Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Restoring the Breaches by Being Rescued from Ourselves and Giving Ministry Away

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Kingdom Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

Thriving Frequency 2015 | Restoring the Breaches

Dr. Paul David Tripp and Pastor Bryan Loritts

I have loved every Thriving event I've had the privilege to attend. Posts from the 2013 Thriving Summit and the 2014 Thriving Frequency conference can be found on this website. And here are the previous posts from the 2015 Thriving Conference: 

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Worship Sets Song Lyrics

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Restoring the Breaches by Focusing on Jesus and Connecting with God 

The following posts will feature notes from some of the sessions I was able to attend. For an overall video review of this conference, check out the video Thriving Frequency 2015 Recap. I have a small cameo at the 3:36 mark.

Restoring the Breaches | Being Rescued from Ourselves

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Kingdom Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

Dr. Paul David Tripp

Paul Tripp Ministries

Philadelphia, PA

Book of Jonah

What is the biggest obstacle in life with God? You are. And our criticalness of the Church needs to begin with the person in the mirror. Where is Jesus' Church going to get mature leaders when immature leaders leave or tap out?

There is no situation or relationship that we can run to that is not ruled by King Christ. Are there moments when we want to just stop and step "outside of His presence"? Yes. But again, this is a dangerous perspective. We have to recognize that the biggest danger in our lives is ourselves. It's not others. So stepping away from God or others isn't the solution.

"The Holy Trinity of the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit has been replaced by our so-called 'holy' wants, 'holy' needs, and 'holy' feelings" (Eugene Peterson).

Running from our Holy God is seldom a matter of location. It's first a matter of the heart. How do you run away from God and others? Jonah wasn't allowed to preach God's judgment from a distance. He had to move to the city and walk the streets among the people. And remember, anytime that God announces His judgment, it is an act of mercy and grace. And it was for Jonah and for Nineveh.

How do we run?

When we act like our lives belong to ourselves.
When we close our eyes to the brokenness and the spiritual needs around us.
When we resist any call from God.
When we resist being an instrument and conduit of God's grace.

God's invisible grace incarnates in people changed by grace to give grace to people who need grace. When you are wronged, do you see it as a glorious opportunity for grace? How much of your anger in the last two months had anything to do with the Kingdom of God? The greatest moment of Jonah's groaning didn't have to do with the Kingdom of God or desiring people to repent, but instead was focused on His own comfort.

We run from God and others because we simply don't share His heart. In Jonah's story, God appointed a worm to work on Jonah's heart. And the worm obeys, even as Jonah, made in God's image, complains and wishes to die. But with the worm, God shows us that nothing is too small for the King of the universe to use to teach us.

And at the end of the story, the Creator God is still using all of His power to love and to teach Jonah about His glorious grace. Nothing about Jonah or us can be exposed that hasn't already been covered by the righteous blood of Jesus. We don't need to be rescued from the hardship of ministry or walking with God. We need to be rescued from ourselves.

Restoring the Breaches | Giving Ministry Away

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Kingdom Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

Pastor Bryan Loritts

Trinity Grace Church

New York City, NY

2 Timothy 2

We need to glory of the reverse of the curse and join with God as He rewrites the legacy. With this in mind, we should never forsake the Great Commission or the ministry of Jesus' Church. Discipleship is key. God is looking for faithful servant leaders. Even more so, He is calling spiritual sons and daughters. Ministry leaders should do the same: look for faithful servant leaders and call out spiritual sons and daughters God has given you to lead.

We need to do make disciples and spiritually father and mother with humility and confidence in the Spirit. "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control" (2 Timothy 2:7). We have been called to pass on what has been poured into us into others. 

Discipleship is not only spiritual, but also sociological – it's life. "Every problem in our society is a failure to disciple" (Dallas Willard). For those who want to be discipled, we need to step out of adolescent Christianity: wanting the rights and privileges without the responsibility and accountability. Discipleship will include:

Relationship-building between people
Inspiring others to look at and look like Jesus
Doctrinal teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness
Experiential in every area of life

This discipleship R.I.D.E. together will also dig deeper through John Powell's five stages of communication that he shares in his book Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?:

(1) Cliche
(2) Facts
(3) Opinions
(4) Emotions
(5) Transparency

Are those we're leading growing up into maturity through our teaching and preaching? Do we come with the power of the Gospel and are we willing to preach none other than Christ crucified? 

One day before Charles Spurgeon was about to deliver a sermon in an old theater, thinking he was alone, he tested the acoustics by saying out loud, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). A custodian was cleaning and upon hearing these words fell to his knees and believed. Spurgeon didn't bring the power through an eloquent sermon, but through testing the words, the Word brought His power.

We bring Christ, and Christ alone in truth and grace by His Word and His Spirit, to discipleship.

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