Archives For EFCA One

EFCA Forum on Expository Preaching

Greg Strand – July 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Note: Monday, July 1, I will share following at the EFCA One pre-conference to introduce the EFCA Forum on Expository Preaching entitled, “Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms” presented by Dr. Dennis Magary and Dr. Greg Scharf.

A Brief Word About History

The genesis for the Forum on Expository Preaching was a concern raised by a few pastors from the Central District that expository preaching was being laid aside for other kinds of preaching. Added to this concern were messages these men heard at a Conference by D. A. Carson entitled “The Primacy of Expository Preaching.” These matters were the foundation for establishing the Forum on Expository Preaching in 1996. A couple of years later, these pastors partnered with TEDS through Milo Lundell to make this a joint ministry.

This ministry partnership existed until 2011, when the ministry realigned its structure and slightly changed its focus. Today TEDS and the EFCA partner in this ministry, with Greg Scharf, Pastoral Theology Chair, and me, at the EFCA national office, providing the oversight and administration to it.

Updated Goal

“The goal of the Forum on Expository Preaching is to encourage and equip expository preachers in the EFCA who are God-centered, Christ-focused and Spirit-empowered, who are biblically faithful, theologically informed and pastorally sensitive, and who have a passion to proclaim God’s Word to God’s people with the goal of glorifying God, nurturing God’s people and building up the church of Jesus Christ.”

  1. Immediate Goal
    • Encourage and equip (teach and model)
    • expository preaching and expository preachers
  2. Trinitarian
    • God-centered
    • Christ-focused
    • Spirit-empowered
  3. Biblical, i.e., pastor-theologians
    • biblically faithful
    • theologically informed
    • pastorally sensitive
  4. Passion/Desire
    • proclaim God’s Word to God’s people (beginning with oneself)
  5. Ultimate Goal
    • glorify God
    • nurture God’s people
    • build up the church of Jesus Christ

Schedule and Topic

9:00-11:30 AM: A Teaching Workshop: “Going Negative – Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms” (teaching in order to establish the foundation for preaching, followed by discussion and feedback)

1:00-3:00 PM: Sermon: A Psalm of Lament: Psalm 22 (preaching to model the teaching, followed by discussion and feedback)

Speakers

Drs. Magary and Scharf will be co-teaching the Preaching Forum, an Old Testament professor and a Practical Theology professor, a teacher who preaches and a preacher who teaches, modeling for us what we aspire to be, pastor-theologians.

EFCA One Conference Registration

Greg Strand – April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

The early bird discount for the EFCA One conference ends on April 15, so please be sure to register before then, which you can do at the EFCA One website.

I have previously mentioned some significant events associated with the Conference: the Forum on Expository Preaching, “Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms,” and the Training Track, “Reformation of the Pastoral Office: Practices of the Reformers, Lessons for Today.” In these three sessions, Scott Manetsch will address the following topics:

  • Session One: The Reformation of the Pastoral Office
  • Session Two: The Ministry of the Word
  • Session Three: The Ministry of Pastoral Care

I trust many/most of you will be joining us at the EFCA bi-annual EFCA One conference this summer in New Orleans! It will be excellent!

One of the important resources provided at the EFCA One Conference is training tracks. Over the past decade plus, I have provided opportunities for those on the front-lines of ministry to be taught, trained and equipped by those who are on the front-lines of research and writing for the purpose of serving the church. For example, in the past we have addressed the Psalms, Revelation, The Johannine Epistles, The New Testament Use of the Old led by those who have written commentaries on these topics. We have also addressed systematic theology, church history and other important issues related to the church. These times of training allow us to be the beneficiaries in three 90 minutes sessions of what scholars have spent years researching and writing.  We are blessed indeed.

This year we will focus on the topic of church history.

“Reformation of the Pastoral Office: Practices of the Reformers, Lessons for Today”
Dr. Scott Manetsch
Professor of Church History, TEDS
EFCA One schedule

In this teaching/training track, I will consider ways in which the Protestant reformers departed from medieval Catholic understandings of priesthood, and fashioned a vision of ministry focused on preaching, pastoral care/discipline, and visitation/education.

We are excited to have Scott Manetsch with us. Scott serves as Professor of Church History at TEDS, and has been teaching at our EFCA seminary since 2000. Scott will be focusing on the fruit of his most recent work, Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609, Oxford Studies in Historical Theology (New York: Oxford, 2013).

In a brief review, Carl Trueman, “In the company of pastors: why you should buy Scott Manetsch’s new book”, gives Scott’s book an exemplary review. Trueman states that this is a book that is both scholarly and pastoral: “a scholarly book which really ought to be read by pastors.” This really breaks the mold of most works: either they are scholarly, or they are popular. There are not many books written today that cross that divide. Scott has done it!

Why will it be useful to pastors?

The Reformation fundamentally changed the nature, tasks and power of the pastoral office, primarily by placing the Word at the centre, theologically and thereby  practically, of church life. Further, this dramatic change itself brought challenges which themselves required furthered changes and refinements in the understanding and practice of pastoral ministry.

In the chapter on the ministry of the Word, the emphasis Calvin placed on clarity of the preached Word is always important to remember:

The pulpit is not the place to shoe off learning; it is the place to use that learning as the hidden foundation for preaching sermons which make the Bible’s message clearer, not more opaque and inaccessible. Oratorical skills are useful but only in so far as necessary for giving the message clarity and power, not for drawing attention to the preacher.

Finally, concludes Trueman,

This is a quite superb book.  It is not only outstanding as a well-written piece of original historical research.  It is also most informative concerning the reasons why Reformed and Presbyterian churches came to think about the ministry in the ways they do.  Buy it — though, if you are a pastor, probably best not to tell your wife how much it cost.

Good news! You will be able to heed Trueman’s advice and buy this book. In conjunction with our Conference and this specific training track with Scott, Oxford is offering a deeply discounted price for this book. Purchase this excellent book, but wait to do so until we can offer it at this discounted price. (Thanks to Scott for asking; thanks to Oxford for granting.)

It would be great if you were able to join us for the excellent training track with Scott Manetsch!

In the EFCA, we are people of the book, the Bible. This also means that we are people who are committed to preaching, teaching and living based on the Scriptures. One of the ways we teach, encourage and model this in the EFCA is through the Preaching Forums.

The goal of the Forum on Expository Preaching is to encourage and equip expository preachers in the EFCA who are God-centered, Christ-focused and Spirit-empowered, who are biblically faithful, theologically informed and pastorally sensitive, and who have a passion to proclaim God’s Word to God’s people with the goal of glorifying God, nurturing God’s people and building up the church of Jesus Christ.

Here is the pertinent information regarding our upcoming Preaching Forum.

EFCA Preaching Forum
“Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms”
Dr. Dennis Magary and Dr. Greg Scharf
July 1, 2013
http://efcaone.com/#about

10:00-11:45 AM: “Going Negative – Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms” (a teaching workshop)

1:30-3:00 PM: Sermon: A Psalm of Lament (preaching to model the teaching, followed by discussion and feedback)

We are excited to have Dennis Magary and Greg Scharf as our keynote teachers/preachers.

Dennis serves as an Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, and he also serves as the Chair of the Old Testament and Semitic Languages Department. He has been at TEDS since 1979. Not only is Magary an excellent scholar, he is also a gifted preacher/expositor. He is a model of the theologian (academic)/pastor, one who teaches in academia, but who models that the end result of studying the text is to preach the Word of God to God’s people.

Greg serves as Professor of Pastoral Theology, and he also serves as the Chair of the Pastoral Theology Department. He served in pastoral ministry up until the time he transitioned to this role at TEDS in 1999. For all his years in the pastorate, Scharf modeled what it is to be a pastor/theologian. Though he was a godly undershepherd of God’s people, in the midst of his pastoral care he gave himself diligently to the study of the Scriptures so that he could faithfully feed the people of God from the pulpit. Greg was my mentor in that I served as a pastoral intern under him at the conclusion of my seminary days at TEDS.

Dennis and Greg will be co-teaching the Preaching Forum, an Old Testament professor and a Pastoral Theology professor, a teacher who preaches and a preacher who teaches, modeling for us what we aspire to be in the EFCA, pastor-theologians.

It would be great if you were able to join us for this excellent Preaching Forum in New Orleans!

EFCA One Conference

donnajump – February 18, 2013 Leave a comment

From July 1-3 EFCA leaders will gather in sunny New Orleans, Louisiana, for EFCA One, the largest national gathering of EFCA leaders.

If you have not seen the EFCA One schedule yet, it is well-planned. There are seven training tracks led by Ed Stetzer, Aubrey Malphurs, Noel Castellanos, Scott Manetsch, Gordon and Gail MacDonald (plus others). The plenary speakers are excellent Bible expositors:  Kevin DeYoung and Gordon MacDonald. And, I know the two hot topics panels will energize pastor and leader discussions during the conference and back at home.

In addition to all of the above, I will be providing oversight to the Preaching Forum led by Greg Scharf, professor of pastoral theology at TEDS, and Dennis Magary, professor of Old Testament at TEDS, as they teach and preach on the theme ““Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms.” I will also be giving leadership to the Training Track led by Scott Manetsch, professor of church history at TEDS, as he instructs us on the topic “Reformation of the Pastoral Office: Practices of the Reformers, Lessons for Today.”

What God has done in and through His people in the EFCA in the city of New Orleans is amazing. Beyond the hurricanes, local EFCA churches, ministries, districts and national ministries like TouchGlobal and Challenge conference have truly come together to reflect the oneness Jesus prayed for in John 17.

I would encourage you to attend EFCA One. You can find the details here: www.efcaone.org.

I look forward to seeing you in July!