Friday, September 14, 2007

Session I: Weekender Orientation

[Matt Schmucker 6:00pm Thursday evening 9/13/07]

This was a time where Matt Schmucker and Josh Coover oriented the 50 guests from around the world what to expect at the Weekender. Matt said that a Methodist minister came to a Weekender and said, “before I was here I never prayed.” He said that other ministers, lay leaders, and seminarians have said after the Weekender that they have never sang until they came here. Needless to say it was a great orientation. Giving testimony to how God has used the Weekender conference in the lives of former attendees.

Matt’s forty-five minute lecture started with the example of three types of churches: (1) Biblical/faithful approach First Baptist Dallas, TX; (2) Seeker-sensitive approach Saddleback Community Church in California; and (3) Missional/Emerging model at Sojourn in Louisville, KY. He read a little of each church’s statement of faith and used them as a platform to start laying out why Capitol Hill Baptist Church does what it does. He said that they are not necessarily against pragmatism. Rather, they are against pragmatism that doesn’t find its foundation in what Scripture teaches about how the church should be structured, and function in the world.

6 Epochs in Biblical History
Matt then started to give examples in biblical history that form a foundation of how churches should function and what churches should model to the world.
(1) Creation

(2) Fall

(3) Israel

(4) Church

(5) Christ

(6) Glory

Out of this context of understanding the church Matt drew four lessons that we learn from them.
(1) The local church is meant to reflect God’s glory.

(2) The local church is marked off and distinct from the world, “You’ve got to be different,” he said.

(3) Evangelism is bound up in the churches' distinctiveness.

(4) The local church is to proclaim the gospel by living it out together.

Matt closed out this session with a great quote before we prayed:
“The church is not the absence of conflict; rather, the church is a picture of forgiveness.”

This post doesn’t give near the substance of what Matt covered, but it’s just a taste.

I can’t really share much about the elder’s meeting, but we started by praying for probably forty minutes to an hour for the elders and the congregation, it started with all of us standing and singing Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise. [To the right is a picture of how they set up for the elder's meetings]

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