Archive for August, 2010
This Sunday, Ryan preached from Acts 11-14 where we observe “a frenzy of missional activity.” These early Christians were busy sending, going, proclaiming, saving, forming, discipling, and communicating and rejoicing.
Here are ten reasons from Ryan’s sermon for Desert Springs Church to be busy planting churches.
- Church planting is biblical – still
- Church planting is a uniquely effective means of reaching the lost
- Church planting is needed, even in America
- Church planting is needed in our town
- Church planting will help DSC be more missional in other ways
- Church planting is, in some ways, an attempt at DSC “growing without growing”
- Church planting fosters a broad-minded kingdom mentality
- Church planting puts to use a growing number of equipped and potential leaders at DSC
- God is doing something special with church planting in the US these days
- As a former church plant, DSC should be pro-planting
Many of us are familiar with the work of The Gospel Coalition (TGC), a network of likeminded churches and church leaders promoting gospel-centered ministry formed by D.A. Carson and Tim Keller in 2007. Three founding documents explain well the heart of the coalition’s work: A preamble, a confessional statement and a theological vision for ministry. In the preamble, entitled, “The Gospel for All of Life,” we find this helpful summary the coalition’s aim:
We are a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.
…Our desire is to serve the church we love by inviting all of our brothers and sisters to join us in an effort to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ so that we truly speak and live for him in a way that clearly communicates to our age.
At Desert Springs Church, this is our desire as well.
The month of August brings to Desert Springs Church three new connections with TGC. First, we are listed on TGC’s “Church Directory,” a directory of churches that embrace the coalition’s foundational documents. We are pleased to announce, as well, that our pastor-teacher, Ryan Kelly, has been appointed as a Gospel Coalition council member. In addition, we are in the early stages of beginning an Albuquerque Regional Chapter.
With news of these connections, this is a good time to get aquatinted with TGC. We recommend reading Collin Hanson’s recent article on why he’s excited about TGC, and watching the above video. Also, we will publish a series of posts over the next several weeks introducing you to TGC’s confession, theological vision for ministry and the resources they provide to support the church in the living out and spread of the gospel.
Ernesto and Maggie Vega serve in Juarez Mexico where Ernesto is pastor of Las Palmas Church. Despite the fact that Juarez is now technically the most dangerous city in the world, they have remained faithful to encourage the believers and welcome those looking for eternal security and forgiveness in Christ. Yesterday, we received a troubling report:
Ernesto called this morning with troublesome news. While his youth group was painting scripture (picture attached) on the outside wall of the church, a man approached the youth group and informed them that he was going to fill Ernesto with lead.
Over the past few years many threats have been made against people in Juarez and in Ernesto’s neighborhood, and the vast majority of threats are carried out. One threat, made in October, was to a man in Ernesto’s neighborhood, he was told that he would be killed on new year’s eve. Two months later he was executed on new year’s eve. Last Sunday alone 51 people were murdered in Juarez bringing the death count to over 1800 for 2010. The horrific slaughter of human life started in drug wars and has now spread to the common people.
Ernesto and Maggie are at peace knowing they are in the will of our Lord.
Please join us in prayer for Ernesto, Maggie, Juarez, the congregation and for the man who is threatening them.
Many here at DSC have met Ernesto and Maggie and love them and their church. Please pray for this situation, that God will protect and grow His church as well as save the lost in and through these dark times.
In follow up to Sunday’s sermon, here are three resources to help you better understand and explain the gospel:
- Book: What Is The Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. We will have copies of this book available at the book stall this Sunday for $11.
- Short Video: John Piper answers the question, What is the Gospel?
- Web Gospel Presentation: Two Ways to Live, by Matthias Media
1. We must go to them
2. We must remember that everything is a “divine appointment” or a “God-moment”
3. We should connect with people in normal ways
4. We must, at some point, make a conscious turn toward the spiritual
5. We must talk about sin appropriately
6. We should appeal to the emptiness of this life (and Christ as satisfaction)
7. We must be wise and clever to avoid the rabbit trails
8. We must focus on Jesus – who he is and what he came to do
9. We must communicate substitution and the nature of saving faith
10. We should explain what salvation is “unto” (i.e., worship)
11. We must be confident that the results are up to God
12. This mission should be our “food”
13. When in doubt, simply tell your story and invite others to examine further