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.
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)
|11am||D.A. Carson||Introduction, On Biblical Exposition|
|2pm||Jensen and Helm||Preaching Workshop: Principles of Biblical Exposition|
|3pm||Jensen, Dever and Helm||Q&A|
|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|
|THURSDAY (OCTOBER 15)|
|9am||Phillip Jensen||Biblical Theology of Ministry 2: All God’s People as Prophets and Disciple-Makers|
|11am||David Helm||Training Initiatives|
|2pm||Jensen and Payne||Training Session|
|6:30pm||Phillip Jensen||What is Training? People not Programs.|
|7:45pm||Marty Sweeney||Obstacles to Training|
|FRIDAY (OCTOBER 16)|
|9am||Tony Payne||Training Practices|
|10:45am||Phillip Jensen||How a Training Mentality Leads to Gospel Workers|