January 30, 2012 by
Categories: Church planting | Conferences
Ian McConnell, who helped to revitalize Grace Bible Church in northeast Philadelphia several years ago, will be one of three speakers at Revive & Plant, "a conference seeking to promote the centrality of the gospel in our churches through church planting and revitalization so that the gospel will be advanced through our cities." From the conference website:
It probably does not surprise anyone that the church in America is struggling for a number of reasons; but, perhaps, the most significant reason is the loss of gospel centrality. However, we have a sure foundation in Jesus who is still building his church. Further, we believe that Jesus through his Spirit is constructing a growing movement that is restoring the gospel to its rightful place within the life of the church. It is through this rediscovery of the gospel that the church is beginning to thrive again.
There are two ways we see God restoring the gospel to a position of primacy within his church at large: church planting and church revitalization. Church planting is needed because of the great disparity between the number of churches and current population growth. In addition, it is typically easier to lay a gospel foundation than to try replacing an existing foundation. However, revitalizing dead churches or churches that are not centered on the gospel is necessary too! Though this route is often longer and more difficult, it is absolutely essential if the church is going to recover and grow in maturity.
The conference will be held March 22-23, 2012, in Chesapeake, Virginia. Visit the conference website to view the schedule or register ($25 for individuals, $35 for married couples).
January 25, 2012 by
From the Board of Directors:
In July 2011, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) installed an interim Board of Directors. Our primary task was to determine C.J. Mahaney’s fitness to serve SGM as President in light of accusations made against him by a former SGM leader, Brent Detwiler. To accomplish this, we sought to apply the teaching of 1 Timothy 5:19-21 regarding the examination of an elder. As described in our October 28 blog post, we created three panels to review Brent’s allegations and report their findings to us, after which we would determine if C.J. was to continue in his role as President.
After examining the reports of these three review panels, we find nothing in them that would disqualify C.J. from his role as President, nor do they in any way call into question his fitness for gospel ministry. Therefore the Board has decided unanimously to return C.J. to the office of President, effective immediately.
These reports confirm the experience of many people over many years under the ministry of C.J. Mahaney. C.J. is a man and a minister of fundamental integrity who has endeavored to serve SGM with faithfulness and humility since its inception. As with all ministers of the gospel, C.J. is not infallible, and this fact is not lost on him. And so we also affirm that throughout this process of evaluation, C.J. has made genuine confession to the appropriate parties and has demonstrated a desire to grow in areas of weakness. C.J. has demonstrated a commendable trust in the grace and sovereignty of God throughout this entire process.
To put our decision in context, shortly before the interim Board began its work, C.J. took a voluntary leave of absence to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation. To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR).
With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form: We commissioned three outside ministers to review Brent’s documents in light of C.J.’s confessions and render their judgment on his fitness to serve in ministry. In light of their evaluation, they found him to be completely fit to serve. We then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations. The panels had complete autonomy to interview any witness and review any evidence. They conducted their reviews and prepared their reports without any outside influence, save for the oversight of an independent facilitator who was responsible to certify the process. As readers will see in the reports, the panels had broad license to issue any individual or organizational recommendations they deemed appropriate in light of their findings. They did an exceptional job with their unenviable assignment and we’re grateful to them for the many hours they invested in this process.
This has been a trying season for our family of churches and for C.J. and his family in particular. The recommendations made by the panels delineate some of the weaknesses we see in our ministry, and we expect to learn even more when the separate AOR-led Group Reconciliation process is completed this spring. Our hope and prayer is that all of us evaluate these matters humbly, apply the forgiveness that comes through the gospel appropriately, and relate to one another about these matters graciously as we work together to reform what needs reforming, reaffirm the goodness of God in our midst, and continue to plant and build local churches with our chief aim the glory of God through the gospel.
The rest of this announcement, including the panel reports, are available as a PDF.
January 19, 2012 by
Come fall, many students will go through college orientation. But how about some orientation that will serve you in all of life? That's exactly what The Clash, our week-long worldview conference for young adults (ages 17–23), seeks to provide. The Clash theme is "forging a mind to engage the world." Our goal is to help young adults form a God-centered view of not just schooling and career, but the universe itself.
Speakers will include Wayne Grudem, Iain Duguid, David Powlison, Jeff Purswell, and Nathan Sasser on topics such as politics, economics and business, education and vocation, and many more.
Registration is now open, and the conference is July 29–August 4 at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. Registration is open to members of Sovereign Grace churches and children of members. If there's space later, we'll open registration to everyone. Find out more about the conference, the topics, and the speakers here, or register now to reserve your spot.
January 16, 2012 by
Categories: Church planting
Sunday marked the launch of Sovereign Grace Church of Miami. The plant is led by Jose Prado and was sent out by Palm Vista Community Church (Miami Lakes, FL).
The church meets at 11:00am on Sundays at 7130 SW 30 Road in Miami. You can also follow them on Facebook.
January 10, 2012 by
Registration is open for the Next 2012 conference! And we're giving away 40 registrations for the conference at our Facebook page, so head on over.
Like last year, Next will be held over Memorial Day weekend (May 26–29) at Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Florida. We'll focus on the local church: what is the church, and what is your part to play? The sessions will feature messages from several speakers, including Kevin DeYoung and Matt Chandler.
In planning this conference, we're hoping you leave with...
- Insight into what this thing called the church really is
- Surprise at how powerfully God works within the church
- New awareness of the high calling of church membership
- A glimpse into why Sunday meetings matter for eternity
- A better grasp of your part in the mission of the church
- Refreshed love for the local church, big or small, that God has called you to
One more thing: Next 2012 will be the very last Next conference. For real this time.
So start stalking our Facebook page for the free registrations and spread the news! (And if you register now and win a free registration later, we'll just refund your money. It's easy to register now and reserve your spot.)
January 9, 2012 by
Categories: Church planting
January 8 was launch Sunday for Redeemer Church (Lake Nona, FL), a plant led by Benny Phillips and sent from Metro Life Church (Casselberry, FL).
Benny preached a sermon from Mark 1, which you can listen to at their website.
You can follow the church via Facebook or Twitter. They meet at 11221 John Wycliffe Boulevard in Orlando.