Ministry Is About Faithfulness, Not Numbers: Gospel Growth 2009

But don’t take my word for it–let the Gospel Growth=People Growth conference to be held October 14-16, 2009 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) convince you.  I highly recommend that you go if you’re in the area–you’ll benefit from talks by Don Carson, Mark Dever, Philip Jensen, and more.  It’s kind of a mini-Gospel Coalition.

It’s very cheap–$59 for students, $99 for pastors and others.  It’s sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Henry Center and The Gospel Coalition.

Here’s the event blurb from the website:

At Matthias Media’s 2007 Conference, several hundred pastors, church workers and other ministry-minded Christians gathered at Washington’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church to think about ‘Gospel Growth vs. Church Growth’. We explored what the Bible says about gospel growth, and how it basically proceeds through three foundational Ps: Proclamation, Prayer and People.

At our 2009 conference, we’re going to zero in on the third and often neglected ‘P’: people. Because gospel growth happens in people and through people.

It happens in people. You can have growth in numbers, in budgets, in programs, in activities, in staff, in baptisms, in buildings, in reputation, and even growth in the quality of preaching, but unless individual people are growing in knowledge, in faith, in godliness, and in love as disciples of Christ, it’s all a noisy clanging gong. Are your people really growing? How would you know whether they are or not? Who is discipling each person in your congregation?

Ministry really is all about the three p’s: prayer, proclamation, and people:

Gospel growth also happens through people. Jesus commissioned every disciple for disciple-making, and a pastor-teacher’s job is not only to Proclaim and to Pray but also also to equip, train and mobilize People for the task. Gospel growth multiplies as Christians get involved in the three P’s: in prayerfully speaking God’s word to other people, in whatever way they can, large or small, at home or at work, in small groups or one-to-one. Is this happening where you are? Or is the ministry basically done by the staff? How many people in your congregation, for example, would be willing and able to do the foundational personal discipling work of following up a new believer and establishing them in the basics of the faith?

Here’s the schedule (all at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School):

WEDNESDAY (OCTOBER 14)
10amRegistration Open
11amD.A. CarsonIntroduction, On Biblical Exposition
12:30pm   Lunch Break
2pmJensen and HelmPreaching Workshop: Principles of Biblical Exposition
3pmJensen, Dever and HelmQ&A
3:30pmBreak
4pmMark DeverThe Four Ps of Evangelical Ministry
5pmDinner Break (Registration Open at 6pm)
7:15pmPhillip JensenBiblical Theology of Ministry 1: The Aim and Method of Ministry in People
8:45pmPhillip JensenQ&A
THURSDAY (OCTOBER 15)
9amPhillip JensenBiblical Theology of Ministry 2: All God’s People as Prophets and Disciple-Makers
10:30amBreak
11amDavid HelmTraining Initiatives
12:30pmLunch Break
2pmJensen and PayneTraining Session
4pmDinner Break
6:30pmPhillip JensenWhat is Training? People not Programs.
7:30pmBreak
7:45pmMarty SweeneyObstacles to Training
8:15pmMarty SweeneyQ&A
FRIDAY (OCTOBER 16)
9amTony PayneTraining Practices
10:15amBreak
10:45amPhillip JensenHow a Training Mentality Leads to Gospel Workers
11:45amPhillip JensenQ&A
12:30pmClosing

Hope to see you there.


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