Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thoughts from Ed Stetzer, Day 2

March 9 Morning Sessions
  • This morning's focus was primarily on the issue of the Gospel and social justice. Is the church simply called to proclaim the Gospel message, or should the church be a part of societal transformation?
  • The church's call is to make disciples of all nations with societal transformation (social justice, caring for the poor) as a necessary corollary. Social justice is not the Gospel, but it naturally flows from and with the Gospel. We must be careful not to abandon or diminish the Gospel, but we also must recognize the call to love our neighbor and model the heart of God for the poor.
  • In many countries outside the U.S. and many places within the U.S., sharing the Gospel without caring for the poor would make no sense to people.
  • John Piper: "We care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering."
  • Stetzer: "Gospel transformation without Gospel proclamation is not Gospel transformation."
  • We must keep the main thing the main thing, but we must make sure the main thing doesn't become the only thing.
  • Some helpful books on this issue: Generous Justice by Tim Keller | To Transform a City Eric Swanson & Sam Williams
March 9 Afternoon Sessions
  • To become missional we must love the lost more than we love the way we do church.
  • Jeff Foxworthy once commented that everyone chooses to get off the fashion train at some point, choosing to just live in a bygone era. Has our church chosen to get off the relevance train? Are we still ministering like a church in the 50's, 80's, 90's? Or are we seeking to remain relevant to the current time and context?
  • You need to understand the way people think if you're going to lead them, just like you need to understand the way your spouse receives love if you are going to effectively love her/him.

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