J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Advance the Church – Notes from Tim Smith Session 2

advanceNotes from Tim Smith Session 2

Advance the Church – Fall 09

Vintage 21 Church

  • Salvation is the creation of an appetite for God – John Piper

Missional Worship

  • What is a missionary? (Acts 17:16-23)
    • Paul’s spirit was provoked as he looked at all the idols
      • A missionary is provoked by idolatry.
      • If we lose that, we have gone to far and have become and worship created things.
      • False worship should revolt the missionary.  Impossible to be at ease.
      • Paul does not see the idols and then leave or retreat to the edge of city to huddle with the disciples.
        • Instead he reasoned in the synagogue and in the marketplace.
        • The missionary is compelled to investigate its source.
        • Far too often, we are satisfied to live in a parallel universe of our creation.
        • We cannot enjoy the world as an end unto itself instead of engaging it.
      • They took hold of Paul and asked about his new teaching.
        • The people there always wanted to hear what was new (very much like our world today).
  • Observations
    • Culture cannot be passively accepted nor can it be passively dismissed.
    • Paul doesn’t either openly accept or dismiss their culture.
    • What is culture?
      • Art, music, literature
      • Enlightenment and sophistication acquired.
      • Beliefs customs practices of a people
      • Group of people with shared beliefs
      • Set of attitudes of particular people
      • Church has tendency to reduce culture to mere behaviors and products and disconnect it from people and then pit our culture against theirs.
        • But Culture is always about people.
        • Apart from the initiation of the work of God, no one can move towards God, obey God, or please God.
        • We cannot lead them to believe otherwise.
      • The Gospel is not a culture – it transcends all culture
        • To be human is cultural
        • Culture is the fruit of human worship
  • (Back to what is a missionary?)
    • Paul Acts 17:23 passed along and observed the objects of worship
      • Our brains must actively be observing and diagnosing elements of worship around us.
      • Paul sees their altar to the unknown God and says, “I know who that is…Jesus.”
      • What you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
      • He uses the objects of their false worship and makes them bridges to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.
      • He quotes their poets and uses them for the same purpose
      • Paul looked at culture of world and sees outgrowth of worship
        • Paul takes a timeless truth of scripture and finds the method appropriate for the moment (consistent with Biblical truth)
        • We are often more attached to our cultural distinctiveness than the Gospel of Jesus.
        • What is contextualization?
          • Take the message of the Gospel and put it into context.
          • There is no debate about contextualization (reading your Bible in English).
          • We use the objects of worship for the world as a means to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.
          • Receiving anything that is not counter to the gospel
          • Reject anything incompatible with the truth of scripture.
          • Redeem objects of sinful, idolatrous worship for the glory of God.
            • Internet, music equipment, guitar instruments.
          • Frost and Hirsch say there are 2 gaps to cross:  culture and the Gospel.  Both must be crossed to get maturity.
          • Reverse Engineering – have the end in mind and work back from there.
            • I Corinthians 14:24-25 – the unbeliever gives an account to the secrets of his heart so that he might fall on his face and worship God.
            • We want to behold God’s glory in such a way that when an unbeliever walks into our gathering, their heart is laid bear and the fall in repentance before God.
          • Marks of missional worship
            • God’s glory should be our deepest motivation for all we do.
            • All of our music and art serves this higher purpose (they only have worth as they serve God’s glory).
            • Good art does not mediate God’s presence – anything else attempting to serve that purpose is an idol.
            • We come to corporate worship with
              • Truth, then a
              • Response
              • In creative-context and quality
              • Overseen and tied together by leadership.
              • (Freedom within those but loss of any of those elements misses God’s glory)
            • Convergence
              • Scripture unifies – we reduce and divide
              • Must have both Mind – Spirit (I Corinthians 14:15)
              • The church has a tendency to exclude other believers outside of our preference.
            • Liturgy
              • Take people on a journey from lament to praise
              • Express the full range of affections in response to the word.
              • You must plan but to assume your plan is perfect is arrogance.
            • Instruction
              • Short, concise, Spirit led explanation
                • Why we sing
                • How we respond
              • Consistent, small changes
              • These things clarify and reinforce why we worship to the believer while being hospitable and gracious to non-believers.
              • Bands (Tim’s admitted advice and preferences)
                • A unified Spirit led band is better suited to contextualize the gospel than a worship team.
                • Worship Team
                  • A collection of individuals around leader which leads to diluted style.
                  • Have lots of singers.
            • Worship Band
              • Consistent lineup
              • Collaborative style
              • Write and record together
              • Name and identity.
            • Quality
              • Not just good Christian or worship music but good music
              • Can’t expect people to see our hearts if our music is not good first
            • Mixed Musical Influences
              • Too much of our music is self-referential (church or movements)
              • Scripture does not dictate a music context – all we have is the music of the world because that is all there is anyway.
              • We have freedom guided by principles.
              • What fills music with meaning is the heart of the ones offering it.
              • There is no such thing as Christian music.  There is music and there are Christians who worship.
              • Most Christian worship is Nashville music exported to the entire globe.
              • No church should passively import another culture’s worship.  Make your music contextualized to the culture you are engaging.
              • Should be influenced by a masculine culture because if you lose the men, you lose the battle.
              • Musical referential not self-referential.

October 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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