Advance09 Day One

I’m having a great time at the Advance09 Conference.  A great time of learning and conviction.  I’m rooming with a brother named Kris from NC who also put some notes up.

I’m going to give you today’s line-up and some highlights from my notes.  You can go over to and download The First Three Advance09 Messages.

The Line-Up

  • Mark Driscoll – What is the Church?
  • Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge
  • Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching
  • Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched
  • Q&A Panel

Mark Driscoll – What is the Church?

Driscoll started with a dictionary definition of church.  As he said this definition is not helpful.  He moved through looking at the church throughout history.  Touching on the modern era and the missuse of Matthew 18 i.e. where ever two or more are gathered is not a church.  Then the Emergent Church, early creed, Wycliffe, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Calvin, Luther to the Anabaptists.

The question we must answer is – Who is Jesus?  This is the starting point in defining the church.  We went back to Genesis 3:15 to look at the Gospel onto the incarnation.  The church is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit through the work of Jesus.

Driscoll fired of the charge of some pastors being cowards.  They are cowards because they are afraid to preach.  Afraid of the people.  They just want a job, pay check, prestige and offer suggestions not commands.  This approach with lead people to become false teachers.  The culture is kindling and the Gospel must be the priority preached with authority.  It is always, only and totally about Jesus.

He gave 8 marks of the local church.

  1. Regular church – regenerated church membership distinguished from unbelieving attenders.
  2. Qualified leadership – ontological equality with functional leadership, male elders and deacons (male/female at Mars Hill).
  3. Gathering for worship – Jesus the center of worship with preaching based on the authority of Scripture.  50% is doing, serving and 50% is receiving from God such as grace, faith, salvation, spiritual feeding, etc.
  4. Sacraments rightly administered –  communion every week (at Mars Hill).  If baptists can’t grasp this they should talk to a Presbyterian.  So what if communion makes the service a little longer.
  5. Unified by the Spirit – Closed-handed vs. open-handed theological positions.  Leadership needs to say what they believe as well as what they don’t believe and be united.
  6. Church discipline – Matthew 18 misused i.e. a rape victim can’t just go up and say to the rapist that the rape was wrong so repent.  Churches should have a policy addressing church discipline, most don’t have one.  The bigger the church the harder it can be.
  7. Great Commission love – a Gospel community will be living, loving and expressing generosity together.
  8. Obey Great Commission – reach the nations. People must be missional and go out with the Gospel.

He addressed a few more things such as missional/attractional, gathered/scattered church, pastor equips/people go out and biblical principle/cultural method.  He also touched on parachurch ministries.  I enjoyed the message overall.  I’m not sure who needs it more some pastors or their congregations.  Some people will not like some of the things such as coward comment and the call to end Sunday School.  Check it out.

Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge

The church is a body and like our bodies we need to take care of it.  The church needs care.  The world is dark.  It is dark because we, as people, are dark.  Jesus is the only hope.  He offers this hope through the church.

Love the church. Love is more than emotion it is sacrifice. The church should be a priority in the life of believers and effect all of our lives structure.

Jones gave some reasons the church is in decline.

  1. Debilitating focus on political alignment.
  2. Not passing faith to our children.
  3. Failure of Christian education.
  4. Inter-denominational fighting.
  5. Less overall resources i.e. buildings, people, money.

The church has a threefold problem.  We’ve taken our eyes off Jesus, off mission and have developed a toxic nature.  The answer is long-term active repentance.  He shared a personal story about repenting of the sin of territorialism and reaching out to local pastors.  He called on some pastors to step down.  Those who’ve disqualified themselves through pornography, infidelity or pedophilia.

Jones had some good things to say, but for some reason he was the toughest for me to follow.  I appreciated his personal stories about working with other local pastors.

Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching

I don’t really have to say much here because Dr. Chapell provided his notes from the session.  You can download them here: Notes from Bryan Chapell’s session right off the Vintage21 website.

He does start off with a hard hitting question.  Why is it so easy to sin?  Because we love it.  There are four basic categories of Scripture and they all point to Jesus.  Prediction, preparation, reflecting and end result are all because of the work of Christ.

I always enjoy listening to Chapell.  He has a way with illustrations that is just amazing.

Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched

He starts by telling us that everything we’ve all ready heard is not new.  If it is new to any pastor then that pastor should step down and leave the pastorate.  It’s not the information we need.  It’s the power of the Holy Spirit we need to carry out all of this theology.

Chandler went over the church at Ephesus.  He pointed out three areas in Ephesus and challenged us to apply them today.

  1. Fear of the Lord – Acts 19:17, Jesus name exalted. Get back to the nature and character of God in preaching.
  2. Confessing – Acts 19:18, build in confession by preaching the cross.  We have nothing in ourselves to confess if we leave out the cross.  Stop trying to make what we believe to be cool.  If everyone likes what you’re preaching it’s probably not the Gospel.
  3. Destroy idols – Acts 19:18, quotes Calvin on us being idol factories.  We are too comfortable with our sins and must destroy it.  Need to recover the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

I do like listening to Chandler.  He has a way of making you laugh and then walking you to step on a rake that hits you between the eyes.  Convicting.

Q&A Panel

This was an interesting session that was answered by Driscoll, Chapell and Chandler.  Tyler Jones asked the questions.  They are taking questions at for tomorrow.  The questions centered around: people not being able to find a solid local church/leadership, when to stay or move on, open vs. closed-handed issues, shepherding, influence/leading within the church, tensions and parachurches.

The answers were good, but not answered in a black and white manner.  The guys were careful not to tell people to just church hop, etc.  They were not easy topics to handle.Hopefully, the audio will be up soon as I’m too tired right not to type out some notes.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s teaching and fellowship.


Let's connect!

tagged as , in calvinism,Church Issues,Culture,Evangelism,Gospel,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Les Puryear June 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm


Sorry we couldn’t hookup today. I left right after Piper’s message.
Maybe we can get together another time.



2 Mark|HereIBlog June 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Sorry I missed you. I would have called you after lunch, but we ran late and got caught in the rain. We came back soaked!


Previous post:

Next post: