We had a really encouraging and enthusiastic afternoon with Matt Chandler. Here are my top takeaways:-
- Parents – We need to keep articulating the gospel, otherwise our kids will believe that either legalism or licence is the way to go. The gospel must NOT be assumed
- Otherwise we, and they, will continually want to get past the gospel into the other stuff. But the Bible does not get beyond the gospel. Hence Paul preaches the gospel to those who already know it. Because it’s the gospel that explains all the other stuff.
- A generation has been inoculated by Sunday School – given just enough Jesus not to need any more.
- The elder brother in Luke 15 heard music and dancing – and that’s what made him angry and sulk. Now, do I ever find myself in a position where I resent someone else’s joy? Hmm…
- God doesn’t just have a problem with us at our worst – he has a problem with us at our best. All our righteousness is filthy rags.
- Only someone who has got the gospel right will confess, rather than try to clean up first.
- We need to plant church-planting churches (I’ve been saying this for years, but if Matt Chandler says it, it must be true. Amen, people!)
- MC takes a monthly day to do nothing but read God’s word and pray. Does that seem a lot? Only if you consider the awful price of the alternative.
- Discipleship in churches requires both mechanical and organic patterns, both structured and relational. Intentional small groups but also deliberate and time-rich friendships.
- Here’s a positive, enthusiastic, engaged and hard working Christian, full of joy and passion – and he knows heading back home for an MRI scan for a brain tumour. That’s what the fruit of the Spirit look like, right there.
If you don’t know Matt, the church where he is teaching pastor, in Dallas, can be found here: http://www.thevillagechurch.net/
And his books are good. I recommend his latest, ‘Creature of the Word: the Jesus-Centred Church’ (Broadman and Holman, 2012)
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