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Category: Teaching (page 1 of 6)

Father Heart of God – Father Wounds and Our Gospel Identity

I think the church does a poor job connecting people to the Father Heart of God. For how much Jesus talked about the Father, it seems Christians talk about him far less. Re-read the gospels with this view and I think you’ll be surprised. I think about the disciples saying, “If we can just see the Father, that will be enough.”

Consider that:

1. Many Christians would view their ‘saving’ as that they are saved from Hell. In fact, this becomes central to so many gospel messages to unbelievers that they need to believe in Jesus to be saved from Hell.
2. Many Christians view God the Father as displeased with them.
3. When people talk about heaven, they are more focused on the place and the absence of pain then being in God’s presence.

We miss a lot when we don’t focus on our relationship and connection to God the Father.

I imagine part of the problem is the failure of our fathers and the world’s systematic degrading the role of father in our culture. This Thanksgiving we had 23 hours of travel time to see my family. Over the drive my wife and I listed to a series by Found by your Father by Dave Patty. I was surprised to hear a way of thinking about God the Father and how my own childhood experience with my own family has shaped me. My wife and I wept at times as we prayed through parts of our own story and already I’ve found healing as we went through the process. I highly recommend you check these out.

We see God’s Father heart most clearly when we watch the perfect relationship he has with the Son. At the base, Patty states that Jesus experiences four streams of God’s Father heart and that each of us need that too.
1. Identity – John 5:16-19 Without identity from the Father you will be defined by the people and circumstances around you. This will be constantly changing and unstable.
You will be very vulnerable to your environment and not have a clear sense of self. You will constantly need to prove yourself or defend yourself.
2. Love – John 5:20 Without love, you will be constantly trying to gain love from those near you. Their love will never be enough, and you will be chronically disappointed. You may cope by turning off your emotions and becoming distant and cold.
3. Pleasure – John 5:30, 41-44 Without pleasure from the Father, you will become addicted to pleasing people and vulnerable to hedonism. You may cope by avoiding all possibility of failure or rejection.
4. Place – John 5:21-27 Without place, you will be constantly fighting to make a place for yourself. You will fear that your life has no significance and be easily threatened by
others. You may cope by scaling back your expectations and making a place that is small but defensible – like when people curl up in a ball, hide behind something, or retreat to a corner.

Use his Father mapping tools and see how you’ve experienced these four streams. Learn how these elements are fundamental to spiritual growth, our understanding the good news, our relationship with the Heavenly Father and how these things release us to bring the Father Heart of God to those around us.

Listen: Found by your Father by Dave Patty

San Diego A29 Bootcamp Sessions

The main session videos from the San Diego A29 Bootcamp, Influence: Multiplying Leaders on Mission for the Gospel are up!

Session 1: “Influence Through Leadership” – Mark Driscoll (Sound did not work properly, no video.)
Session 2: “Influence Through Brokeness” – David Fairchild
Session 3: “Influence Through Mission & Vision” – Jeff Vanderstelt
Session 4: “Influence Through Community” – Brian Howard
Session 5: “Influence Through the Word & Worship” – Matt Chandler
Session 6: “Influence Through Persevering” – Darrin Patrick

You’ll notice it is MANDATORY to wear a dark preferably black shirt when presenting at an Acts 29 bootcamp.

Two breakout sessions were recorded and will be uploaded next. The rest of the breakouts were not recorded.

Gospel-Centered Church

David Fairchild was invited to Speak at Cornerstone Church where Francis Chan pastors. He presented two sessions:

The Gospel Part 1: What’s the big deal about the Gospel? What is it and why should it be central to our community life? David Fairchild breaks down the Gospel and why it’s so important to how we live in response.

Community & Mission Part 2: So what’s the big deal with community and mission? Why is community central to God’s design for His missional purposes? David Fairchild breaks down what community and mission are and how they interrelate to one another. This discussion works off of the conviction that Gospel-Community-Mission is a three legged stool. Only together can we understand what God intended from the beginning for His redemptive plan.

Interested in more Gospel, Community & Mission? View the videos from the Total Church Conference.

STORY – Gospel Communication

Story Poster Image STORY is a first-of-its-kind experience for communicators of the Gospel – the greatest story ever told. It will be held on Wednesday, October 28 at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois. Speakers include Donald Miller, Nancy Beach, Dave Gibbons, Ed Young, Stacy Spencer, Chris Seay and Mike Foster. A day of workshops will follow on October 29 at nearby Orchard Valley Community Church, featuring illustrators, designers, scholars, authors and communications experts. Register for the conference and enter to win 2 free trips to the Kilns – CS Lewis’ home in Oxford, England – at

I will be attending and presenting a workshop, so I look forward to seeing you there!

Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, Jeff Vanderstelt and more in San Diego

Join us to hear a tremendous line-up of speakers at the San Diego Church Bootcamp May 5-6th. This conference is a great opportunity to be encouraged, challenged, edified and learn about being missional as well as gain insight into church planting. Come hear Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, Jeff Vanderstelt and more in San Diego…

Register or Lean more about Influence: Multiplying Leaders on Mission for the Gospel.

Creating a Philosophy of Ministry

Tim Cain is part of the Kaleo Movement. This last year he and his wife journeyed to Bethlehem Baptist to be the church planting intern at John Piper’s church. While he was there he has had the opportunity to plan a church plant and lay out what that will look like when he returns to San Diego. A lot of this writing includes material from Total Church, our conversations, Tim’s convictions and what Kaleo envisions for new church plants.

Tim’s Philosophy of Ministry document includes items such as:

– Building a ministry that reflects three expressions of being the church.
– Core theological convictions that shape the people.
– The practices and life behaviors of the community.
– Mission, Gospel & Community interactions.

Philosophy of Ministry (pdf)

Aside: If you’d like to connect with Tim drop a comment with your email and I’ll forward it on to him.

Total Church Conference Audio

The Audio for The Total Church North America Conference 2008 have now been uploaded. Total church is a way of thinking about church and mission in the 21st century which sees the local Christian community as integral to Christian living and Christian mission. The Christian life is ‘total church’ – our identity is communal. View all at the Session Archive or browse the Main & Breakout sessions below:

Main Sessions

A Community-centered Gospel – Steve Timmis
The gospel is about a King who died to rescue a people who would reveal his character by their shared lives. In keeping with who I am ‘in Adam’, I individualize and privatize the gospel so that church is reduced to a necessary but often intrusive addendum. The gospel calls us to live ‘in Christ’ corporately and so show the power of the cross to reconcile and create community. (A Community-Centered Gospel Q&A)

A Gospel-centered Community – Steve Timmis
The gospel is that which creates, sustains, nurtures and perfects the church. To achieve this, the gospel needs to be at the center of all we are and do as the people of God. The gospel needs to be taken out of our pulpits and meetings and applied into the mundane and routine of our corporate and personal lives. (A Gospel-Centered Community Q&A)

Rethinking Attractional Church – Tim Chester
Attractional church (‘come to us’) and missional church (‘go to them’) are often set up as alternatives, yet throughout the Scriptures God calls his people to a life that attracts the nations. We can bring attractional and missional approaches together by re-conceiving church as a community rather than an event. (Rethinking Q&A Session)

Remodeling Attractional Church – Steve Timmis
As we focus more on the quality of our lives together rather than the slick performance of our Sunday meetings we will see how a gospel community is an integral and indispensable piece of the evangelism jigsaw. In fact, people won’t be able to fully understand the magnitude of what God has done in Christ without it. (Remodeling Q&A Session)

Making Disciples for Missional Church – Tim Chester
‘I’m free and belong to no man’ could be the slogan of our age. But Paul continues: ‘I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ What kind of people are going to sustain a church planting movement? This session explores how the cross and resurrection should shape our lives. (Making Disciples Q&A)

Making Disciples in Missional Church – Tim Chester
This session looks at how we train and pastor one another in the context of ordinary life and the context of Christian community.

Breakout Sessions

Being Neighbors: a Gospel Strategy (Steve Timmis)
When so much emphasis is placed on being missional and incarnational, contextual and radical it’s easy to forget the simplicity and significance of the truth that gospel makes us into lovers, of both God and others. Instead of trying to send out edgy, hardcore dudes with body piercing and tattoos, we should be satisfied with sending people who will be the neighbors everyone wants to have as a neighbor.

Forming a Gospel Community (Jeff Vanderstelt)
Now that many are aware of the need to form gospel communities, how do we move from theology and theory to actual forming and leading them? This session will explore the process and the specifics of moving an individualistic group of people toward a gospel-centered community on mission.

One-Anothering: A Communal Gospel (David Fairchild)
Why are so many Christians detached and isolated from one another? How can we experience a radically reshaped community? What kind of social ethic does the Gospel produce? What would it look like if we lived lives together as if the Gospel were true? Join us as we unpack the various “one another” passages in a quest to answer these questions together.

Evangelising the Urban Poor (Tim Chester)
We have endless resources on reaching postmoderns, most of which in fact address student and professional culture. In comparison there’s very little on understanding and reaching the urban poor. Drawing on insights from biblical counselling, this session suggests some ways forward for evangelizing and discipling the urban poor. Join the work-in-progress!

Story & Rhythm of Soma Community (Caesar Kalinowski)

Reading Cultural Texts (Mike Gunn)
This is a missional gaze at pop culture. We will be taking a look at the “Other” gospels in our culture (Media, film, books, etc.), and how to read them in a way that can help propel you to a better understanding of them for the sake of the gospel. We will look at the reason why this is important to our mission, as well as, some help for understanding and engaging pop culture in authentic ways.

Out of the Frying Pan… (David Fairchild & Mark Moore)
Is God calling your church out of Ur? How do you get your church to move from traditional to missional? Both Mark Moore and David Fairchild are practicing church planters that initially planted relatively traditional churches built around the Sunday gathering. As they labored to develop deep community as a gospel display people for their cities, they realized things needed to change. Come and hear their stories and insights as they share what pitfalls to avoid and what challenges to accept as missional leaders. This breakout is intended for anyone looking to turn the corner missionwards!

Beyond Total Church – Sowing the Seeds of a Movement (Tim Chester)
How can we plant churches that plant churches? What can we learn from church planting movements? How can we build in reproducibility?

Communication in a Post-Christian World
(Drew Goodmanson & Caesar Kalinowski)
The culture is changing and it requires new thought in communication. This session will help you learn how to effectively minister in a post-Christian context. Come learn the 1) five values of this Post-Christian generation, the 2) ten idols that enslave them and 3) effective ways to communicate the eternal and unchanging gospel message.

The Everyday Rhythms of a Gospel Display People (Jeff Vanderstelt)
The gospel community is called to be a display of the gospel in everyday ways of life so that others might see what their life would look like in the gospel. In order to do this, the church needs to lead their people to identify everyday practices and then lead them to live out their identity in Christ within them. This session will identify some of those everyday rhythms and and then explore how we can display the gospel through them.

True Gospel Community in a Truly Big Metroplex (Mark Moore)
Being a gospel community that does life and mission together is sometimes easier said than done. This is especially the case in large cities that are characterized by sprawl as well as population. This session will concentrate on leading your people to make missionary decisions in their everyday lives in response to the gospel. Specific challenges to this way of life in a metroplex setting will be examined.

Reaching the Domains of Society (Drew Goodmanson & Caesar Kalinowski)
How do we bring gospel renewal to our cities in the 7 pillars of society… Business, Education, Healthcare, Government, Media, Social Services [including other churches] & Marginalized? We believe the gospel informs all of life and this good news helps shape how we view the world and our involvement in it. How do we equip Christians to engage in redemptive work in science, politics, art, culture, business, economics, education, local concerns, mercy ministries, social justice, environmentalism, law, media, social concerns and spirituality.

Panel Q/A Session

Wrapping up Total Church (Tim Chester)
This session will be built around the questions of those attending, especially concerning the application and implications for the issues Tim raised during his main sessions.

Developing Missional Leaders (Jeff Vanderstelt)
There is plenty of opportunity to hear and learn about being a gospel-centered church on mission. And, after a few days at a conference, the tendency of teachers and preachers is to go home and tell our people to get going. If we are going to lead a gospel-centered church on mission we must do more than that. During this session we will explore some ways to identify, equip and support a group of gospel-centered leaders to share in leading the mission with us.

Urban Discipleship (Mike Gunn)
The city holds more than 50% of of the world’s population, and is growing rapidly toward a world-wide megalopolis, while the church continues to migrate to the suburbs. The city also holds both the keys to the culture, and abyss of brokenness. In America our cities are becoming multi-ethnic/racial posing unique challenges and opportunities for our churches. In this session we will take a look at the role of the church (Make disciples), what it looks like to make disciples, and why we should be doing it in the cities of West and the world!

A Gospel Centered Community (Total Church Session 2)

Total Church Conference
Speaker: Steve Timmis
Session 2: A Gospel Community Centered

Total Church Session 2

Total Church


When we use the word ‘church’ we are almost always miscommunicating both to the Christian and non-Christian. It seems we’ve lost the battle with this word. Why should we use a term where we are almost always communicating the wrong thing?

Church is far more than a community of religious people, it is a whole new world order. In Jesus miracles he showed us what eternity is like.

How do we create a community where the gospel progressively permeates every part of it?


Launch Video of Q/A Session

Q: How do you avoid judgmentalism in a community? How do we not care about being judged?

Q: How do we live life in community if we don’t have the leadership to do this? One of the most common complaints of churches, but it’s not an issue found in the NT. (How our false view of leadership impacts our ability to be the church.)

Q: Is the gospel specific enough to address the complex political and economic of issues to life?

Q: How does the gospel impact stewardship, for example our retirement?

..amongst others.

A Community Centered Gospel (Total Church Session 1)

Total Church Conference
Speaker: Steve Timmis
Session 1: A Community Centered Gospel

Total Church Session 1


Church planters don’t need a new shtick or new things. What we need is the gospel.

What is the Gospel? (Col. 1:3-6) The gospel is the word of truth that works. What does it do? It is constantly bearing fruit. It is the good news, the arrival of the Kingdom because of the arrival of the King. The evangelical emphasis has been on the individual. But where we (evangelicals) miss it most is in view of community. The ultimate goal of the gospel is an exalted Christ with his people. Christ without his people is incomplete.

What is the Church? Communities of light in a dying decaying world. The prevailing view of church is an event. If you doubt this, how many people hours are invested in that meeting? (Planning, sermon prep, worship practice, etc.) We know what we believe by how we behave. It is a static view of church vs. a dynamic view. Most of the recent debates on church center around what happens in this meeting (worship wars, preaching styles).

The church is a life together under the reign of the King. It is this corporate life together as a redeemed people pointing to the future. By our life together we are telling people, “this is what the future will look like.” If the event is what is pointing to the future, “God help us!” We should reverse engineer the future and set things up to line up with that now.

There are 630 laws and 3 events given by God. God was more concerned with the nitty gritty of life together. (eg. to build a small wall around a flat roof, how to harvest). Our gospel needs to be community centered.


Launch Video of Q/A Session

Q: The Historical church has been defined by preaching, discipline & the Sacraments. Are you moving away from these positions? Small quote from Steve’s answer: The way the vast majority of Christians celebrate communion has no bearing at all on how the New Testament portrays it.
Q: How do we facilitate creating communities sent into the ‘city’ versus ‘small groups’?
Q: How do you view the tension of the focus on the community in the OT and the focus on the individual in the NT?

NOTE: These are the videos and the notes I took from the first sessions. The video recordings and q/a recordings for all the sessions and audio from the breakouts will be uploaded in the next couple weeks to Church Bootcamp.

Update on Total Church Session Recordings

Our team is working on the 12 videos (6 main sessions and 6 main breakouts) and 10 audio sessions (breakouts) from the Total Church Conference. In the next few days I should be posting the first two main sessions for people to enjoy.

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