Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Porterbrook Conference Day Notes feat. Joe Thorn

I (Jared) am currently participating in a two-year Porterbrook Learning program (see more info below), and Omaha just happens to be a location for one of the training sites. While I am only a semester in, I've greatly enjoyed and benefited from the richly theological and yet surprisingly practical instruction. So while my contributions on this blog have been fewer and farther between than I'd like, I'm optimistic that this course may actually turn into some good blog content (of which this is the first).

At our most recent conference day, we were privileged to have Joe Thorn, pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL and author of Note To Self, as our guest speaker. I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes from his two presentations, almost all of them in a perfectly tweetable form!

Session One, "The Ministry of the Cross In Your Life"
  • The ministry of the cross is the message we proclaim, preach, herald, not only to others but first to ourselves. 
  • Union with Jesus is the essence of our Christian life.
  • The ministry of the cross will always push towards Solus Christus, Christ alone.
  • The ministry of the cross continues in the unity of community.
  • Jesus did not just die for you, so stop acting like he did.
  • Our unity in Christ does not erase our diversity in the body. 
  • Humility is first rightly seeing God, and then rightly seeing yourself.
  •  Our sanctification is the will of God, by the word of God, through the work of God, in which we are privileged to participate.
  • You can't be missional without being vocal.
  • Being missional builds relationships and then risks those relationships to share the gospel.

Session Two, "The Ministry of the Cross In Your Church"
  • Your church will either be gospel-centered or issue-driven.
  • Never let your good work eclipse The Good Work. 
  • Our gatherings must be (1) cross-centered and (2) comprehensible.
  • The primary targeted demographic in our worship gatherings ought to be singular: God.
  • Our worship must be robustly theological and deeply comprehensible.
  • Hospitality is essentially treating outsiders like insiders.
  • Jesus will build his church, but we all need to pick up a hammer.

Porterbrook Learning is a basic theological training course suitable for all Christians. It is designed to be accessible and does not require any previous training or experience; yet it remains compelling and challenging even for the theologically trained.

Porterbrook Learning provides a church-based theological training program for individuals and congregations. It consists of 24 modules organized into four tracks:
  • Bible & Doctrine Track
    Understanding and teaching the entire Bible
  • Character Track
    Living and leading out of a gospel-transformed heart
  • Church Track
    Establishing, growing, and leading a community on mission
  • World Track
    Understanding your ministry context and how to engage others with the gospel

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