Monday, 28 July 2008

Worship Styles

Shane Rosenthal: What do you think about a niche marketing approach that has by virtue of the different worship styles--teen pop, alternative, and adult boomer--created generational segregation?

J. I. Packer: 'We have separated the ages, very much to the loss of each age. In the New Testament, the Christian church is an all-age community, and in real life the experience of the family to look no further should convince us that the interaction of the ages is enriching.

The principle is that generations should be mixed up in the church for the glory of God. That doesn't mean we shouldn't disciple groups of people of the same age or the same sex separately from time to time. That's a good thing to do. But for the most part, the right thing is the mixed community in which everybody is making the effort to understand and empathize with all the other people in the other age groups. Make the effort is the key phrase here. Older people tend not to make the effort to understand younger people, and younger people are actually encouraged not to make the effort to understand older people. That's a loss of a crucial Christian value in my judgment. If worship styles are so fixed that what's being offered fits the expectations, the hopes, even the prejudices, of any one of these groups as opposed to the others, I don't believe the worship style glorifies God, and some change, some reformation, some adjustment, and some enlargement of spiritual vision is really called for.'

Sermons that I preach to myself

  • Love sometimes means offending people people with the truth
  • Living a Holy life doesn't just consist of outward actions but inward emotions
  • The primary task of obedience is faith (Rom 1v5, 14v23, 16v26, Hebrews 11v6)
  • Don't believe that evangelism is a portion of the day. Live the life of an Evangelist.
  • Jokes about sin are sin
  • Scripture should be studied as a serious pleasure rather than a light-hearted chore
  • Real believing always produces joy and peace (Rom 15v13)
  • My closest Christian brothers and sisters will hurt me the most (Prov 27v6)
  • Don't get tired of stirring up gifts (1 Cor 14v1, Gal 6v9, 2 Tim 1v6)
  • Stop having conversations concerning small things when talking about Jesus is better (Matt 12v36, 1 Pt 4v11)
  • Your whole life is the communication of a sermon. Preaching is done through body language and emotions as well as words. Are you preaching the gospel with all that you are?
  • It's not how much you read. It's how much you digest.
  • Putting off the old man is not the same as putting on the new man-both have to be done (Col 3v5-14)
  • Pleasing God is being pleased with Him.
  • Without love you are nothing (1 Cor 13v1-3)

Monday, 14 July 2008

Together On a Mission 08- Driscoll: Spirit Led Missions

Last week was the annual New Frontiers Conference Together On A Mission. I went along to enjoy the teaching, worship and fellowship. Had a great time. My highlight? It had to be hearing one of my favourite living preachers Mark Driscoll. NF really did well in getting him to come.

For the Mobilise section of the conference (students and twenties) Driscoll preached three times on an amalgamation of Church planting and cultural topics in order to enhance a passion for mission and vision for church planting.

He began on Tuesday afternoon by praising New Frontiers as a movement for their work. Driscoll considered his visit as a gift. He showed humility in wanting to learn from the example of NF. This reminded me of Paul's attitude in Romans 1v 11-12:

'For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established- that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me'

He went on by giving 5 errors that Charismatic's are prone to fall into. Driscoll reckons that NF are safe on the first four and lack on the last.
  • A worship of the Holy Spirit rather than worshipping Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • A focus on Pentecost rather than the cross
  • A falling into the health and wealth (prosperity) gospel
  • A worship of the movement leader
  • A lack of speed in planting churches.

Driscoll believes that NF need to train more young men to be leaders, give more money to church planting (he suggests 10% of the income of every church should go to church planting), and as a result more churches. Instead of planting just over ten churches a year Driscoll suggested that NF should be aiming between 70 and 100.

Driscoll went on to define the term 'being Spirit filled' by working through Luke's gospel and the second half of Luke's gospel- The book of Acts.

Being Spirit filled means:

  • Wanting/doing Proclamation (Luke 1v49)
  • Expecting the Supernatural (Luke 1v35)
  • Doing Ministry (Luke 1v15, Acts 1v8)
  • Having seasons of solitude, silent prayer and fasting (Luke 4v1-2)
  • Obedience. Christ obeyed in His humanity by the power of the Spirit. 4 actions of the early church -Teaching, Fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (Luke 3v21-22, Acts 2v42)
  • Loving/Doing Teaching (Luke 4v14-16)
  • Loving people (Luke 4v17)
  • Rejoicing (Luke 10v21)
  • The proclamation and action of repentance (Acts 2v38)
  • Seeing Conversions (Acts 2v41)

He argued that 'too often Spirit filled [is seen today as] doing and being active then contemplative'.

Being in awe of Christ is the essence of what is to be Spirit filled. Not being shocked and amazed by His majesty quenches the Spirit and so diminishes the work of Spirit led missions.

My response to the message: Give me more of the Spirit! Forgive me Jesus that my heart isn't attracted to the work of missions as it should be. Give me vision because 'Where there is no vision, the people perish' (Proverbs 29v18).

I left the room renewed, touched and convicted by God through a man that has a such a heart to show people the relevancy of the gospel.