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Gospel Men Seminar
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Clarus Conference 2019
March 1-3, 2019

Blog


Feb 4

State of the Communion: 2011, Part 1

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Administrative

Update: Click here for Part 2, Part 3, and here for the 2010 Highlight Video.

In a series of three posts we will publish several highlights from 2010 written by members of our staff, to remind ourselves of God’s greatness toward us, and Christ’s faithfulness to build his church. This won’t be comprehensive, but will highlight some of those things that took place that were unique to last year. The full report is also available for download in case you’d rather print it off and read it in one sitting.

What follows are reports from the Biblical Counseling Ministry, Parent/Student Ministry, and the Music Ministry.

Biblical Counseling, Tim Bradley

Much of the year was business as usual. There were the highs and lows of the counseling ministry, children hearing about the greatness of our God and participating in the biblical mission by sending toothbrushes and fluoride treatments to Guatemala, and going to the rez for Christmas Store, a parenting seminar, and the completion of the first year of marriage ministry classes. Again, this was business as usual, but God was faithful to work through the ordinary to display His glory by saving some, and sanctifying many.

God was also faithful to display His glory by bringing over 250 children, 100 volunteers and many families from DSC, the Vista del Norte neighborhood, and the community at large to VBS. This is always a highlight of my year and for many others. We work hard, have a blast, herald the gospel of Jesus Christ, give DSC a facelift for a week, brought the Arctic and Popsicle the Penguin to the desert in July, and grew more in love with Jesus and kids.

One of the highlights of VBS 2010 happened on Friday during family night, undetected, and in the quiet recess of the auditorium. Our God was performing a miracle in the heart of a 21 year old visitor, and God and this young man were the only ones who knew what was happening. The first we heard of it was when this 21 year olds mother came into the church office one October afternoon and shared with me the story of her years of prayer for her son’s soul being answered at VBS. The woman shared that she lived out of state, was in Albuquerque visiting family, and that she and her son came to family night with their relatives. She had been praying for her son’s salvation for years, and was growing weary of his utter disinterest in the Lord. She testified that her son sat through the entire family night program, but that he seemed totally disinterested and appeared to be texting with his phone throughout the evening. She was frustrated, but she also expected this from him.

Unbeknownst to her, her son was listening, the Lord was changing her son’s heart from stone to flesh, rescuing him by His grace, and answering her years of prayer. A couple weeks after VBS her son shared with her what had happened, began going to church, and proclaimed his love for Jesus. Her heart was overjoyed, and she was compelled to encourage us and proclaim God’s goodness in saving her son. She was in and out that afternoon in October, and we don’t even know the young man’s name, but we praise our merciful and loving Father for displaying His glory in and through VBS and in the life of a 21 year old saint. Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Parent/Student Ministry, Greg Schneeberger

I’d like to share three encouraging anecdotes:

First, our High School leadership team is growing, and our youth band has improved tremendously. As a result of our Sunday meetings (835am), more HS students are actually going to church than ever. These students are like a mini Community Group for me. I get to disciple them in a hands-on way. Several of our young men have expressed a desire to pursue ministry.

Second, Mid-High nights were great this last year, especially our Reformation Day Party and our Christmas party. We had lots of students and parents show up for a great time together as a paradox family.

Finally, one key area of growth has been partnership with other churches. We did camp this summer with Heights Cumberland, and just returned from a winter retreat with four other churches. God is building some cool unity among the body in Albuquerque.

Music Ministry, Drew Hodge

Soon after starting the job in April I had the vision to do a “night of worship” concert. After discussing the idea with some of my team members we came up with the idea of a concert with a live recording. So we started working, and writing. We wrote some new worship tunes, and deciding on the songs we thought best for the worship concert and the live CD. In August we started meeting and going over details for the night and nailed down the final list of songs for the record. September was full of band rehearsals. The night itself was a sweet time of worship through song and Scripture. After the concert we got right to work on the record: editing, mixing, mastering, and preparing artwork. We were able to meet our Christmas deadline for the release of Cause for Praise. We have been blessed by hearing what God is doing through the album. Our hope is to make a record every year.

Feb 1

Clarus 2011 (April 29-May 1): “Scripture: God Speaks”

2011 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Clarus 11

The serpent slyly asked Eve in the Garden, “Did God actually say…?” (Genesis 3:1). Today, as much as ever, God’s people must respond to this satanic pessimism with a hearty confidence in the truth, beauty, and goodness of God’s words to us. The following statement expresses well what we believe about the nature and importance of the Scriptures:

“God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words… The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.”

– from the Confessional Statement of The Gospel Coalition

To that end, we plan to devote a full weekend at the end of April to this theme, “Scripture: God Speaks.” Two able, godly scholars, G. K. Beale and Carl Trueman, will join us for Clarus 2011 to help us consider the centrality, authority, and clarity of God’s Word and its place in the Christian life (meditation), in the church (preached), and in marriage.

Indeed, our God has spoken…and we intend to listen and heed!

So we hope you will join us, April 29 – May 1, to ponder and feed upon God’s words, sing His truth, and meet some new friends.

Stop by the Clarus site to learn more about Clarus, this year’s speakers, the conference schedule, and how to register. We will post more about this year’s conference to the blog in the days and weeks ahead.

Jan 31

Evangelism and the Sunday Morning Pulpit

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Last week, Ryan was asked by John Starke at the The Gospel Coalition to answer an important question about the convergence of evangelism and the Sunday morning sermon. In this post, John asked Ryan, Is it appropriate for pastors to give evangelistic sermons or is Sunday morning strictly for the edification of believers?

In his third point, Ryan explained the nature in which a sermon can can apply the gospel to both believers and unbelievers:

I believe there is a way to preach the gospel to both believers and unbelievers since the gospel is what both believers and unbelievers need the most. In Romans 1:15, Paul relays that he is “eager to preach the gospel” to them—to Christians. This suggests that the gospel is not only to be preached to unbelievers as “the power of God unto salvation” (v. 16), but also to believers as the centerpiece of the Christian life. Similarly, Paul’s confrontation of Peter’s ethnic hypocrisy centered on the concern that this “conduct was not in step with the gospel” (Gal. 2:14)—i.e., it was inconsistent with the unifying purposes of the gospel. This concept, often called “the gospel for Christians,” is increasingly being enjoyed in articles, books, blog posts, and sermons, so I won’t belabor the point. But let me elaborate on the benefits this model of preaching has for believers and unbelievers.

As an able preacher exposes believers’ sins as a misstep with the gospel, and as he once again unfolds the hope, forgiveness, and freeing power of the gospel, non-Christians are listening in on it all. And they’re not only hearing the basics of the gospel, but are also getting a sense of what it’s like to be a Christian. They’re hearing the ongoing cycle of guilt, grace, and gratitude, which is essential to conversion and sanctification. They’re hearing the kinds of things that are expected of those who follow Christ, how they wrestle with temptation, and that the unshakable grace of God is greater than sin. Such preaching has an inherent protection from a Pollyanna gospel, which promises only peace, acceptance, and joy, since the struggle for sanctification is openly addressed. Such gospel-centric preaching also provides unbelieving listeners with an apologetic for the failings and hypocrisies of Christians they’ve known. Of course, at some point in the sermon, the preacher can more directly address the sin-sickness, pain, and rebellion of blatant unbelief (non-Christians). Then it will be useful to be more thorough and explicit about the facts of the gospel, how salvation was accomplished, and what precisely to do to receive his mercy. In all of this, the preacher has not only shown non-Christians what the gospel is and what the Christian life is like, but has also shown Christians how to talk to non-Christians about the gospel. He has also given his members a reason to invite their non-Christian friends to come next Sunday.

Visit The Gospel Coalition’s Blog for Ryan’s full answer. John’s question to Ryan was part of a larger series of posts on the subject of evangelism at the TGC blog. Read John Starke’s recent post clarifying the lessons he has learned about evangelism in the course of this series.

Jan 29

Sermon Follow-up: “So What Do We Mean by Community?”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In last Sunday’s sermon, Ryan answered the question, “So What Do We Mean by Community?” We talk about it enough, but it’s important for us to know what we’re talking about when we do, and to think and talk about community in truly biblical categories.

From Hebrews 10:19-25, Ryan expounded the basis and purpose for Christian community. In the course of his sermon, Ryan mentioned seven spheres for community at DSC. I’ll list them here in case you missed them. Working from larger to smaller gatherings:

  1. Sunday AM
  2. The Lord’s Supper, every last Wednesday of the month
  3. The church-wide dinner before each Lord’s Supper meeting
  4. Various ministries, including women’s studies, men’s huddles, the hospitality team, etc.
  5. Community Groups
  6. Hospitality
  7. One-on-One

The author of Hebrews instructs us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (24, 25). Showing up isn’t the entirety of the Christian life. However, showing up is an indispensable part of what it means to be a Christian. We are born into the community of God’s people, and we depend on one another as the means by which God perseveres us in our faith.

With this kind of regular life-on-life gathering in mind it’s good to recognize the temptation we all face for counterfeit community. Ryan mentioned the danger of Facbeook as a place where people often feel more connected than they are. R.C. Sprou Jr. and Russell Moore have published helpful articles exploring the place of Facebook in the Christian life and the subtle way in which social networks can undermine true community while giving the opposite appearance. They are, just like so many things, something to use for God’s glory, but to think carefully and Christianly about in doing so.

Jan 24

Questions for the Elders?

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

This Wednesday, we meet for our monthly Lord’s Supper service at 6:30 PM to remember Christ’s death in Scripture, song, and symbol.

This service will also include a Q&A time with DSC’s elders, which is a great opportunity to interact with and learn from those who lead our church. If you have any questions about our operations, ministries, vision, church planting, etc. that you would like answered, please email them to info@desertspringschurch.org. The elder’s collect questions in advanced to ensure coverage of the most prominent issues. However, if there are questions unaddressed at the Q&A they will be answered through the DSC Blog or email.

Also, don’t forget to plan for our monthly church-wide dinner served before the Lord’s Supper meeting at 5:30 PM in the Youth Room. Suggested donations for this meal support church planting: $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children under 13 ($10.00 max per family).