japanese.  Oh spends some time developing the benefit of fasting in the work of missions.

And last but not least, John Piper takes us through a biographical sketch of the life and ministry of George Whitfield.  Whitfield was a very emotional and flamboyant preacher, sometimes criticised as an actor.  Piper deals with this assertion carefully, and demonstrates that Whitfield utilized his emotionals and dramatics faithfully to the message that he communicated.  As with all of Piper’s other annual biographical sketches, this is a highlight of the DG Pastor’s conference, and must not be missed.

Commending Christ Conference >>>

Paul Washer and HeartCry Missionary Society

HeartCry Missionary Society held a conference on prayer in 2006 with a number of preachers.  Paul Washer took two messages to talk about missions work, which provide a significant challenge not only in regards to prayer, but in a believers entire dependancy of life on God.

In Session 3 Washer describes his conversion and his early years as a missionary in Peru.  God’s work through this humble servant is fascinating, and at the same time, utterly convicting.

In Session 5 Paul talks more about the work HeartCry is involved in across the world, and the particular principles and convictions that they operate by.  Paul explains why they are focused on supporting indiginous missionaries rather than sending missionaries.  He talks about why they send Bibles to believers and not to unbelievers.  He also cuts through the modern day missions clutter to explain how missions minded people must be primarily interested in Biblical truth.  “We send truth, not missionaries.”

I have to say this is a very impactful duo of messages.

Paul Washer’s Ministry in Peru mp3 >>>

Paul Washer on HeartCry’s Ministry mp3 >>>

Carson and Driscoll at Xenos

The 2008 Xenos Summer Institute conference this year was titled “True to the Word, True to Our Mission” and most of the messages are in response to the Emergent Church movement. Don Carson, Mark Driscoll and many others were involved in this conference, which was held this past July.

Both Carson and Driscoll bring well informed backgrounds to bear on the dangers of the Emergent church.

Don Carson has studied this movement extensively, and his book Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church is one of the best overviews to the causes, challenges and effects of the Emergent church.

Mark Driscoll began as one of the leading Emergent church leaders, beginning Mars Hill Church under that banner, but  has since separated himself from the more destructive elements of this movement, and has become one of it’s strongest critics.

Don and Mark’s messages provide  a good perspective on this movement, both pro and con. In spite of  this movement appearing to be dying a rapid death, there are a lot of lessons the church can learn  in it’s wake.

Don Carson’s messages:

Evaluating a Complex Movement mp3 >>>

A Biblical Meditation on Experience & Truth mp3 >>>

Mark Driscoll’s messages:

How the Local Church can reach our Postmodern Culture mp3 >>>

A Pastoral Perspective on the Emergent Church mp3 >>>

2006 Men’s Conference ‘Men on a Mission’

A wonderful set of messages for men delivered at Grace Community Church’s Men’s Ministry conference in October of 2006.  All the speakers are, or have been, pastors on the mission field. 

Men on A Mission at Home, John Glass, France
John takes a sobering look at tragedies in ministry.  The first was the life of Bob Pearce who founded World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse.  His life is one of unbelievable missionary success yet coupledwith a tragic failure as a husband and father. The second was the example of Eli and the tragedy of his sons.  Timely and important message for husbands and fathers who are in ministry.

Men on A Mission in the Midst of Suffering, Brian Biedebach, Johannesburg, South Africa
Brian takes us through Romans 5 having gone through some very troubling trials.

Men on A Mission for God’s Wisdom, Michael Mahoney, Chile
A quote, ‘Why are there so many men who struggle with temptation and succumb to the pressures of sin today?….Because there is no fear of the Lord.  We have created a God who is too much like us, and we are very happy with Him.’

2006 Men’s Ministry Conference, October >>>