What It Means To Be Truly Reformed (Ray Ortlund)

09/09/2010   |      |       |    0 Comment

I ran across this powerful blog post by my friend Ray Ortlund as he humbly addresses the issue that is too pervasive within the emerging reformed movement.  It’s a buzz in the air if you are “reformed” but what does that really mean and how can we stay true to the tenets of reformed theology without making it an idol, making it about advancing self or creating an unnecessary division in the body.  I thought it was worth sharing.  Here’s a snippet of what Ray says:

My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, do you learn from them? What is the emotional tilt of your heart—toward them or away from them?

If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level. Let it reduce you to Jesus only. Let it humble you. Let this gracious doctrine make you a fun person to be around. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed. Amazing people. Heroic people. Blood-bought people. People with whom we are eternally one—in Christ alone.

To view the full blog post [Click Here].  If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to stay tuned to The Resurgence for other great posts.  They are dear friends of Wellspring.

Feel free to share your thoughts about this.

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church life, Featured, Reformed Theology

Elders are responsible for the church (John Piper)

06/15/2010   |      |       |    0 Comment

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church life, doctrine, Featured, Titus, videos

More thoughts on the life of Gideon

06/03/2010   |      |       |    0 Comment

We preached a message this past Sunday 5/30/10 on seasons in Gideon’s life based on Judges 6 and 7.  I wanted to share a few more thoughts that God impressed upon me after the message:

  • God sees you as you can be not just as you are.
  • Sometimes God will use you to be the change you’ve been crying out to him for
  • Reminding God of our limitations implies that He made a mistake choosing us.
  • “Putting out fleeces” is a poor way to discern or confirm God’s will for your life.
  • Sometimes God reduces your resources to make sure He’ll get the glory.
  • God reduced resources because he said Israel would boast, not that Gideon would boast.
  • Encouragement came after  commitment.  God allowed Gideon to hear the Midianite soldier’s dream – but only after he’d sent everyone home but the 300 men God chose.
  • 300 men may not have been enough swords, but it was more than enough trumpets and lamps.   God didn’t just reduce Gideon’s resources, He ended up using the men in a totally different way than Gideon ever imagined.   What’s powerful is that Gideon trusted God enough to be obedient without knowing the plan upfront.
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church life, Featured

An Intense Hatred for the Prosperity Gospel

09/02/2009   |      |       |    3 Comments

Our love of money more than people is robbing our testimony before the world and our ability to care for the world the way Jesus does.  When we believe that our money and the opportunities it affords us is more important than the opportunities that money affords the kingdom of God, we have made a tragic error.

In my twenty-two years as a Christian, I have seen preachers beg “Christians” to give to no avail.  I will never do this because my begging can’t help anyone understand the gospel enough to understand why they are in sin.  But instead, my heart is compelled to boldly proclaim that the non-giver of God’s money doesn’t love Jesus but instead loves “their” money.

Here’s what’s crazy… Preachers all across America know that “Christians” love to worship money more than Jesus but instead of telling them that they are in sin they have conjured up a “prosperity gospel” that’s not the gospel.  And because they love money, we have entire movements of deceived people selling an empty promise. John Piper hits it right on the nail.

For the record, I hate the prosperity gospel because Jesus hates false teachers. In these lean economic times, trust the “gospel” and pursue satisfaction in Jesus, even if you have to suffer through this period of time. I’d love to hear your take on this “false gospel.” Please share.

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church life, Featured, growth

Great Partnership Seminar

08/27/2009   |      |       |    4 Comments

Last Saturday, we had a blast as we got to know our newest pre-partners at Wellspring.

Every time we as leaders go through a seminar it reminds us of why we feel so privileged to serve in this way.

We met from 9-3:00pm:

Getting to know each other;

  • understanding partnership and why it’s critical in this age of “meaningless joining” of churches;
  • what is the history, mission and vision of the church;
  • where are we going long term as a church;
  • what’s the gospel and missional living;
  • what we believe and are united around;
  • what is the male and female distinction in lieu of a culture in a gender crisis;
  • how we are governed as a church, and;
  • what we believe about stewardship and church discipline.

All five of the people present at the seminar bring so much passion to Wellspring. They have passion for entrepreneurship among women, theater and spiritual formation, creativity and drama, counseling and encouragment and for people to learn how to study the Bible. We are looking forward to how God is going to use each one of them.

Keep us in prayer as we continue to trust Jesus to build His church with His people.

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church life

Needs in Our Community?

08/25/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

Within everyone of our communities are people with needs.  Here’s a message from Jeff Keeny who heads up the Social Justice initiatives at Wellspring.

Let’s start praying about how God may want to use us in our community.

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church life, Featured

Jesus Freakologist on Twitcam

07/28/2009   |      |       |    3 Comments

Today, I had an amazing training session on the power of social media.  Donna Maria Johnson and I talked about how we could leverage the technology in this “social movement” in order to reach as many people as possible with the truth and love of Jesus.  She has also agreed to lead the charge at Wellspring in the area of Social Media.  Donna has over 10 years experience in social media and currently speaks, trains and consults other businesses on how to leverage this powerful technology.

As it relates to the video below, you are going to absolutely pull a muscle in your stomach when you see my face when she shows me how to use Twitcam.  It’s new, has some quirks but overall is a great marketing medium.  This was a blast and we can’t wait to show off more.

If you are interested in participating and volunteering to serve in our Social Media Community, Click Here.

Enjoy!

(more…)

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church life, Uncategorized

Questions… Questions… Questions…

03/08/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

Well we are about a week away from starting our new series “Ask Any Question.”  The questions keep coming in and I’m asking myself, “What was the Lord thinking when He gave me this idea?”  It’s going to take me months to answer all these questions… But guess what?  That’s what I want.

Who is answering your questions about life, God, marriage, sexuality, abortion, gambling, the Trinity, suffering, etc?  Oftentimes, we never ask that one question that if answered would catapult our faith in God.

I know when I was new to the faith or even like now, “semi-old” in the faith, I didn’t have a forum in which to ask what I felt were legitimate questions.  You see, many of us have questions but no one to turn to that can answer them…

Can you imagine a person going to church for 10-15 years and never know that Jesus is God?  Well, that’s why we are presenting this opportunity.  People are responding and we are organizing the questions.

Do you have questions that you need answers to?  Then submit them to us if you live in Charlotte or don’t live in Charlotte… We’ll answer them.  But here’s the caviate – you must live out the answer.  Don’t ask us a question that if answered won’t cause you to love Jesus more.  We aren’t seeking to be a “Bible Answer Man.”  We are seeking to give you Biblical and theological answers that would assist you in falling deeper in love with Jesus.

Ask your questions, I’ll answer them with the truth… If you don’t mind truth then we’ll have a blast.  Relax, it won’t be like this…

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church life, community, family living, growth

What’s up with the church?

03/03/2009   |      |       |    1 Comment

After twenty eight chapters of Acts I’m scratching my head saying, “How in the world did we get so off track from what the church is all about?”  I don’t say this in a way that calibrates me and “my church” as having arrived… But I’m saying to myself, “Where did we miss it?”

Within the past few weeks, I’ve been repenting over getting off track as a church.  After searching my own heart, I can see where we can miss it.  Guru books, what this church is doing, felt-needs, idols, everyone’s desires, spoiled people, lack of submission, busy schedules, fear, and consumerism, etc… etc… can cause a church to miss the whole purpose for which we gather.   Now don’t get me wrong, we get that JESUS is our central focus and preaching the gospel is our message but what about how the gospel inspires us to constantly pray for one another and  experience “one heart” community life?  And better yet, what about understanding the expectation that as a church we need to prepare to endure persecution?

It’s crazy… Has, “I’m going to pray for you” become something that we just say or is it really something we take time to do?  Are IPhones and Facebook accounts meeting felt needs so much that we’ve lost our fervor to just fall on our faces for one another?  Stuff is happening all around us that needs our fervent prayers.  What are we really devoted to?

What about gathering together for community life?  Has church been reduced to Sunday morning only?  What about doing life as the body of Christ?  What about getting into someone else’s life and being there for them?  What about having fun, eating food, studying the Word, asking questions and getting to know people?  Our church communities around the world should be drawing “thirsty”, hungry and malnourished people who are starving because they don’t know Jesus.  Our communities should be blessed because there’s a group of Christians gather in a house in a particular neighborhood… Man, that’s what I want.  I want to see the church living out loud for Jesus.

Don’t get me started talking about “enduring persecution.”  No one likes persecution.  But what a blessing – Acts is loaded with testimonies of the providence of God in the midst of suffering.  Listen to me, if suffering is being the church then we can’t deny that’s it’s coming.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  In the meantime, listen to the message on 3/1/09, it comes with a PPT that we followed during our time together.  Dig into Acts, find the church and let me know what you discover.

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church life, community, growth, meaning of life

What's up with the church?

03/03/2009   |      |       |    1 Comment

After twenty eight chapters of Acts I’m scratching my head saying, “How in the world did we get so off track from what the church is all about?”  I don’t say this in a way that calibrates me and “my church” as having arrived… But I’m saying to myself, “Where did we miss it?”

Within the past few weeks, I’ve been repenting over getting off track as a church.  After searching my own heart, I can see where we can miss it.  Guru books, what this church is doing, felt-needs, idols, everyone’s desires, spoiled people, lack of submission, busy schedules, fear, and consumerism, etc… etc… can cause a church to miss the whole purpose for which we gather.   Now don’t get me wrong, we get that JESUS is our central focus and preaching the gospel is our message but what about how the gospel inspires us to constantly pray for one another and  experience “one heart” community life?  And better yet, what about understanding the expectation that as a church we need to prepare to endure persecution?

It’s crazy… Has, “I’m going to pray for you” become something that we just say or is it really something we take time to do?  Are IPhones and Facebook accounts meeting felt needs so much that we’ve lost our fervor to just fall on our faces for one another?  Stuff is happening all around us that needs our fervent prayers.  What are we really devoted to?

What about gathering together for community life?  Has church been reduced to Sunday morning only?  What about doing life as the body of Christ?  What about getting into someone else’s life and being there for them?  What about having fun, eating food, studying the Word, asking questions and getting to know people?  Our church communities around the world should be drawing “thirsty”, hungry and malnourished people who are starving because they don’t know Jesus.  Our communities should be blessed because there’s a group of Christians gather in a house in a particular neighborhood… Man, that’s what I want.  I want to see the church living out loud for Jesus.

Don’t get me started talking about “enduring persecution.”  No one likes persecution.  But what a blessing – Acts is loaded with testimonies of the providence of God in the midst of suffering.  Listen to me, if suffering is being the church then we can’t deny that’s it’s coming.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  In the meantime, listen to the message on 3/1/09, it comes with a PPT that we followed during our time together.  Dig into Acts, find the church and let me know what you discover.

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church life, community, growth, meaning of life