Now is the time to register for the City Lab workshop at Ridley College in Melbourne on Thursday June 1.
I’m convinced the City Lab will help you because it will bring together the three things that help me most in my own preaching and ministry.
1. The conviction that God's speaking is purposeful.
God wants to do something in and to us through his Word — as well as in and to those we serve. That’s why application matters.
Murray Capill puts it well, “We should begin with the consciousness that God’s Word has work to do” (The Heart is the Target, p71).
Beginning like this, helps me focus on more than just the (right and important) questions of what the Bible says and what God means when he says it.
It makes me ask ‘Why? What is God’s purpose in saying this here in this way?’
2. The realisation that our problem is deeper than thinking or willing.
There is no part of who we are that is not touched — and corrupted — by our fundamental failure to worship the true and living God. The heart matters.
People like James K. A. Smith (You Are What You Love) have highlighted the ancient wisdom of this realisation. It runs right back through the Puritans to Augustine (and before him to Paul and the Psalms).
But this means that my preaching and ministry needs to do more than merely address people’s thinking or appeal to their will. Anything less won’t get to the real problem.
3. The recognition that it is the grace of the gospel that brings real and lasting transformation.
Of course, we know that our core problem is only solved as God the Holy Spirit applies to people’s hearts the momentous news of what God has done in Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
God’s grace in Jesus is the thing that matters most of all. For our Christian walk as much as for our conversion.
But I take it I’ll do better if I work with the Spirit in my preaching and ministry. That is, if I aim at the same target. And if I apply the same grace of the gospel to the real problem.
These three things will be brought together in the City Lab as Andrew Katay and Murray Capill help us workshop how to apply grace to people’s hearts.
Join us on June 1 at Ridley College (150 The Avenue, Parkville VIC). From 9am (for a 9.30am start) to 12.30pm. $20 (morning tea provided).
Director of Training