Archives For Gordon MacDonald

Being Thankful: The Thankful Exchange

Greg Strand – December 9, 2013 2 Comments

In one of his recent musings, Gordon MacDonald writes of the importance of giving thanks. He refers to this as “The Thankful Exchange” and he concludes that it “is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships.”

The message behind thank you seems to be this: I am acknowledging something—a gift, a word, an action—that you have offered to me. It has added value to my life, and I am compelled to celebrate what you have done.

It may seem strange—in an article for leaders—to focus on the thankful exchange. Wouldn’t it be better addressed wherever it is that people comment on etiquette and good manners?

My opinion? The thank you exchange is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships: friendships, marriage, family, organizations of all sizes and shapes. Neglect it, and, over a period of time, the quality of any of those relationships deteriorates.

Therefore, the thank you exchange is one of a leader’s most important actions.

I agree!

Christians, the redeemed, are thankful people. They are thankful to the Lord (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 9:15; Col. 1:12; Heb. 12:28), and that thankfulness becomes a mark of their lives which overflows into relationships with others.

  • Are you living a life of thankfulness to the Lord?
  • Does that overflow in a life of thankfulness to others?

EFCA One, our bi-annual national conference, was held the first week of July in New Orleans. It was a great conference with excellent plenary speakers/sessions and teaching/training tracks.

There were two types of plenary sessions this year: three expository messages from the Word, preached by Kevin DeYoung and Gordon MacDonald, and two hot topic sessions, given oversight by Ed Stetzer.

Expository Preaching

  • Kevin DeYoung (Monday PM):“The Pleasure of God and the Possibility of Holiness” (Romans 12:1-2) Application: Where will you focus your imperfect yet possible obedience this week?
  • Kevin DeYoung (Tuesday AM): “What is the Mission of the Church?” (Matthew 28:18-20). Application: What value do you place on preaching the “unpopular, impractical message” of the gospel?
  • Gordon MacDonald (Wednesday AM):  “Jesus’ Call: hear it again….for the first time!” (Matthew 5:13-16). Application: Who are the 10-12 people you’re intentionally discipling?

Hot Topic Panels

  • Hot Topic (Monday night): “The Doctrinal and Functional Centrality of the Biblical Gospel”: Application: How are you bringing the gospel to bear on various areas of ministry in your local church?
  • Hot Topic (Tuesday night): “Ministry As the Scattered Church”: Application: How does your church or ministry respond to a post-modern culture?

Tomorrow I will include a separate post on the Hot Topic plenary session focused on “The Doctrinal and Functional Centrality of the Biblical Gospel.” Later in the week I will also be posting recordings and notes from the Forum on Expository Preaching (“Preaching Laments and Imprecatory Psalms”) and the Teaching Track (“The Reformation of the Pastoral Office”).

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:

I look forward to seeing you in July!