Ed Stetzer & the Missional Network

On Tuesday night I went to a Missional Network conference hosted by Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury.  My mother-in-law, Linda, went with me.  It was pretty cool.  I figured they’d probably have coffee there, but it was better than I expected–the room where the conference was held was actually connected to a coffee shop!  Score.

The special guest for the evening was Ed Stetzer, missiologist extraordinaire.  I was pretty excited when I heard he was going to be at Oak Ridge, because he’s a great resource for today’s church.  In fact, I’m currently reading one of his latest books, Comeback Churches.

Using mostly 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Stetzer talked about the Kingdom of God and what it means for us today to live as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom in our world.

Some highlights:

  •  Any bad news in the church today is only bad news about the church–not the Gospel.
  • Many churches have lost the focus on mission.
  • We’ve become accustomed to unpleasant Christians being the norm.
  • We should live our lives in such a way that we’re always good representatives of the King.
  • We can’t love Jesus and not love people for whom Jesus died.
  • The false distinction we’ve created between pastors, missionaries, and laypeople is unhealthy, unhelpful, and unbiblical.
  • It is natural for us to respond to people in the same way as the world, but we are called to respond in a supernatural way.
  • If you’re a Christian, you’re called to live differently because a new way has come.
  • “When Jesus showed up, so did the Kingdom of God.”
  • The Christian faith is about a bloody cross and an empty tomb.
  • We show Christian love when we understand where people are coming from and take the time to learn and listen to the journey they are on.
  • The love of Christ compels us to live differently, to respond to people with supernatural love.
  • We are on a mission of reconciliation.
  • Jesus’ mission is ultimately our mission.
  • Jesus’ mission was to serve and to save.
  • In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus was essentially saying: “The Kingdom of God is here, and I am it.”
  • We reconcile a broken world to God by serving the hurting in the name of Jesus.
  • The church is often defined by what we’re against, but “we ought to be known for the things for which Jesus was known.”
  • In a sense, the Kingdom of God is a subversive Kingdom–it overturns the empire of this world.
  • “Christians” who don’t love Jesus are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the Gospel.
  • We must be: biblically faithful, culturally relevant, countercultural communities.
  • “Biblically faithful” = we need to live as the Bible teaches.
  • “Culturally relevant” = looking similar to the world, but living differently.
  • “Countercultural communities” = signs and instruments of the Kingdom.
  • “Our job is not to moralize the unconverted–it’s to convert the immoral.”
  • “You can’t build and then control your own kingdom and expect the Kingdom of Jesus to show up.”
  • We need to be obedient to Christ, not to critics.
  • Questions we need to ask ourselves and answer: How can we be like Jesus?  How can we engage our community?  How can we give ourselves away?  How can we give the Gospel away?
  • “If you’re not serving the poor and sharing the faith, you’re not advancing the Kingdom.”
  • “We need to do what Jesus did so we’ll be known for the same things Jesus was known for.”
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Published in: on October 25, 2007 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  

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