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Category Archives: Shepherds’ Conference

Sermon Builder

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Eph. 4:11-14 ESV)

Building from my last post I wanted to just bring to attention a ministry that is focused on the equipping of the saints and doing what the apostle Paul is exhorting the Ephesian church to do. Specifically in church leadership.

Shepherd’s Fellowship is a ministry of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Ca. You may have heard of this church. If not you’ve no doubt heard of their senior pastor John MacArthur. Grace Community Church (GCC) and John MacArthur have been focused on equipping the saints for over 40 years. One of the tools they have been using, to the glory of God, is Shepherd’s Fellowship. Through this ministry you also have Shepherd’s Conference which is a church leadership conference GCC hosts every spring, and Resolved Conference, a cutting edge conference for college students and career singles. I can speak from experience for the Shepherd’s Conference. I’ve been twice. A few years ago Shepherd’s Fellowship began publishing a website designed for church pastors and leaders. The website is dedicated to providing resources for those who are called to this leadership responsibility. On the website you find the ministry tag-line:

The Shepherds’ Fellowship is an association of churches rallying around the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, the importance of expository preaching, and the centrality of a biblical philosophy of ministry.

The fellowship serves as both a resource and an encouragement for pastors and Christian leaders around the globe.

Just recently I noticed on the website under “Resources” a nice tool that provides preachers and teachers a step-by-step guide for putting together expository sermons1 . The tool is called “Sermon Builder“. It walks you through the five phases of sermon development. These phases are Introduction, Preparation, Precision, Production, and Presentation. If you are new to preparing sermons or would just like some guidance in doing so you can’t go wrong here. This ministry is dedicated and focused on encouraging church leaders to be Christ-centered and gospel-centered. To be the best God-ordained preachers and teachers you were called out for. The sermon builder would be a great resource for you.

1Expository sermons are sermons that expound on the particular meaning of a text or passage of scripture.

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Highlights of the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference

Tonight I went to the Shepherds’ Conference web site to view the pictures they had Shepherds' Conferenceposted from this year’s conference. Viewing them prompted to to remember some of my personal highlights from the conference. I will list them out as I try to remember them in order of each day.

Arriving Tuesday afternoon we all headed to the traditional OBC tour stop to eat lunch at the Fish Market Outlet in downtown LA. This is always an experience. We then headed to the Santa Monica Pier which for a few hours of shopping, walking, and Starbucks coffee, and seeing Mike Abendroth at the same spot we met him last year. I did get quite a bit of sun that afternoon. We then checked in to our hotel in Valencia (yes 24 fans, it’s still there) and went out to dinner. Wednesday morning we headed to the conference, verified our registrations, got our authentic fountain pen gifts and settled in on the Grace Community Church campus for a day of great preaching and seminars.

Highlights for Wednesday were John MacArthur preaching on premillennial theology in the morning and CJ Mahaney spoke on humility in the evening. Sitting with most of the guys at Starbucks and talking about the days events.

Highlights for Thursday were Q&A session with John MacArthur in the morning and Dr. Albert Mohler spoke on Greeting Card Theology from 1 Cor. 1 & 2. Getting our stack of free books and hanging with John Slack and eating In-N-Out burgers at lunch.

Friday was a busy highlight day. They include Mark Dever preaching on Daniel and our only hope is in God. Meeting Tim Challies from Challies dot com. Eating dinner with Hank, Bob, Steve, Dean, and Walter at the California Pizza Factory. Listening to Dr. John MacArthur speak on Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. Listening to Dr. Mohler during the “soapbox” sessions. One of my favorite highlights was and hanging with the pastors and elders on Friday night drinking some brews and listening to Pat, Todd, and Bu talk about their days in seminary.

Saturday highlights were eating breakfast at Mimi’s, seeing Master’s College, driving down to West Coast Choppers, conversations with Chris along the way. More highlights were speaking of salvation with someone I met at the Crystal Cathedral, attending the evening service of the potentially self proclaimed “healthiest” church in America. The speaker presented an anger management seminar under the disguise of a sermon.  More on that in a later post.  

The highlights for Sunday our final day were, Dr. MacArthur and his sermon on Luke 18:35-43. This was Jesus’ last healing. The healing of blind Bartemaius. Flying home, conversations with Chris on the flight. Seeing my wife waiting for me at the airport gate. Sleeping in my bed.

 

In the presence of mighty men


I am repenting because I have been too busy to post anything in three weeks. I will try to be more diligent in the future. I had a wonderful time of encouragement and edification at the Men’s shepherd’s Conference last week. It was like living a dream. I conveyed to my traveling companions my first experience with John MacArthur and I will do it here. My lovely wife had signed us up for his tape library in the early nineties and I remember listening to my first tape while mowing the grass in our home in Florida and thinking, I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to go to MacArthur’s church someday. First of all he will tell that it is the Lord’s church and not his, but being there, and hearing so many mighty men of God speaking and encouraging us and each other was incredible. I will not forget it. I am already putting together a plan to save for next year’s conference. We were at the conference for over eight hours each day. I have learned so much that I really should put my experiences down in text. We will be receiving the audio from all the sessions on one CD, so I will be able to commit the lessons learned to memory. I think my favorite session was the general session with Steve Lawson on “Bring The Book” about Ezra opening scripture to the remnant of Israel after captivity. It was an encouraging sermon about being diligent to preach the Word of God. To “bring the book” to the people and not be ashamed to teach and preach the truths written in the Word of God. A close second would be MacArthur’s sermon on Luke 15 and the parable of the man with two sons, more popularly known as the prodigal Son. At the ending he got us to consider the elder son as an example of the way the Jews treated their heavenly Father and His Son when he showed love for the sinners and not just the priviledged Jews. John MacArthur imagined an ending to the story and painted a vivid description of the elder son taking a piece of wood (like the cross) and beating the father to death in anger. Similar to what the Jews did to Christ in having him crucified on a cross.

You can click on the picture above to see some pictures I took while in California.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2006 in Shepherds' Conference

 

Goin’ to California


Today I finalized plans to attend the 2006 Shepherds’ Conference in Sun Valley, California(can you say it like Ahhhnold). Woo Hoo!! The conference is a church leadership conference hosted by Grace Community Church. The church pastored by none other than John MacArthur Jr. The conference is March 1st to March 5th. I am so humbled and encouraged by the fact that I was invited to go by our senior pastor. It is such a God thing, no doubt. There are about 16 of us going as a group. I am looking forward to the training and growth I know I will get at this conference. I do not know what God has in store for me, but His promise is for my benefit and His glory. I will be following up with additional posts about the conference as the plans unfold.
Oh yeah. Today I also picked up my cap and gown for my graduation ceremony which is this Saturday. I’ll post some pics of it after.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2006 in Shepherds' Conference