Archive for the Vision Category
When the Psalmist wanted to say, “worship God!,” he said it this way: “Serve the Lord with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2).
Service can take on many forms in the Christian life. Some are informal and happen in the simplicity and hiddenness of our personal relationships. Others are overt and organized. Both are important.
Here’s the video we showed in the service on Ministry Fair Sunday introducing you to many of DSC’s ministries. Watch this video, visit the Ministries Page, and take note of any ministries you would like to learn more about. Fill out the Communication Card on any Sunday and we will follow up with you that week.
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In the months ahead you will hear about a two-pronged encouragement to study the Bible and serve the body. In the fall of ’14 we will roll out a more substantive ministry of adult education on Sunday mornings to encourage your study of God’s Word. With that will come an encouragement for more of our body to be involved in meaningful service, and especially service on Sunday mornings.
DSC’s elders began praying about and discussing plans for a local church plant several years ago In August of 2010, Ryan announced plans for a church plant in Rio Rancho and for Carlos to lead out as the preaching pastor and planter for this new church. In this sermon,”Spreading God’s Glory Broader and Deeper. . .via Church Planting,” Ryan also outlined ten reasons to plant churches now, also available online in pdf form.
This Sunday, Carlos Griego preached a sermon, “A Lasting Partnership,” from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and reflected on the significance of our partnership together for the gospel. It was a timely encouragement for two churches in transition.
At the conclusion of Carlos’ sermon, Ryan called on the DSC elders to lay hands on and pray over Carlos and two other men in route to eldership at Redemption Church, Bryan Lopez and Aaron Campbell.
Here are some photos from the morning:
Redemption Church is in the process of finalizing plans for a permanent meeting space in Rio Rancho. Their first service will be held this Sunday, February 19, at 10:00 AM at French’s Chapel (300 Golf Course Road, Albuquerque, NM 87114).
Visit the Church Planting page for more information about DSC’s church planting strategy, and to learn how you can contribute. To keep track of God’s work through Redemption Church, visit their website for sermons, blog posts, events, etc.
Last week we published a post in follow up to our recent Elders Q&A. Below are links to audio for specific sections from the Q&A, along with relevant links around DSC’s website and additional recommended resources.
- Q&A Audio
- DSC’s Church Planting Page
- Frequently Asked Questions about Church Planting
- Messages on Church Planting
- Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission, Darrin Patrick
DSC’s Affiliations and Accountability
- Q&A Audio
- DSC’s Leadership Page
- DSC’s Community Group Page
- The Trellis and The Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
- Q&A Audio
- DSC’s Membership Class Page
- Messages on Church Membership
- 9Marks Video on Church Membership
- Excerpts from Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck’s, Why We Love The Church
- Ligon Duncan’s articles on Church Membership, (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Q&A Audio, Part 1
- Q&A Audio, Part 2
- DSC’s Community Groups Page
- Message: So What Do We Mean by Community?
- Q&A Audio
- DSC’s Adoption Ministry Page
- Messages on Adoption
- Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, Russell Moore
Global Church Planting
- Q&A Audio
- DSC’s Global Missions Page
- DSC’s Church Planting Page
- Messages on Church Planting
- Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper
Click here to listen to previous Elders Q&A’s.
This Sunday, Ron introduced a plan for DSC to listen through the New Testament together in 90 days.
With the exception of Sunday mornings, the majority of our Bible intake is through reading, made wonderfully possible by the wide availability of the printed Scriptures. But this means we don’t hear the Word of God read very often. Passages like Romans 10:17 remind us of how normal it was to speak of hearing the Word of God during the time when the Scriptures were written, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
So, from June 1 to August 31, we will listen to the New Testament together for an average of 12 minutes a day, with July 1 and August 1 as catch-up days. In addition, this summer’s Sunday sermons will be a series of New Testament book overviews which follow the books we’re reading together.
Of course, you can certainly read through the New Testament with us, but if you do plan to listen, here are some ways to obtain audio:
- MP3 CD from Faith Comes by Hearing – These are available at no cost at the Information Center and through the church office.
- ESV Online – Listen for free on a computer or mobile device
- Faith Comes by Hearing – Download audio for the ESV
- Bible.is – Listen for free on a computer or mobile device
- ESV Hear the Word Audio Bible – Purchase MP3s from Crossway for 49.99
- Mouth – Read the New Testament out loud.
If you have never listened to the New Testament before, we encourage you to try this out as a fresh way to integrate God’s Word into your daily routine. This is good for spouses to do together, and it’s good for parents to do with children.
Brochures and reading plans are available at the Information Center and through the church office. We will also post a pdf of the series brochure in a follow up post next week on the blog.
In December’s e-Newsletter, Ryan published an article explaining DSC’s symbol. In case you missed it, we’re republishing it here on the blog. If you don’t receive the e-Newsletter but would like to, sign up using the Communication Card on Sunday’s bulletin or email email@example.com and indicate your interest. DSC’s e-Newsletter is published each month and sent to your email inbox.
Around the DSC facilities and in printed materials you’ve seen this symbol which represents something about our church’s name, its message, and its mission.
The word picture of springs in the desert is a rich one in Scripture. Three places in Isaiah (35:6-10; 43:19-21; 44:3-5) tell us that we’re a desperate, thirsty, and restless people because of the fall. But these passages also promise a day when life-giving springs will flow in the desert. Then there will be the quench and satisfaction for which we’ve longed and searched. Well, Jesus makes clear that that longed for day has come. He is that “living water” (see John 4 and John 7). He is both salvation and satisfaction.
That’s briefly why we’re called Desert Springs Church. And that word picture is also symbolized in a new-ish logo which you’ve seen on our bulletins, website, and, more recently, on our signage.
There are few things to notice about this symbol:
- The downward drop reminds us that Christ came down to us—we could not get to him. We were born not only thirsty, but senseless. We’ve tried broken cistern after broken cistern, but they hold no water (see Jer. 2). Our only hope is that the living water would come to us. And it did. He did!
- Our salvation and satisfaction comes to us only by the cross. From the cross he said “I thirst” and he died. By so doing, he made a way that we would drink and live.
- The concentric circles are like the ripples or rings that occur when a drop of water hits a watery surface. There is reverberation; it grows; the effects spread. That reminds us that the message of Christ’s saving satisfaction which flows from the cross has to spread in this world. And his plan is that it would spread through us.
In this series of posts introducing DSC to The Gospel Coalition (TGC), we’ve been looking at the foundation documents that provide the basis for the partnerships that make up The Gospel Coalition network of churches and church leaders.
Grounded in these commitments, TGC is serving the church in a numerous practical ways:
- Resources: A large database of sermons, articles, lectures, and interviews searchable by topic, text, date and author. This is a vast treasury of Scripture rich reflection, exposition and instruction.
- Blogs: Seven blogs are hosted at TGC’s site, all of them valuable regular visits. We recommend two in particular to those working through theological issues and interacting with culture: Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung.
- Publications: Themelios is a theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith.
- Book Reviews: TGC Reviews is home to book reviews, interviews with faithful readers, and book excerpts.
- Conferences: A National Conference is held every two years in April in the city of Chicago, alternating years with Together for the Gospel, another fine conference. The 2011 conference theme is Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament and includes breakout sessions with about fifty different speakers, most of whom are pastors.
- Networking: The Gospel Coalition Network, Regional Chapters, and the Church Directory are all ways for gospel minded believers and church leaders to network for strength of the church and the spread of the gospel.
And that concludes this five part introduction to TGC. We are happily listed in TGC’s Church Directory and are encouraged with the recent news of Ryan Kelly’s appointment to the council. Bookmark TGC’s site on your browser and take advantage of what you find there for your encouragement and help in living and spreading the gospel for the glory of God.
The second half of this document is worthy of its own post. It is framed with two questions concerning the gospel and its implications.
First, In what ways is the gospel unique?
Secularism tends to make people selfish and individualistic. Religion and morality in general tend to make people tribal and self–righteous toward other groups (since their salvation has, they think, been earned by their achievement). But the gospel of grace, centered on a man dying for us while we were his enemies, removes self–righteousness and selfishness and turns its members to serve others both for the temporal flourishing of all people, especially the poor, and for their salvation. It moves us to serve others irrespective of their merits, just as Christ served us (Mark 10:45).
Secularism and religion conform people to behavioral norms through fear (of consequences) and pride (a desire for self–aggrandizement). The gospel moves people to holiness and service out of grateful joy for grace, and out of love of the glory of God for who he is in himself.
Some implications of this gospel are worked out in answer to the final question raised in this document: What is gospel-centered ministry? The document follows this question with an explanation of five marks of gospel-centered ministry:
- Empowered corporate worship: “In corporate worship God’s people receive a special life–transforming sight of the worth and beauty of God, and then give back to God suitable expressions of his worth.”
- Evangelistic effectiveness: “Because the gospel (unlike religious moralism) produces people who do not disdain those who disagree with them, a truly gospel–centered church should be filled with members who winsomely address people’s hopes and aspirations with Christ and his saving work.”
- Counter cultural community: “Because the gospel removes both fear and pride, people should get along inside the church who could never get along outside…Thus the gospel creates a human community radically different from any society around it.”
- The integration of faith and work: “The good news of the Bible is not only individual forgiveness but the renewal of the whole creation. God put humanity in the garden to cultivate the material world for his own glory and for the flourishing of nature and the human community.”
- The doing of justice and mercy: “Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service, and comes to wealth through giving all away. Those who receive his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost. We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that way.”
Who doesn’t believe in “empowered corporate worship” or “evangelistic effectiveness”? Certainly most evangelical churches do. In fact, we should say that all true churches must. But the actual manifestation of these fruits is something different than agreement. At DSC, we want these things, and we want them as described in this vision for ministry because we want the gospel to be central in our life together.