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If you are subscribing to this "blog" this simple post is an invitation to look at the website, as new updates have been posted on the spring "Equipping Elders" seminar (again with Alex Strauch) and also our Preaching Workshop page is current with info for our October 2018 event.
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Gospel Advance is pleased to announce its Third Annual Equipping Elders Seminar – "Leadership in the Household of God" – to be held on Saturday May 6, 2017 at Clifton Park Community Church in Clifton Park, NY. The purpose of this seminar is to recharge the "shepherding" batteries of pastors and elders who serve congregations in the Greater Capital Region of Upstate New York. We encourage Pastor/Elder Teams to attend together and be strengthened in the calling they share. It is also fitting for prospective elders, elders-in-training, or small group leaders who have a shepherding role, to attend our seminar.
The main speaker at this year's seminar is Wes Pastor. Wes serves as the Lead Pastor of Christ Memorial Church in Williston, VT and as the President of NETS – that is, The New England Training and Sending Center for Church Planting and Revitalization. Wes will be delivering two plenary talks: "The Mandate: Shepherd My Sheep" and "The Means: Minister the Gospel." Wes will also lead one of our breakout sessions and field questions during a Q & A Session at the end of our seminar.
We are offering four breakout sessions as part of the seminar. Each attendee has the opportunity to attend one of these sessions:
For more information about the seminar – including schedule, cost, and registration – click here.
We invite you and your fellow elders to join us for an uplifting day of instruction and encouragement!
Beautiful things happened last week in Clifton Park, NY as Gospel Advance hosted The Charles Simeon Trust (CST) Workshop on Biblical Exposition for the second straight year. About 30 men (representing more than 20 congregations) gathered together in order to be strengthened and sharpened in their ability to rightly understand God's Word. Most of these pastors, church leaders, or ministry apprentices were from upstate New York, though we had one person each from Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
In six 60-minute Instruction sessions, CST speakers Robert Kinney and Steve Bickley (pictured–right) taught us important principles of biblical interpretation. Then in four 90-minute sessions, we gathered together in Small Groups and dug deeply into the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. Each participant had to prepare work on two passages beforehand. Participants then shared their work with their Small Group, which was followed by group interaction under the care of a Small Group Leader. The purpose was to help each man make progress in his skill of comprehending the Scriptures. Finally, the two-and-a-half day workshop also featured three Expositions. At the heart of all this is men of God, gathered together around the Word of God–not only in the sense of our shared intellectual effort, but also in the practical fellowship that we enjoyed with one another during the Workshop, over lunch, and in the evening hours. A wonderful thing, isn't it?
Under God's gracious favor, teamwork is critical to having a successful Workshop. This teamwork was evident on two levels. First, a number of congregations served the Workshop in different ways. Clifton Park Community Church provided space for the event, and its Pastor Dave Bissett and his wife Laurel gave significant time and energy to it. One of the highlights was when Dave and Laurel (and their daughter Heather!) hosted around 20 participants for dinner-and-fellowship on Thursday evening. Other congregations were also involved: Adamsville Community Baptist Church provided lunch on Wednesday; Christian Bible Church provided lunch on Thursday; and Durkeetown Baptist Church provided snacks on Wednesday and Thursday.
Second, the Workshop itself involved leadership from several men from different congregations. Dave Bissett (Clifton Park Community Church) served as Host Pastor and a Small Group Leader, and he preached the Thursday afternoon sermon. Ken Prater (Durkeetown Baptist Church) preached the Wednesday afternoon sermon. Neal Patel (Valley Bible Church) served as a Small Group Leader. Ken MacLeod (Adamsville Community Baptist Church), Ed Reed (Christian Bible Church), and Brian Wilbur (OneLife Community Church) served as Apprentice Small Group Leaders. Ken MacLeod (pictured above–left) also moderated the Question & Answer session with Robert and Steve. Chris Miller (OneLife Community Church) and George Colon (Clifton Park Community Church) led times of Worship in Music during the event.
Why all this? Because–to borrow a basic CST concept–we believe that God accomplishes His redemptive work in our world through His holy Word. Therefore, as men whom God has appointed to preach and teach His Word, it is imperative that we grasp the divinely intended meaning of each text so that we can faithfully deliver His Word to others–that the unconverted might be brought out of darkness into light and that local congregations might be made strong to bear fruit for God's glory.
May God be pleased to saturate the northeastern United States with His life-giving Word, resulting in thriving churches that delight in God's gracious salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
WRITTEN BY BRIAN WILBUR
Gospel Advance team members Ed Reed (Christian Bible Church), Ken MacLeod (Adamsville Community Baptist Church), and Ken Prater (Durkeetown Baptist Church)–and two others–recently completed a 5-day stretch of ministry in Iceland. Ken MacLeod submitted the following report to the GA Leadership Team and we are passing it along for all to read:
Dear brothers, I pray you are well and the Lord’s grace enriches your soul each day. I was asked if I could write for you a simple review of our time in Iceland, with Gunnar and his church. As a general overview I would say we went in with a plan but God had a different one in mind. We went to train other pastors and leaders, but God gave us one pastor to pour into and one church to engage with. This trip looking back on it was God’s design to build up and encourage Gunnar, and in God’s sovereign timing for the members of the team opportunities to walk in His grace with faithful brothers close by.
Ed, Ken, Zach and I arrived at different times between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. Our final team member, Gareth from Wales, came in Thursday night. Ken and Ed had a great but tiring time in Russia, very intense as they put it. Ken also found himself sick throughout the duration of our time in Iceland, and while it did not keep him from participating, it did make him uncomfortable through the time. As it turned out we did a “Bible study” with Gunnar’s church , the first on Thursday night and the second on Monday night. This was not how we thought things were going to be, but we all could see God’s hand in the time given and how He wanted us to use it. I started Thursday night by teaching on what it means to hold the line of scripture, trying to put it more in a context of studying the word and using it in the life of discipleship. Ed then followed up with a focus on context. Monday night, Gareth started the night with a focus on the role of the Holy Spirit, and then Ken finished the time with a discussion on framework.
The Spiritual deadness of Iceland has many reasons, but one of them is a failing to accept the truth of the Bible being God’s word and its sufficiency. So our time with Gunnar and his church was a very helpful time to support Gunnar as he strives to teach from the word, helping his body go deeper in their understanding at how foundational the word must be for their journey of growth as the true church of God in a Godless country.
The other key thing we were able to do was spend a great deal of time with Gunnar most of Friday, Saturday night and Monday morning. We spent Friday going through John 3 using the Simeon Trust worksheet. And then Saturday and Monday we talked a lot about church life, polity and the Bible, and getting to know about his journey of faith and his family’s. This trip did not go to plan, but it did go to God’s design and intent. As a team we saw God move and provide great opportunity to uplift a pastor and his church to press on in a place that does not welcome them. We must pray for Gunnar above all else that the Lord will provide a pastor or two that would help Gunnar grow and stay the course. IT was a great trip. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thanks for the support in this. Blessings
Gospel Advance team members and pastors Ed Reed (Christian Bible Church) and Ken Prater (Durkeetown Baptist Church) recently completed a weekend of equipping work in Russia. Ken has provided the following report:
The Apostle Paul encouraged his protege Timothy that although he was in chains, the word of God could not be "chained."
Russia is a place that is often misunderstood in large part because of our inability to understand how the Russians themselves view their own lives and the opportunities before them. Are there some restrictions to evangelize? Yes. Will the believers use those restrictions to maximize their opportunity? Yes they will.
Ed Reed and I came to the Baptist Church in Podolsk not quite sure what to expect and left with an incredible amount of joy and encouragement. We were welcomed with a remarkable level of hospitality and excitement about the seminars on biblical exposition.
Ed taught the first two sessions which focused on "staying the line" of Scripture. I presented two talks on framework and text. We think these talks were helpful to many of the men who do the bulk of their preaching in a "lay" capacity. There are two sermons each Sunday in most Russian Baptist churches. The Pastor preaches weekly and a fairly large group men preach on a rotating basis.
We averaged about 15 per session with men attending from three different churches. The discussion was stimulating with many good questions and follow up to clarify.
On Sunday Ed preached from the John 3:1-21 text and I taught an afternoon session to a mixed group of men and women who are involved in teaching or being trained to teach.
We want to thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Please continue to pray for the brothers who carry the load in Podolsk to remember the principles we taught and to put them into practice.
With regards in Christ,
Would you like to dig deeper into the principles and practices of God's kingdom? This fall, Gospel Advance is offering three courses to help equip you in your walk with God: "Habits of the Heart", "Understanding the Essentials of Sound Doctrine", and "Toward a Theology in Culture". The courses stretch over a total of 6 Saturdays, starting September 10 and finishing December 10. We invite you to participate! Go to our Digging Deeper page for more information.
On this episode of Help Me Teach the Bible, Nancy Guthrie talked with Dick Lucas in London’s Proclamation Trust offices about what makes an excellent Bible teacher. They talked about how a teacher studies and prepares to teach, dealing with discouragement as a teacher, as well as the temptation to pride.Lucas was rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate from 1961 to 1998. In 1986, he founded the Proclamation Trust to train men and women to correctly handle Scripture through prayerful study of the text in light of its context in both the biblical book and the Bible as a whole. Now in his early 90s, Lucas was a key figure along with John Stott and J. I. Packer in shaping the conservative evangelical movement in the UK during the 20th century. He still has an active and influential ministry, preaching and speaking at conferences and serving on the leadership team of the Cornhill Training Course.
The newest Digging Deeper courses offered by the Gospel Advance will now begin on January 23rd (one week later than previously published). There's still time to register and join both classes!
The spiritual health of the Church is derived from the preaching of the Scriptures through the power of the Holy Spirit by preachers and teachers who really believe the Bible to be the words of God.
To help, The Charles Simeon Trust hosts Workshops on Biblical Exposition. These three-day events are now held in nearly 30 locations worldwide. The workshops help pastors to learn methods of expository preaching, be encouraged through expositional preaching, and gather in small groups with the aim of sharpening each other’s teaching.
Gospel Advance is pleased to share that we will be hosting a workshop here in upstate NY in October 2015. Watch this website for specific details as they become available.