Last Thursday and Friday (yes, in the middle of final exams…our church is just way more fun than school), Bradley and I attended The Gospel Summit.
Our church put on a conference for church leaders about how to let the Gospel permeate every ministry, every heart, and the church as a whole.
It was warm outside.
PTL for AC.
I learned a lot about college ministry, being a wife, church planting, church organization, and the weighty role of a pastor.
I came away from the conference edified, blessed, and challenged–about my future and about my present.
Here are some of my notes from the talks I went to:
Our pastor opened the conference:
“Marks of a Gospel-Centered Church”
- The mission of the church–> (Acts 1:8) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
- We are witnesses.
- When people stand in awe of God’s grace to them, this is what happens:
- Evangelistic Effectives AND Doctrinal Depth
- The Presence of God
- Fervent, Faith-filled [believing] Prayer
- Empowered Members
- Extravagant Generosity–“Generosity is the best apologetic for the veracity of the Gospel.”
First Breakout Session:
“College Ministry: Turning Atheists into Church Planters”
- Pursue them on their turf–then they see that Christianity is not something you turn on & turn off.
- Community of believers is one of your most powerful evangelistic tools.
- Once a Christian, bring them along in ministry immediately.
- Disciple them.
Extremely convicting and motivating for me as a college student. Am I seeking lost people?
Tony Merida, Pastor of Imago Dei Church
- Make the hero of the Bible (Jesus) the hero of your message.
- Satan is not concerned with moralism, he just doesn’t want us to preach Jesus.
- [Your preaching must be] Wider; deeper; more responsible.
- People may say that hearing about the Cross every week will get old–I say, does hearing your wife say she loves you ever get old?
- Proclaim the facts: Jesus rose; He is alive; the tomb is empty; the throne is occupied.
- Preach Christ until you die, and then worship Him forever.
Second Breakout Session:
Veronica Greear & Jen Thompson
“For Pastor’s Wives: Balancing Family & Ministry”
These cute signs were one every table 🙂
- When you say ‘yes’ to something, you are saying ‘no’ to something else.
- There should be white space in your calendar–you need margin.
- Have wise, godly council to talk about your marriage.
- You will never regret honoring and choosing your husband.
- Until your children are saved, you have pagans living in your home. Your primary ministry is in your home.
- Figure out what your husband wants, and do it well.
- Make ministry fun for your family.
Third Breakout Session:
Tony Merida & Nathan Akin
“The Nuts & Bolts of How to Plant a Gospel-Centered Church”
- Plant with a team
- Invest in the core team
- Set clear expectations for potential members
- Plant the church you’ve always wanted to go to
- Don’t give leadership away too quickly
- Start small groups soon and invest in small group leaders
- Teach your people to be missionaries
- Expect support from unlikely partners
- Lead from the pulpit
- Be sensitive to the unchurched
- Don’t be surprised when people leave
“Creating a Sending Culture in Your Church”
- God builds the church.
- The Great Commission is not a calling for some but a mandate for all.
- The church is not an audience but an army.
- The best pastors are those who build up other leaders.
- Be courageous on God’s grace.
- Once a Christian is soaked from the blood of Jesus & the stench of Hell is in his nostrils, you don’t need to preach evangelism.
- Rest on God’s great compassion for His church. It is bigger than you, it didn’t start with you, and it will not end with you.
- Focus more on what Jesus has done for you and less on what you are to do for Him.
Needless to say, I walked away more worshipful of Jesus and more charged to make Him known.
After the conclusion of the conference Bradley and I hung out with a couple we hope to emulate. What a blessing to spend time with older, wiser council to help us see how we can see Jesus as bigger and thus surrender more and more of us for His mission.
I am anxious to see how God will love, challenge, test, and use us this summer, throughout the duration of our time as college students, and for the rest of our lives.
Jesus, You are on the throne. All the universe pants for You. You allow me to join in Your deserved praise.
You are worth it all. You are better.