The Seattle A29 bootcamp was one of the best I’ve been to. Here are a few highlights:
Preach the Word
With intoxicating passion Matt Chandler exhorted us, text after text, to be the unlikely people who proclaim the gospel and encounter opposition for being faithful to the Word of God. A standby message that can’t be preached enough in an age of theological fads, cultural fascination, church planting tricks, and the very scary American church industry.
He reminded us that when God wants to work, he repeated comes to a man. He met Moses on a mountain instead of dethroning Pharaoh by himself. He likes to use the unlikely to accomplish his redemptive purposes in history. What hope for us. But calls us to preach unpopular messages, like Isaiah’s sensory malfunction message in chapter 6, or Jeremiah’s message to “uproot and tear down,” without very little experience of “building up.” And it is this kind of embodying and preaching of the gospel of Christ crucified that, though unpopular, actually changes the whole world!
Matt was a little hard on progressional dialog/dialogical preaching. The crux of his point was that the Bible repeatedly shows people “preaching” not “dialoging” the Word and therefore that should be our method too. I think people will probably mishear Matt on some of this. In explaining the progression of dialog Matt summed it up as going from “nothing to nothing.” To be fair, his explanation came from Preaching Reimagined by Pagitt which carries a whole host of theological baggage with it. But I wonder if we can separate the method out and celebrate the dialogical homiletic a bit more? I have friends who use diaological preaching that is robust, gospel-centered, and far from “nothing to nothing.” Matt, do you think there’s room for this method provided the content delivered is biblically faithful?
A Call to Endure
Mark Driscoll’s message on endurance was jam-packed with wisdom for people, pastors, and planters alike. Focusing on the practicals of running the Christian race well and to the end, Driscoll highlighted a number of areas in which we need to endure: spiritually, physically, maritally, parentally, pastorally. His call to “love Jesus not use him” should pierce the armor of self-made ministry significance. Every pastor battles this—significance by ministry—instead of significance by Jesus. He reminded us that: “ministry is the one idol the church will let you get away with.”
Additionally, Driscoll’s comments on our wives being pastors to their husbands was rich. People used to scathing Mark for his complementarianism will do well to heed his words on this. Far from bull-headed masculinity and chauvinism, Mark pleaded with pastors and their wives to move together in ministry. How? By a pastor allowing his wife to minister to him emotionally, spiritually, relationally, etc. The calling of a pastor’s wife is not to some fanciful, exalted position of “first lady” but to the all-important place of strengthening her husband. Mark commented regarding this role of pastor’s wife: “everything else can be delegated in the chruch.