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GCM SquareToday, I registered seven men from Grace to head up to Orlando for the GCM Collective One Day Training taking place on March 9th. Caesar Kalinowski and Seth McBee will be leading the one day training, and I’m looking forward to training we will receive from them. Last October, we (PLNTD) had Caesar (and Scotty Smith) speak at a training event in New England, and folks were really encouraged by the training. It will be good to see him again and (finally) meet Seth as well.

Here’s the schedule for the event:

9:00-10:15am       Main Session One: What is the Gospel?
10:30-11:45am     Main Session Two: Community on Mission – Transitioning from Traditional to Incarnational
11:45am-1:00pm  Lunch
1:15-2:15pm          Breakout One
2:30-3:30pm        Breakout Two
3:45-5:00pm        Main Session Three: Creating a Discipleship Environment

If you are in the Florida area, I encourage you to take some gospel community leaders (or your small group equivalent) and use the drive time to deepen relationships with one another. We have three hours up and back, and I’m looking forward to tapping into that time together as much as the training itself.

If you or a group from your church is going, let me know. It would be great to connect while we are there!

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Lecrae at Passion2013

Tim Brister —  January 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

HT : @MrMedina

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Some eleven years ago, I attended a DiscipleNow Weekend in Memphis, TN and met the crazy people behind Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. Head of the bunch is a burly, bald-headed fanatic – Brody Holloway. Since that time, I had Snowbird lead teenagers and college students in retreats and DiscipleNow’s, but more importantly, I have the privilege of becoming great friends with several of them (one was a groomsmen and another attended seminary with me at SBTS). Needless to say, I am a big fan of SWO, even though I can’t put a wetsuit on properly.

Anyway.

Snowbird is the real deal. I’m not in student ministry these days, but if there was one place I’d take students of any age, it would be Andrews, NC. It’s a homegrown ministry that has developed significantly over the years, including a church plant in the city they live and a partnership with the IMB to engage unreached people groups in some of the most treacherous places of the world.

Recently, Brody shared that a new website was formed to house information related to speaking opportunities, downloadable resources, and a family blog. I encourage you to check it out, and if you are in the NC/VA/SC area and looking for a gospel-saturated preacher boy that connects, I recommend Brody and the brothers of Snowbird. He’s theologically robust, missionally driven, communally engaged, and genuinely humble. May God continue to raise up such men to point the next generation to Jesus.

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Hello world!

admin —  April 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Every Life Has a Story

Tim Brister —  February 8, 2012 — Leave a comment

Watch this video . . .

And apply that to my recent blogpost about structuring for maximum edification.  Every person has a story to tell, indeed.  If Chick-fil-a is willing to read them for the asking of a chicken sandwich, are not willing to take the time to read them for the sake of their souls?

A church unwilling to read and address the stories of people will be satisfied with skimming the surface with conversations that probe no deeper than a “Hey, how are you doing?” which almost always is met with a disingenuous response.  No gifts of the Spirit are exercised because no one is listening.

Now, imagine if we took just one of those stories, one of those individuals and placed them in a context where every member listened, understood the story, and felt personally responsible to play a redemptive part in contributing through the spiritual gift entrusted to them by the Holy Spirit? What role would an exhorter play? A giver? An agent of mercy? A leader? Someone with wisdom? Someone with great faith? And so on?

Paul Tripp nailed it when he said that we are all called to be instruments in the Redeemer’s hands because we are helping others change while at the same time we ourselves are in need of change.  Every person you meet is a mess needing someone willing to get messy.  Every person is a sinner needing someone to help them walk in repentance and faith, growing in the gospel, extending mercy and forgiveness to other sinners.  And the Holy Spirit animates the life of the church by His work in and through Christians sovereignly gifted to do good to one another and so edify the church.

Next time you see people, consider why their lives (the subtext) might be really saying. Everything in us militates against listening and engaging–our comfort zones, our busy schedules, fear of man, selfishness, etc.  Yet, we have in us the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead giving life to our mortal bodies. He intends to do in us what no strength of the flesh can accomplish. I pray the stories of people we encounter will be rewritten by the gospel of Jesus as it is applied to their hearts and transforms their lives.

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A Little Blog Update

Tim Brister —  January 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

Just a little note about what I am hoping to do in the future. I have come to the conclusion that the season of life right now is one with little margin for rightly lengthy blogposts (though I have dozens of drafts awaiting my attention!). So to keep my blog active, I will attempt to provide more bit-size stuff that I am either working on, reading, observing, or studying in Scripture. 

If you think of it, I appreciate your prayers for the ventures I am undertaking at this point, including leading our church in a time of transition, launching PLNTD, expanding mission in Haiti, and hosting band of bloggers in April. Thanks!

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Brian McLaren recently jumped into the fray of the Love Wins fracas by offering an interpretation of Albert Mohler’s interpretation of Rob Bell’s interpretation of the gospel.  That may sound like an odd way to make a contribution, but if you’re Brian McLaren, offering an interpretation of someone else’s interpretation is actually the best thing one can do.  So I will attempt to enter McLaren’s world and offer an interpretation of McLaren’s interpretation of Mohler’s interpretation of Rob Bell’s interpretation of the gospel as explained in his book Love Wins.

Are you with me?  Good.

One of the principle charges McLaren brings against Mohler is his misinterpretation of Rob Bell’s interpretation of the gospel.  McLaren argues that Bell is not trying to offer a version of the gospel better than the one we have in the Bible; rather, Bell is trying to get us to see past all the “imperfect versions or approximations of it” in order to “be bound to that original story rather than to a popular (perhaps the most popular in some settings) version of it.”  McLaren is working on the assumption that Bell has greater insight into the original story than most throughout Christian history.  For thousands of years, we have unfortunately been victims of shoddy interpretations and static interferences of what Jesus actually said and did.  Both McLaren and Bell, on the other hand, assert that the “original story” is better than what we have allowed it to be due to our inaccurate approximations.

But my question for McLaren is, “How do you know this?”

Continue Reading…

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Jonathan Dodson, pastor of Austin City Life, recently announced that he has completed his new booklet, “Fight Club: Gospel-Centered Discipleship” which will be e-published for free first The Resurgence, with a print on demand option.  Dodson also mentioned that they are working on a website that will expand the booklet through interaction, blogs, and articles. and ultimately have it published as a hard copy.

Here is a description of the chapters from the Introduction:

Chapter One lays out a biblical case for fighting the fight of faith, which I hope stirs you up to fight the fight of faith. Once the fighting begins, it is easy to slide into fighting people instead of sin. We start beating one another up with judgment, fighting the wrong things with the wrong motives. We fight against the church instead of with her.

Chapter Two explores where we go wrong in our fighting by uncovering legalistic and licentious patterns in discipleship.

In turn, Chapter Three calls us away from these extremes into a gospel-centered discipleship. With the gospel at the center of discipleship, we can live as Jesus intended—fighting the good fight of faith which leads to true change. However, if weren’t not careful we’ll start to fight on our own. Failure to grasp the community focus of the gospel can cut us off from the grace God gives through his people, the church.

Chapter Four reminds us that discipleship is a community project because the gospel is community focused. Jesus created and redeemed us as people in relationship, people who need one another in the fight of faith. Instead of fighting against the church, we can fight with her, to live a life that is motivated by all that God is for us in the Spirit and the Son.

In conclusion, Chapter Five offers a practical way to apply the gospel to everyday life. It is a call for Fight Clubs—small, simple, biblical, reproducible groups of people who meet together regularly help one another keep the gospel at the center of their discipleship.

Fight Clubs have been crucial in my life and my church. I hope and pray that you’ll find them helpful too, that you’ll form a Fight Club and start fighting with the church, in the gospel, on mission, for the glory of God.

For those in or around Atlanta, GA, I encourage you to check out the The Fight Club Training taking place August 1, 2009 at The Journey in ATL.

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About Don Whitney:

Don Whitney has been Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Senior Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, for ten years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality.  Prior to his ministry as a seminary professor, Don was pastor of Glenfield Baptist Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), for almost fifteen years. Altogether, he has served local churches in pastoral ministry for twenty-four years. He is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (NavPress, 1991), which has a companion discussion guide. He has also written How Can I Be Sure I’m A Christian (NavPress, 1994), Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church (Moody Press, 1996), Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health (NavPress, 2001), Simplify Your Spiritual Life (NavPress, 2003), and Family Worship (Center for Biblical Spirituality, 2006). His hobby is restoring and using old fountain pens.

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This issue has been addressed on repeated occasions, and now there are many people in this room who teach on this subject of church discipline.  When this conference began 26 years ago, it would be hard to find one church who practice church discipline, but now there are dozens who are doing it.  There is always the need to teach again the doctrines we hold dear, especially the doctrine of the church and focusing on the change that needs to be brought in the reformation of the church.

Reformation always begins with teaching.  The goal of church discipline is restorative, not punitive.  It is not “banning people from the church” (as the Wall Street Journal puts it).  The goal is to restore a believer to righteousness.  We want to bring them back, to heal the breach, to restore them in love.

Let’s look at Matt. 18:15-20.

Continue Reading…

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This past week, The Henry Center, under the direction of Doug Sweeney and Owen Strachan, hosted an international conference in Hong Kong, China, covering topics of Christian identity in diverse situations. A number of faculty from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, along with scholars from Westmont College, Beeson Divinity School, Christar in India, Alliance Bible Seminary of China, Evangel Seminary in Hong Kong, and China Graduate School of Theology, participated in this conference. Strachan, in his introductory post, shares his initial thoughts, stating:

We are really excited by this conference, as it’s not common for Christians from East and West to gather together for such meaningful and productive fellowship. This is a very unique part of the privilege it is to labor for Christ in a world of increasing connection.

Owen has provided his own “Hong Kong Travelogue”–a series of blogposts covering the conference–which are listed below.

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