Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Weekender, Day 3

The Weekender by 9Marks
The Weekender, Day 1
The Weekender, Day 2

Yesterday was the third day of "The Weekender," the conference I am attending at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in conjunction with 9Marks Ministries. Saturday was a much lighter day than Friday, but still as helpful.

The morning included some thoughts on developing a culture in the church for discipleship and counseling. It was about developing and training a mindset in people in the church that if they have their Bible, they can minister to the needs of other people. They say this is not something that you can necessarily program. It is very difficult to structure a culture of discipleship and care. But it is something that takes time to develop.

My favorite part of the day was the evening session when Mark Dever talked about preparations for preaching. One cool thing that they do is to publish a "Sermon Card" that covers all the sermons and texts for the next four months. It is their view that God can and does move them as they schedule the preaching calendar for the next several months. The question was asked by someone in the crowd, "what about being flexible with the schedule, for instance what did you do after 9/11?" It was then that they passed out the cards that were printed about a month before 9/11 and this is what they had scheduled. Just look very closely at that picture. We often think about 9/11 being a tragedy for NY, but don't forget what happened just down the road from the Capitol. God was providential in the planning of their services.

I do plan ahead on my sermons. I have my schedule made up for the rest of this year & I have began thinking about next spring. And I think I will look at publishing it for people to have. Dever said what it does is to help people in their private preparation in anticipation for the morning message. They know what passage you are preaching on and they can read ahead.

The other thing that he does which I found helpful is that he rotates what kind of Scripture he preaches from. For instance, he will do a series on OT Law, then NT Gospels, then OT Prophecy, then Pauline Epistles, then OT Wisdom, then NT General Epistles, then OT History, then back to NT Gospel and so on. He does this in order to expose the entire genre of God's Word to God's people. He said, "You will want to preach the truth in such a way so that people will know how to find the truth." I like that.

It was a good day. I'm looking forward to the rest of the conference. If you have not thought about being part of a conference like this, I would highly recommend it.

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