Thursday, April 24, 2008

Closing Sessions at expoconf ‘08

Closing Session of


What an intro to Tim Keller! Wow! By Sound


  • DNA of a reproducing church must be the gospel – Romans 1:16-17. Gospel doesn't produce power – it IS the power of God. Gospel is always a verbal proclamation in the NT.
  • See April 2008 issue of Leadership Magazine for much of the content of this talk.
  • Modern evangelical world has lost sight of what the gospel is, and we are unsure.
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke – gospel is about Kingdom of God, but in John it is about eternal life, Paul makes it about justification. They take such different approaches to the same gospel. Referenced to Brian McLaren who, in one of his trilogy books, brings us back to the Kingdom of God.
  • Keller – there is one gospel with several forms. Galatians 1 – the cursed who preach any other gospel. 1 Cor. 15 – we all preach the same gospel. Gal. 2:7 – shows the difference of approach to the circumcised and to the uncircumcised.
  • 1 Cor. 1:22-25 – Weakness/power. Chinese guy and Japanese guy see a bird – one sees beauty, the other sees lunch. 2 cultures, 2 gospel forms.

What is the One Gospel?

  • Simon Gatherhold – God's Power to Save – IVP UK. Gospel tripod =
    • In Jesus Christ, God emptied himself
    • In Jesus Christ, God died as our substitutionary atonement…
    • At end of time, In Jesus Christ, God will return to restore all things.
  • Not just about individual salvations, about restoration of all things…much bigger than what we tend to look at. It is both/and. Both personal conversion and changing the world and ushering in the "at hand" Kingdom of God.


Three Aspects of the Kingdom of God

  1. Upside Down Kingdom = reversal of values from world's values…serving, caring, reconciliation
  2. Inside-out Kingdom = personal salvation and sanctification. Repenting of not just our sins but also our righteousness…salvation is by faith. This is what makes us different than Pharisees.
  3. Right-side up Kingdom = working on the world's restoration because of salvation…the new heavens and earth.
  • Producing converts, growing the tribe just to grow the tribe becomes cancer. In our bodies, cells without purpose become cancer.
  • John's gospel put emphasis on individual change, the Synoptics place the emphasis on the broader Kingdom corporately, societally, and perhaps Paul blends both. It stems for a systematic approach to the Gospel in the Gospels and Paul's writings. We use many approaches at the gospel.
  • PREACHING EXPOSITIONALLY THROUGH THE GOSPELS AND PAUL, WE WILL PREACH THE GOSPEL IN ALL THE FORMS. He showed how preaching each aspect of the Kingdom of God impacts different people. Preach stories, preach structure all of which is found when we preach the Bible. You must be able to preach all 3 passionately:
    • Incarnational Preaching – how God reveals Himself through the revelation of His Book. The only way for Hamlet to experience Shakespeare is for Shakespeare to write himself into the play…and that is exactly what God did with us (C.S. Lewis responding to Kruschev).
    • Substitutionary Preaching -
    • Return of Christ Preaching – resurrection becomes good news for the whole world that change not just lives, but even society and creation.



Rick Warren

  • Before marriage, opposites attract, after marriage opposites attack.
  • Listen to your wife. The Holy Spirit will speak through her.
  • Never compare yourself to anyone else…always someone doing it better, and always someone doing it worse…discouragement & pride.



  1. Never Stop Growing Yourself…Have Polaroid vision…the longer you look at it, the clearer it becomes.
  2. Pay attention to your family. Call it a Sabbath, not a day-off. Build your family before you build your church.
  3. You must make disciples…it takes years to grow an oak tree, you can't grow a solid sizeable church overnight…don't be interested in audience, rather be interested in raising an army.
  4. It is all about SURRENDER…what God wants is right.
  5. Develop a Kingdom mindset…learn to love not just your own church, but learn to love everybody else's too…we are not each other's competition, our competition is the world, the flesh and the devil…THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WHEREVER JESUS CHRIST IS KING!
    It is God's people doing God's will wherever. The KINGDOM OF GOD IS INEVITABLE. Every time the disciples wanted to talk about prophesy, Jesus changed the subject to EVANGELISM.
  6. Focus on building PEOPLE not THE CHURCH. As we build people, God builds the church.
  7. You must have a process, a paradigm, and plan and follow it.
  8. Acts 13:36 – David did the timeless in a timely way…served God's purpose in his generation, then He died. 8 Laws of the Spiritually Mature Church (mp3 by Warren available at )

Lenin Quote = Give me 100 totally committed men and we will change the world.

Funding Reproduction

Funding Reproduction

Tom Jones & Troy McMahon


  1. Make clear what you are going to do.
  2. Start with a team and require every member to raise funds.
  3. Branding and top-quality media to communicate who you are and what you are doing.
  4. Make an exhaustive list of individuals, churches and organizations that might support you.
  5. Once you create a list, work the list.
  6. Ask for continued support and special gifts.
  7. Have in mind what you want people to give. Ask specifically, ask for more than think you will get.
  8. Don't give up. If someone says no, ask again and keep asking.
  9. Over-communicate THANKS!
  10. Send updates regularly.
  11. Ask supporters to visit, to become personally involved, to pray.
  12. People have different pockets for different things. Be creative in trying to get people to open their pockets. (BABY CHURCH SHOWERS – for new church plants).
  13. Make goal to be self-supporting with 2 – 5 years, and communicate that to supporters.
  14. Have good receipting systems.
  15. Have fund-raising team
  16. Build fund-raising into your reproductive DNA.
2008 National New Church Conference

Link in and Find Exponential Conf Podcasts

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Expoconf – Organizing for Reproduction

Organizing for Reproduction

Alan Hirsh & Dave Ferguson


There needs to be several shifts in our church values and practices and thinking if we will become reproducing churches.

  1. Strategy Shift: Move from reactive to pro-active
    1. It's not about 80% full
    2. It's about artist and leader readiness
  2. Values Shift: Prefer
    1. New more than old
    2. Edge more than center
    3. Change more than same
    4. Lost more than found
    5. Going more than staying
    6. Multiplication more than addition
  3. Leaders move from Ministry Management to Ministry Entrepreneurship
  4. Organizing to go multisite (directors oversee these areas for each/all campuses)
    1. Arts
    2. Business
    3. Community
    4. Authority runs north and south/influence runs east and west as opposed to just our tradition silo structuring




Movements that change the world have the structure of network, not a hierarchy

  1. Individuals
  2. Cells
  3. Other organizations

One DNA that can reproduce from a single part of it. (Read the Starfish and the spider) Chop off spider's legs, it dies. Chop off the legs of the starfish, each leg growth another whole starfish. We need to create organizations that do the same. (See Pay It Forward movie as another example).

Creating a Culture of a Reproducing Church

Creating a Culture of a Reproducing Church

Jon Ferguson & Dave Dummit for notes


  • Launch new service to jumpstart reproduction, create sense of urgency that more people need to experience what we are experiencing. They did it when they still had lots of room in their worship space.


  1. A Reproducing Church Anticipates God at Work
    1. Where is God at work
    2. Where might God be dreaming and wanting to do something also
  2. A Reproducing Church Anticipates Barriers to Reproduction
    1. Organizational Structure
    2. Give campus pastors more responsibilities (not a barrier, but something that enhances)
    3. Cut back on central services, stay systemically and programmatically lean
  3. A Reproducing Church Anticipates the Future
  4. A Reproducing Church Anticipates Rising Talent
    1. Apprentices and raise up leaders to replace leaders in every area of ministry
  5. A Reproducing Church Celebrates the Present
    1. Celebrate new ministry workers
    2. Celebrate changed lives
    3. Do it publically in your worship services
    4. Regularly hold-up your workers…videos, pictures, prayers
    5. Baptisms
    6. Efforts even if they fail…they were willing to take risks. Celebrate risk-taking.
  6. A Reproducing Church Measures Key Things
    1. Christ-followers – are more becoming and growing as followers of Christ?
    2. Leaders (small group potential)
    3. Artists (large group ministry potential)
    4. Small Groups (care and community)
    5. Congregations (measures stewardship of facilities) maximize facility usage
    6. Campuses – multi-site (community impact)


Do you want to be a church that reproduces or do you want to be a reproducing church? Think through the dynamics of difference of these statements.

Alan Hirsch During Main Session

Alan Hirsch – Plenary Session of Exponential Conference '08

  • Organizations get mesmerized to conform and need a kick in the butt to change.
  • We need to recapture the apostolic form of movement which is exponential.
  • Church in the West is in decline in every setting
  • Answer not found in new things, but in going back to find something lost in our ethos


4 Areas to Recover in order to Recover the Lost or Ancient Ethos


  1. Absolute centrality of Jesus for the life of the People of the Church –
    1. Christology lies at the heart of the renewal of the Church
    2. We must radicalize in order to re-missionalize
    3. We don't look like Jesus, and we must recalibrate back to Jesus to authenticate ourselves
    4. Christology determines missiology that determines ecclesiology
    5. Jesus doesn't mix well with religion, just look at the NT… look at any church and ask "where is Jesus?"
    6. We have subverted Jesus out of Christianity (Catholics by statues, prayers, Mary, etc; many Western Evangelical Churches by our programs and structures)
      1. Rev. 3:20 – "How did Jesus get outside the church in the first place?"
      2. Christianity minus Christ equals Religion, Christianity plus Jesus equals Christianity
      3. Show me your Jesus and I will show your faith
        1. Keep the gospels from our children because if we really take the gospels seriously, they are dangerous, radical things. (He is saying this tongue in cheek to make his point) about how the gospels should really inspire radical living….isn't what Jesus really asks disturbing?)
  2. Recovery of Discipleship as our Core Task
    1. Becoming little Jesuses – embody all that he stands for
    2. Embodiment and Transformation
    3. Movements can grow only in proportion into their discipleship (Jesus himself makes it hard to join the movement)
    4. Leadership is an extension of discipleship
    5. Consumerism is killing us
  3. Recovering the Ethos/Structures of Apostolic Movements
    1. Movements are very different than institutions
    2. We need missionally responsive, culturally adaptive, organizationally agile, multiplications movements
    3. Movements are responsive to the people outside, template follows after mission, not in front of it. Movements:
      1. Mobilize the whole people of God – priesthood of believers (we have made it too professional) "Every Believer a Church Planter, Every Church Planting Churches" (Chinese mission statement)
      2. Are reproducing and reproducible
      3. Structurallly newtworked (avoid centralization of power and function)
      4. Employ Missional leadership
      5. Where are the other offices beyond "pastor" found in Eph. 4
  4. Recovering an Incarnational-Mission Impulse
    1. Missional God
    2. Requires a Missional People
    3. Living Missional Lives

This Week at Exponential Conference

I am in Orlando with 5 guys from our district and 1 from the EDA. We have had a great time of learning and being challenged by a wide variety of movement thinking from the following leaders: Ed Stetzer, Andy Stanley, Dave Ferguson, Randy Pope, Bob Roberts, Tim Keller, Rick Warren, Alan Hirsh, Neil Cole and whole host of others. Training began on Monday and continues into Thursday afternoon. I will be posting notes from some of the sessions that I have attended. The one thing you will notice is push back to real honest disciplemaking. We have those at this conference who are all about the "gig" of buildings, programs, arts, mailings, marketing, seekers, etc AND we have those of a much simpler persuasion such as house church movement. None has said that their way is the only way, so it has not been an either or conference. It has been eye opening to where we need to head back to. I will be posting not only what most of readily accept, but also insight gleaned from those who may not seem to align with many of us of a very traditional theological persuasion. I do this so that we can understand the extent of dialogue taking place all over this globe.


Allegheny District Named Church-Planting District of the Year


During this conference, our district was announced as the EFCA's Church-Planting District of the year by our National Director, George Klippenes. This is a very humbling thing to me as we have so far yet to go. I feel like it was a low bar, but maybe a pat on the back for how far we have come is in order. As I look at other districts, they have accomplished so much more than us, and I really admire these men. But we did shot hard out of the gate in this first year. Praise God for His graciousness with us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

$5000 Support Check from Trinity EFC, Amherst OH

Wendy-Jo & I, and Jeff & Kim Powell had a wonderful day of worship together with the Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Amherst, OH as they burned their mortgage. Trinity is about 14 years old and they have experienced some very great growth. With burning their mortgage, they are putting those funds toward the expansion of the great commission through American Church planting and missions. In order to celebrate the conclusion of one phase of ministry (mortgage) and the beginning of the next (church-planting and more aggressive evangelism), they had a phenomenal worship service complete with their orchestra, praise band, special musical guests from A Fresh Wind Church , releasing of a dove, great preaching by Jeff Powell, and scrumptious food. Additionally, during this service was the burning of the mortgage and the presentation of a $5000 check toward my support. They will also be adding me as a missionary for $400/month. Trinity also continues to support Jason Oesterling even beyond their original commitment and they are making plans to plant their first daughter church in Oberlin. Praise God for Pastor Arnie Fleagle, the Elders, Missions Committee, and other leaders of Trinity in Amherst.

Dansville Community Church

Dansville Community Church has developed a pretty nice website/blog. Click on either the title above or here to check it out. Way to go Derek & Joe!! Woo-hoo!