Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gospel Growth Conference: Day II, Session IV

Session IV: Tony Payne "Resources for Gospel Growth"
[10/31/07 3:30pm]

"You know that an Australian loves you when he insults you," Tony started out. He said that Aussies like many things from the United States: Krispy Kreme, Coca-Cola, Westwing, etc. But he isn't glad tht they have also received our "infomercials". Then he assured us that the next session was NOT an infomercial. It was a bit like an informercial...but it was great one because it pertains to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The resources that Matthias Media creates are truly helpful in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

We are talking about God’s resources…

I. What resources does God give us for ministry for growth?
(1) God’s own true and powerful word (Proclamation)
(2) Spirit…(Prayer)
(3) People…eachother (people)

This is the kind of ministry that God has built…proclamation, prayer, and people. Speak the truth in love to one another. Titus 1 shows that older women are building up younger women. Men must be building up younger men as well. We should be equipping each other that we might be able to teach the Word of God to each other in dependence on the Holy Spirit, and then with other people we share with other people what is going on by the power of Christ.

Payne then pointed to the recent repentance of Willow Creek that their ministry programs over the last 20 years are not working. Programs simply were not working and a bulk of their congregation was not reporting spiritual growth. The process was that they would (1) feed people into a program, (2) measure participation, and then (3) it should mean spiritual growth. That wasn’t happening. They want to teach people to be self-feeders. Self-feeding is an excellent idea. But if the ministry had been driven by the Bible’s methods and priorities they would have known that the responsibility for spiritual growth is not just the pastor’s responsibility, or just the individuals responsibility. Rather, it is a mutual responsibility. We should be building each other up in love. Hebrews 3:12 says, “exhort one another every day as long as it is called today.” Then Hebrews 10:24 says, “consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds.”

It’s up to us to speak the Word to one-another. We must help each other be involved in the ministry of God’s Word to each other. How do you do do you get one another to come into eachother's lives? Take people along with you. The approach has often been to train in this way… “you’ve seen me do it, now you try while I watch.” There is a problem…of cloning another you. This ends up turning up “mini-me’s” of people trying to be someone other than themselves and this is almost never helpful.

A good teacher will point ou to the essentials and say watch me…then you try and transfer the essentials and I’ll come and watch you do it...not necessarily, "imitate me and all my tendencies." Trying to find out how to have transferable skills from one person to another that is what Matthias Media is about.

They were looking for resources that would do this and couldn't find any. So they started to produce them. This is basically the purpose of Matthias Media. And that’s why a bunch of Aussies came about with resources even though it's pretty much against their nature to publish.

II. “How do you train someone to teach the gospel to others?”
We must first clearly understand the gospel, and then practice how to say it in our own language. The tract is not two-ways to live. Two ways to live is the content in the is really a six point outline of the gospel. It is designed to be used as a framework for conversation, not a booklet that you blindly leave in the hands of a stranger. Tony and Marty Sweeney then role-played as a Christian and non-Christian to demonstrate how to use the material.

III. 2 ways to live came out in a rampant secularistic society.
(1) Conversion…Someone is converted...
(2) Follow-up…Then there is the material of “Just For Starters” this material is basic Bible training. They found that no one was doing this.
(3) Helping people growth…tools to help people speak the Word of God to each other.

The main goal of their material is, "Helping people share the Word of God with people."

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