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):

10am Registration Open
11am D.A. Carson Introduction, On Biblical Exposition
12:30pm    Lunch Break
2pm Jensen and Helm Preaching Workshop: Principles of Biblical Exposition
3pm Jensen, Dever and Helm Q&A
3:30pm Break
4pm Mark Dever The Four Ps of Evangelical Ministry
5pm Dinner Break (Registration Open at 6pm)
7:15pm Phillip Jensen Biblical Theology of Ministry 1: The Aim and Method of Ministry in People
8:45pm Phillip Jensen Q&A
9am Phillip Jensen Biblical Theology of Ministry 2: All God’s People as Prophets and Disciple-Makers
10:30am Break
11am David Helm Training Initiatives
12:30pm Lunch Break
2pm Jensen and Payne Training Session
4pm Dinner Break
6:30pm Phillip Jensen What is Training? People not Programs.
7:30pm Break
7:45pm Marty Sweeney Obstacles to Training
8:15pm Marty Sweeney Q&A
9am Tony Payne Training Practices
10:15am Break
10:45am Phillip Jensen How a Training Mentality Leads to Gospel Workers
11:45am Phillip Jensen Q&A
12:30pm Closing

Hope to see you there.

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