Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dwell Conference: "Am I easy to correct?

Just got back home from Dwell. Long day. The conference was held at a Universalist Church on Central Park West (pictured)

A lot of good things were said. Too many things for me to say. But let me share with you the main Bible passage from this morning that will stay with me for a long time: (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Three observations were made:

  • Our character must be more persuasive than our speech. (Spurgeon).
  • There is no pastoral exemption of sin for the pastor.
  • You can't effectively watch yourself by yourself.

A devastatingly simple question each person needs to ask is this: "Am I easy to correct?"

This evening, we were encouraged to spend quality time in the Bible. One 'take home' for me is that I will spend a day a month away from any desk in a quiet space simply reading my Bible.

But, yesterday, I said that I'd introduce you to some of the workers that I met...

I want you to know about Gavin McGrath. Gavin came to the conference with a team from the Co-mission initiative in London (A group of creative and vigorous church planters). Gavin shows me that there is only one response to pain in ministry: Grace. Grace and humility. Gavin is, right now, where God wants him to be: planting in London. But the path that God took him was a long one. There was pain in the process, but Gavin has taken that path with only grace and humility. Like his Savior.

And Rob Karch -- Rob was raised in Oregon, and married a French Canadian woman and moved to Canada to plant churches. I met Rob at the beginning of the conference, and he was speaking English. After the first session, I overheard Rob speaking in fluent French. I asked him over lunch 'Did you grow up speaking French?' The answer: 'No'. He has been learning it for the last 2 years. I asked him about it, and he replied that this is exactly what you have to do if you want to be missional: learn the language of the people you are with. A good model.

Daniel Montgomery -- Daniel is a pastor at Sojourn Church in Louisville, KY. Daniel and I spent some time talking in the subway waiting for the Downtown A Train. We had met 2 years ago, and we have had the same conversation both times: how to preach Christ while putting strong boundaries around your families. Daniel obviously cares deeply about his wife and family.

These are all men who keep a close watch on themselves and on their teaching.

Will hopefully tell you about a few more tomorrow night.

Pic of 106 Central Park West by Philocrites.


SamR said...

I made it my goal through MTS to take a day each month just to read the Bible and other books with no agenda - just to read. Was fantastic. Hope you lock it out in your diary and enjoy it.

byron smith said...

Like his Savior.
Can I "correct" your spelling? ;-)
I realise this is a lost cause and harbour no off-colour grudge that you patronise the local lingo (boy did spell check not like that sentence!).

Thanks for posting these thoughts and summaries.

Martin T said...

What does it mean to say, "There is no pastoral exemption of sin for the pastor?"

Justin said...

Oh. That pastors are as prone to sin as anyone else. That there is no 'exemption' or easy pass, simply because someone takes the vocation of minister of the gospel.