RHollandSCI had a great time with the elders of Bethel Grace at the 9Marks workshop this past weekend!  All the speakers blessed us tremendously.  Pastor Rick Holland of Grace Community Church brought a message stressing the primacy and vital importance of God’s Word in the life of a local church.  Here’s my attempt to recapitulate a few of his points that really blessed me…

1.  Don’t judge the success of a message by the retention of all its content so much as by its impact on the heart and life the hearer.  Not everyone will remember every truth received in a message.  Most families don’t go home and recite the cleverly alliterated outline!  But the encounter of receiving God’s Word faithfully preached is vitally important to the soul.

  2.  Yesterday, many preachers wanted to be accepted by the academic world.  Today, many preachers want to be accepted by pop-culture.  Above all, Spirit-filled preachers want to be approved by God.

3.  The Gospel is not necessarily in every text, but it should be in every sermon.  Point people to the cross.

Here, There and Back Again

November 6, 2009

Here are some interesting items online!…

Desiring God Holiday Sale. ‘Tis the season! Start your holiday shopping with some edifying resources from John Piper at great bargains.

Increase in depression and suicide among pastors. Totally sobering. This is why the Holy Spirit inspired verses like Hebrews 13:17. This is why Christians should love their pastors and pray for them rather than criticize and gossip about them.

“The Day I Went to Church.” An Aussie describes his first visit to a local church. Oh, let’s reach out to visitors in love Bethel Grace! Thanks for the link, Donovan!

Free Tim Keller Sermons. Pastor Tim Keller, of Redeemer Prespyterian Church in New York, has recently made his sermons available free of charge. Awesome resource!

BGBC Elders & 9Marks

November 4, 2009

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Can’t wait for this weekend!  The Bethel Grace Elders are heading to beautiful Riverside, California for the 9Marks “Building Healthy Churches” Conference this Friday and Saturday.  And we are very excited to have Alvin Colston joining us!

Please be praying that we will…
1 – Be drawn closer to the Lord Jesus
2 – Be drawn closer to one another
3 – Be refreshed in our ministry to love and lead the flock
4 – Be energized in our commitment to nurture biblical church health
5 – Be given wisdom and clarity in applying the biblical principles to BGBC.

To read the “9 Marks of a Healthy Church” as discerned by Mark Dever, click here.

To see the conference speakers and schedule, click here.

On behalf of the elders, thanks for your prayers!
~Jeff