By: Jonathan Dodson, Pastor of Austin City Life
Advance & Retreat of the Church
Over a century ago, Church historian Kenneth Latourette (1884-1963), pointed out that the church’s history is one of advance and retreat, advance and retreat. This oscillating influence over the centuries has resulted in various, new expressions of the Christian faith across time and cultures. It is exciting to read of and witness these current expressions of the gospel in Africa and Asia.
The Incomplete Glory of God
These new expressions of Christian faith in the advance of the church are, in fact, an expansion of God’s glory.
But isn’t God’s glory un-expandable and complete? Not according to Jonathan Edwards in The History of Redemption. Edwards writes:
God looks on the ...
Jeff Vanderstelt is Vice President of the Acts 29 Network, and has been sharing with Scott Thomas on how his church engages their communities on mission. Here Jeff shares about living in such a way that unbelievers ask questions that only the gospel can answer.
1 Peter 2:12 – Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
In this video:
1. Live a life that can’t be understood unless the gospel is true.
2. An example of ...
How to Share Your Faith – Jeff Vanderstelt
Jeff previously shared about living in community and on mission. Here Scott asks Jeff “how do you train your people to share the gospel?”
1. Confidence in the gospel is primary. If your people haven’t understood the gospel and its power personally, specifically and currently, they cannot have confidence to share it. Look for places where the gospel has not come to bear in your peoples’ lives.
a. Past Tense Gospel: Justification. Do your people struggle with guilt and shame? Do they truly understand their justification?
b. Present Tense Gospel: Sanctification. Do your people struggle with living victoriously on a daily basis? Do they understand the power of the gospel for today?
c. Future Tense ...
Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talk about living lives on mission together.
Jeff Vanderstelt is Vice President of the Acts 29 Network, and has been sharing with Scott Thomas on how his church engages their communities on mission. Here he tells the story of how his Missional Community recently walked with a man named Clay to faith in Jesus. This is a great story of what it looks like to have the whole church on ...
Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talk about living lives on mission.
Soma Communities in Tacoma, Washington, is a church that calls every person to embrace the command of Jesus to make disciples. Here Jeff Vanderstelt, church planter of Soma and Vice President of Acts 29, discusses how this is done in their church. In this video:
1. Every member a disciple-maker.
2. Missional Communities as missionary teams.
3. Missional Community covenants – shared distinctives, customized mission field.
4. When every member is a missionary, spiritual maturity progresses by necessity.
5. Advice for existing churches without missional DNA that want to change.
Scott Thomas: “As men plant churches, how important is this issue of calling their people to become ...