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Thursday, May 11, 2006

T4G and FGBC?

I have to admit, the biggest disappointment at the Together for the Gospel Conference was the lack of Grace Brethren representation. To my knowledge, there was one other Grace Brethren pastor (Brad Kelley) and a handful of faithful laymen from another church in our district there with me and Jason. Of course, a lack of attendance could be chocked up to a number of reasons:
    1. Busy Schedules. (A pastor on our staff had to miss the conference due to grand jury duty.)
    2. Illness (I knew of a couple of guys who wanted to be there and health prevented it)
    3. Sold out. (I know another pastor who tried to get into the conference once he heard about it, but was turned away because they were out of available seats.)
    My ignorance. (There may have been men there that I didn't see, or didn't know they are members of the Fellowship.)
I know that attendance at a conference like this is not a sign of a church's health, nor of a pastor's commitment to the gospel. However, I couldn't help but wonder if church growth seminars and modern church marketing strategy retreats will get a better representation from the Fellowship than a conference dedicated to that message which provides our salvation.

Fortunately, the conference provided a document of affirmations and denials that pastors can look at to determine the level of their cooperation. If you are a member of our Fellowship, I urge you to take a look at this document (.pdf file you may need to "save as") and then answer the following questions:
    Do I agree with this document?
    Would I be willing to sign such a document to make my views known and public?
    Why or why not?


  • At 4:15 PM, Anonymous mcgriff said…

    As a member of the fellowship I have to say I absolutely agree with the affirmations/denials. I think that is a problem with many of the GBC today and that there are not many that would sign it, and some that would, would only do it in principle. By that I mean, that they would sign it but continue to focus there ministry on church growth instead of spiritual growth. Why don't you send that to the local gb churches and see how many sign it...not many

  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger jason said…

    I've only been involved in the fellowship for a year and a half, but I have to say that I agreed with the document. I guess my lack of experience with the fellowship doesn't leave me in a good place to comment whether or not others would confidently sign it or not, but I will say that the majority of churches today would have questions. Its not just grace brethren churches who are fixed on church growth, its churches in general.

    As long as Christianity remains "marketable" this will always be the case. Sad as it is to say, most of the points made in the document are not marketable

  • At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wouldn't taint the blessings that you received from the conf. by slamming others for not going.

  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    "slamming" may be harsh.

    i give a numer of reasons for not making the conference that are totally valid.

    the conference truly was a blessing, and my hope is that by seeing some agreement about the affirmations/denials, the strength of the conference could continue.

    i love our Fellowship, i'm not slamming it or individual pastors within it. i just would like to know if the conference was not highly represented by our Fellowship because many disagree with the message of the conference, or if other explanations apply.

  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger Chloe Lou said…

    ok, so this has nothing to do with your post, but i have started my own blog, and I think, if you have time, there is something on there you should read.

  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger Chloe Lou said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 6:41 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    chloe, i can't link to it. when it shows your profile, there is no blog there.

    if you mean your myspace blog...it won't let me open it either.

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous eric said…

    First off, I have enjoyed your blog and your input. As a FGBC pastor, I would have loved to have attend this conference. But other than your blog, I would never have even heard of it. That might be due to the fact I even out in the middle of a wheat field in kansas. Never the less, I would have signed the document. I have some 'questions' about the Article X wording. It seems to surface the whole MacArthur/Ryrie/Hodges debate from the late 80's, but overall, I think the whole document, it is a very needed line in the sand for this generation.

  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Yeah, I have felt the same way sometimes about the conferences I've attended at Willow Creek. The teaching and spiritual depth was so challenging, inspiring, and biblical.

    I have been to eight of their conferences and it was great to be in a place where the Gospel is taught, celebrated, and involved in every area of life.

    Not once in any of those eight Willow-Creek conferences did people talk about church growth or marketing strategies. Yet all of them were inspiring for evangelism (sharing the very same Gospel), discipleship, worship, and building up the body of Christ.

    It's great to hear you had a similar experience, bro!

  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    willow creek conferences may not have had anything about church marketing in them, but judging from your amazing knack to bring hybels into the discussion where he wasn't mentioned and defend him where he wasn't attacked shows that if they ever need someone to do marketing for them...you'd be their guy ;)

  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    I was merely sharing that I have been in your shoes.

    I know what it's like to go to a conference, and feel like I wish others could have experienced it.

  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    I was merely sharing that I have been in your shoes.

    I know what it's like to go to a conference, and feel like I wish others could have experienced it.

  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Dude, don't know how my above comment got posted twice. Wasn't me.

  • At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    AMEN to the document! You have no idea how refreshing it is to read something like this that is TOTALLY glorifing God and STANDING for TRUTH!!!!!!! This has not been my experience with the other churches I have attended. Eric, just curious, what is your question about article X? I don't know about the debate i the 80's.lg


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