Coming up at the beginning of next month (Nov. 1-3), PLNTD is hosting a regional training event in Nashville focusing on Gospel-Driven Leadership. I am excited about this event for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the two men helping forward the important initiative of raising up and sending out gospel-driven leaders in local churches. Ed Stetzer and Trevin Wax have agreed to spend the weekend with us, providing instruction and encouragement on how church leaders are shaped by the gospel and driven through a distinctly gospel-centric philosophy of leadership.
Recently, I asked Trevin to share about why he’s speaking at this training event and what he hopes God will do in the lives of those who attend.
Tim: Trevin, you have helped many of us thinking carefully about the gospel. Why is it important to explore the relationship of gospel centrality to church leadership?
Trevin: When the theological underpinnings of ministry practice are unseen, then we have a disconnect between theology and ministry philosophy. So, for example, we say the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but then we sometimes act as if it’s the gospel needs to be propped up by our creativity, our innovation, etc. There’s a disconnect, and this leads to a number of practical handbooks for ministry that are largely devoid of theological substance.
A lot of gospel-centered guys recognize this disconnect between theological foundation and pragmatic church practice, but unfortunately we swing the pendulum too far the other way. We love theology to the exclusion of practical ministry guidance. I want us to make sure we’re not being reactionary. We do need to see how the gospel impacts the day-to-day life of the leader.
I am learning as I go when it comes to leadership, and I’m excited to jump into a conversation with the people at this conference about gospel-cetnered leadership and what it looks like.
Tim: Do you think a greater understanding and commitment to the gospel could produce greater health and longevity of church leaders in difficult situations?
Trevin: Yes, but I’d want to be careful not to imply that we make it through difficult situations by gritting our teeth and holding doggedly to the gospel message. It’s not the gospel (as message) we cling to, but the Savior who has revealed Himself to us through that message. The way we persevere through adversity is by holding tightly to the Savior who we know (because of the gospel) is holding tightly to us. It’s personal.
In my preparation for this conference, I’ve been amazed at the emphasis in the Gospels on “being with Jesus.” Gospel-centered leading is following. Not a list of rules and regulations, but following a Savior. Our work for Jesus flows out of our life with Jesus.
Tim: We are grateful for your participation and leadership for our upcoming conference! What are you praying God will do in the lives of those who attend?
Trevin: I’m praying that the Lord will grant us eyes to see His glory and hearts to see His compassion for lost people, so that we’ll be overflowing with passion as we lead others to join His mission of seeking and saving the lost.
For the next two weeks, you can register for this training event using the special promotional code “timmybrister” and receive 25% discount of regular registration (which is just $49). Additionally, everyone who attends this conference will receive a FREE copy of Trevin’s excellent book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope! The conference is right around the corner, so don’t delay. I hope to see many of you there!