I came across this great video from Exponential a few years ago with Tim Keller talking about his church planting journey and the need to be Spirit-Led. It’s a great video and very insightful for future or current church planters.
Exponential: Tim Keller – Plenary Session 5, “The Gospel”
The DNA of a reproducing church has to be The Gospel.
- The Gospel is the power of God.
- It’s the power of God in written form.
- We’ve found ourselves in the Christian & Evangelical world that many are unsure of what the Gospel really is.
- In the synoptic gospels, we see the gospel being tied to the Kingdom of God. You don’t see this in the Book of John or the writings of Paul. They talk more about justification & atonement.
- The Bible teaches that there is one gospel and yet it has several forms.
- We see this in the teachings of Paul, where Paul says there is one gospel but he says in Galations 2:7 that Paul has the gospel of the uncircumcised and Peter has the gospel of the circumcised.
WHAT IS THE ONE GOSPEL?
- The Tri-Pod of the Gospel
- In Jesus Christ, God emptied himself and became a servant as a human.
- In Jesus Christ, God substituted himself for us for the atonement of mankind so that they might experience eternal life.
- At the end of time, God will come back and restore the new heavens and the new earth.
- Simply preaching ‘ The Kingdom of God is at hand’ and God wants to restore our world will not change lives.
1. The Upside Down Kingdom
- Since God emptied himself, there should be a reversal of the values in the church.
- The church should not be about popularity or prosperity, but about serving the poor and reconciling racial tention.
2. God Substitutes Himself
- The difference between a Christian and a Pharisee is a Pharisee repents only for their sins, but a Christian repents also for their righteousness.
3. Christianity is a fighting religion.
- Christians know God hates poverty, hates disease. And if that’s true, we should fight to change that, to bring about justice and mercy to the world.
Mainline Churches see their community and strive to improve the culture around them, but there’s no life-change.
The Evangelical Church strives to make converts and grow their tribe, but doesn’t improve the culture around them.
- “Cell multiplication without a purpose is a cancer.”
- Do we need to emphasize all three points everytime we preach? No.
- Rarely do we see all three emphasized in scripture at once.
- Preach expositionally and don’t stick in one type of text. Preach through the synoptics, the Book of John and Paul’s writings and you’ll hit the different aspects of the gospel.
- This will allow you to give a balanced diet of the gospel.
- You have to have a ‘Go for the Juguler’ way in all three aspects of the gospel.
- We don’t relate to God as a person on the first floor of a building relates to a person on the second floor.
- We relate to God as Hamlet does to Shakespeare. Hamlet’s only way to know Shakespeare is if Shakespeare writes himself into the play.
- God has more than written himself into the story of this world. We are His incarnation.
- If we could grasp the power of the substition of Christ’s death for us, we can face anything.
- Bringing justice and peace into a world of injustice. This is the core of what Easter is. Restoring the death sentence of this earth.
Exponential: Tim Keller – Breakout Session 7, “How to Accomplish the Jesus Mission”
Tim Keller is the Founding Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of numerous books.
The application and facilitation of biblical, spiritual revival.
The reason we’re not reproducing churches like we should is because we’re not alive.
Being a reproducing churches is what you are, not just what you do.
Explosive reproduction happens in revival.
16 DYNAMICS OF BIBLICAL, SPIRITUAL REVIVAL
3 Instruments of Revival (We have control over)
1. A recovery of the difference between the gospel and religion.
Religion is the attitude that says, “I obey God, therefore I’m accepted.”
This person comes to church out of fear.
These people are trying to control God.
They feel God owes them because they’ve ‘paid their taxes.’
Most churches are filled with this type of person.
The gospel says, “I’m accepted by God through the sacrifice of Christ, therefore I obey.”
This person comes to church out of desire.
These people delight in letting God be God.
They can flow with whatever God throws their way.
2. A return to extraordinary, corporate prayer.
Barrier-breaking, united prayer.
You never have a revival the same way twice.
3 Aspects of Revival (We have no control over)
1. Nominal church members get converted.
When traditional people have never really experience regeneration, understand the difference between religion and the gospel they tell everyone.
This causes numbers of others to come under conviction and to follow.
2. Sleepy Christians wake-up.
They understand in their head that Jesus is their Savior, but in their heart they look to human approval, or other things as their functional Savior.
Jesus is their intellectual Savior, but not their functional Savior.
They begin to sense the reality of Christ on their heart.
They begin to make Jesus their functional Savior.
3. Evangelism taking place outside of programs.
6 Balances of Revival (These are partially controllable)
1. A strong emphasis on edifying worship.
Worship that makes non-Christians feel welcome but Christians feel uplifted.
2. A strong emphasis on great teaching & preaching.
This has to be gospel-oriented.
Has to make the truth clear, but also real.
3. A strong emphasis on life-changing community.
Life-change takes place amongst those you hang out with.
4. A strong emphasis on evangelism.
When revival takes place there is a humility in Christians toward the nonbeliever, but there is also a boldness to share the gospel.
5. A strong passion for justice and the poor.
6. There is cultural engagement.
You look at the culture and ask, “How can we make in impact?”
Revival makes it impossible to seal off their lives from Christ.
4 Results of Revival (We have no control over)
1. There’s always a luny fringe.
There will always be a fringe of people that take things too far.
2. There’s always a backlash.
This can take place inside your denomination or your church or even in your culture.
3. There are a lot of churches planted.
4. There is real social healing.
As important as revival is, no revival lasts forever.
We have to be careful not to get too anxious, because ultimately there is only one revival that will bring ultimate healing – it’s called ‘the New Heaven and the New Earth’.