Thursday, July 01, 2010

Conference notes from ed stetzer

Ed Stetzer was the main speaker for the CGGC 2010 General Conference sessions, as well as for one session of the Midwest Region Conference (last week). Let me just say - he is one awesome speaker. Whatever you think of him, he communicates well, and he has lots of stories and facts. He definitely held my attention and I enjoyed listening to him very much - even the one session when I had to sit right in front of him!

The Midwest Region talk he gave was on "Living Sent." It was based on Acts 16 - mostly verse 9 - and also the correlation between John 3:16 and John 20:21. The gyst...
  • God sent Jesus; and Jesus has sent us. We are all called to ministry and mission. The only question is where and among whom. Are we willing to engage the people/place we've been sent (even if our neighbors are illegals)?
  • "If you believe the gospel but do not proclaim the gospel, then you really do not believe the gospel."
  • The "how" of ministry is shaped by the "where" and "who" of culture.
  • "Too many of us are more in love with our way of doing church than the people we are sent to."
He spoke for 3 sessions during General Conference. The first was "Making Evangelism & Mission Priority One" and was based on Matthew 28 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5. Some of the things I wrote down during this talk:
  • "A transformed life is a much better witness than a well-planned service."
  • "We can use 'tools', but God has chosen PEOPLE to do the work of evangelism."
  • Things that push against evangelism & outreach: universalism, holeism? (people only want to do, but not tell), and invitationalism (just inviting people to "church").
  • "Don't bring people to the pastor; bring them to Jesus."
  • There is not a "gift" of evangelism. There is a gift of an 'evangelist', but evangelizing is a call, not a gift; we are all called to evangelize.
  • "Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter." (Spurgeon)
  • What is our church known for???
  • 2 Cor. 5:14-21 One died for all, SO THAT we would no longer live for ourselves. Jesus did not die FOR our sin, he died AS our sin... Jesus became sin for us so we might become the righteousness of God.
Session 2 was on "Releasing All of God's People For Mission" (APEST) and based on 1 Peter 4:8-12 and Ephesians 4. Our churches are too full of passive spectators. He had 4 main points:

#1. All have gifts.
  • Maturity is evidenced through serving one another (not in meaningless minutia).
  • We are called to ministry when we are redeemed (not at some later point).
  • The 80/20 rule is sin!
  • If the pastor is so gifted that they overpower the people of God then they are doing them a disservice.
#2. God intends all to use their gifts.
  • We're leading our church into sin when we teach them to 'know' but not 'do' the Bible.
  • We have made it too acceptable for the normal Christian in the normal church to be unengaged in the mission of Jesus (we have bought into passive, spectator Christianity - which is not Christianity at all).
#3. For Which He Empowers Us.
  • 2 broad categories of spiritual gifts: speaking and serving.
  • We need to unleash the "Susan Boyles"
  • Too many riding in the back of the wagon and too few pulling.
#4. To Bring God Glory.
  • Churches should be more like airports - it's not about our 'seating capacity' but our 'sending capacity.'
  • The pastor is not the only equiper in the church!
  • Pastor's job is to release God's people, and to build up the body of Christ.
  • Need to (1) look for giving in people; (2) ask if you're empowering them; (3) ask if there is something I need to stop doing so someone else can.
  • "What you celebrate, you become."
  • "Permission-giving structures"
  • "Celebrate and value biblical diversity"
"Denominations are a terrible way to cooperate, except for all the others ways." ES

Session 3 was on "Church Multiplication":
  1. We are sent (John 20:19-21).
  2. To all different kinds of people (Mt. 28:18-). "Whenever Jesus sends us, he doesn't send us alone." Also, "all nations" means "all cultures/ethnicities"; it is not geographic countries.
  3. With a message (Luke 24:46-49). Repentance and the forgiveness of sins. ***"We need to hold our models loosely and our Jesus firmly."
  4. Empowered by the Spirit (Acts 1:6-8). In regard to people wrapped up in the end times - "you are not on the 'time and place' committee, you are on the welcoming committee!" **We're going to multiply mostly at the margins. Beg God for the passion to see multiplication. The power is already here.
My notes do not do justice to the talks. The podcasts are supposed to be available at some point on our denominational website, so you can check there if you're interested.

Peace out; and in.

2 comments:

JAH said...

It was a really good conference. I need to read through my own notes again, but enjoyed reading through yours.

Joe said...

Being a first time reader...I really liked what i read, so I think I might just have to read your next one.