Man, it sure has been silent around the blog as of late! Actually, if we are honest, there has been a lot of silence around the Gospel Alliance New England as of late. There are many contributing factors to this, but the major one is we are rebooting GA. Over the last 5 years we have been primary about hosting a conference or two throughout New England. While this has been very fruitful, we have sensed over the last year that God had different plans for GA. With The Gospel Coalition New England hosting a fall conference with names like Keller, Piper, Carson etc… and planing other training events, we knew that God was leading us in a new direction. Even though things have been silent on the public front of GA, there have been lots of conversations, emails, meetings, google hangouts, and such seeking what God’s role for GA is in the years to come.

Building_Busy

Past -

When we first started GA we made a commitment that we had no intention to becoming an institution. Meaning that as soon as we had to keep GA alive, we would shoot it. If God was behind it, things would happen. He would open doors, He would give us direction, He would be the one making it happen, not us. This doesn’t mean we won’t work hard, put in long hours, take risks, but it meant for us that GA was God’s deal, not ours to breath life-support in.

With this mind the last few months have been both exciting and frustration. Exciting because God continues to open doors, frustrating because God has been opening doors, some which we haven’t had the manpower or resources to walk through. It is also a time of much change, and with leadership change, and vision shift things become harder. You have to better define who you are, bring on new leaders, say goodbye to old ones and many more.

Future - 

The main reason for this blog post is two-fold. For one we wanted to let you know we are still here, we are still working at what we feel God is calling us to and we are still seeking out exactly what that is. If you have thoughts, suggestions or comments we would love to hear from you, email us or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment below. The second is we would love prayer for you all. Prayer for the leadership team as it changes. Prayer for direction for the coming years of GA. Prayer for the funding of the mission of GA.

Over the summer we will most likely remain somewhat silent, however with the fall we hope to reboot things and have some of the majority of the changes ironed out. Thanks for being part of what Jesus is doing in New England and thanks for being part of the spread of the gospel.

Sincerely,

Mark Gedicks & Josh Cousineau

Men and Women of Wisdom

With Ray and Jani Ortlund, Jared Wilson and more

A conference about the beautiful wisdom of God showing up in our everyday lives.
South Shore Baptist Church, Hingham, MA
May 3-4, 2013

Register here…only $30!

We need biblical wisdom.
We want the gospel to be beautiful in our lives–in our homes, at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, towns and cities. At our universities, in our churches, in our friendships.

We want to love our friends and family well. We want to work well. We want to do life well.

How do we get there?

Biblical wisdom is more than what you find in a fortune cookie.  It is more than an optional add-on for people who want to upgrade their lives from, say, four to seven on a scale of one to ten.  This wisdom is life and death: ‘The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death’ (Proverbs 13:14).

What if we have many advantages but not wisdom?  If we have love but not wisdom, we will harm people with the best of intentions.  If we have courage but not wisdom, we will blunder boldly.  If we have truth but not wisdom, we will make the gospel ugly to our city.  If we have technology but not wisdom, we will use the best communications ever invented in history to broadcast stupidity.

Wisdom is the grace of Christ beautifying our daily lives.  Paul said that God has lavished his grace upon us in all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8).  God’s grace is smart grace.  The Bible says that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).  The wise way to live is not always obvious or intuitive.  It’s hidden.  Here’s where it’s hidden: ‘We preach Christ crucified, . . .the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).”

–Ray Ortlund

Join us as Ray OrtlundJani OrtlundJared WilsonJeramie RinneMatt Kruse and Curtis Cook lead us through Scripture in search of the kind of gospel wisdom that is found in Jesus Christ.

Visit the conference website for more info and to register.

 

Our good friend Owen Strachan has written a great article on the CBMW blog addressing the increasingly common occurrence of public proclamations of attraction between Christian husbands and wives (especially on social media). In particular, he addresses the positive and negative points of publicly declaring that your spouse is “smokin’ hot” or something similar. Since we as followers of Christ are called to a unique balance between the celebration of sex as God’s gift and purity, this issue is worth thinking through very carefully. I think you’ll find his perspective helpful and informative.

Read the whole article HERE.

One of the best resources for encouraging disciples and churches in global missions is a video series called Dispatches from the Front. These “National Geographic” quality videos tell the stories of frontline missionaries bringing the gospel to the unreached peoples at the ends of the earth. I highly recommend you get one or all of them and start showing them in your small group/missional community. Be prepared to weep and rejoice at the hardships and victories our brothers and sisters as the gospel advances through persecution and poverty and war and idolatry. Be prepared for the Holy Spirit to ignite a passion for God’s glory in global missions.

Visit the site and snoop around a bit. You’ll be blessed and so won’t your churches. Below are a few trailers of the DVDs.


All of us associated and affiliated with the Gospel Alliance New England are in heartfelt and fervent prayer for all of those affected by the tragic bombings in Boston yesterday. Here is regular GA Blog contributor Brandon Levering providing us with a wonderful, biblical prayer in light of current events.

Gracious Father,

Today we’re faced with the painful reminder that we still live in a fallen world.

Today the earth gave way as an explosion tore apart the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Yet this was no natural chaos; this was an act of evil, intent on wounding and terrorizing the people of this city and her guests, while the rest of the world was watching.

We call it ‘terrorism’ because that is what it seeks to do—strike terror and fear into our hearts. God, we confess, sometimes it works. We are afraid. We fear for our safety. We fear losing our loved ones. We fear the loss of life as we know it.

Yet there is one thing on earth that no bomb can shake, and no terror can overcome: your presence. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Because you are with your people, we need not be afraid. Though the waters roar and the nations rage, you are a refuge and fortress to your people. Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, those who take shelter in your presence will not be moved. Though this world may take away from us everything we hold precious, even our lives, it cannot take us away from you. You are our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble.

As our city quakes from the effects of sin in this world—the evil, the violence, the injuries and loss of life, we pray that your holy and healing presence would be made known.

We pray for the victims of this tragedy. We pray for healing for the wounded, and comfort for the bereaved. We pray for loved ones sitting in waiting rooms or watching the news at home. May hearts and eyes turn to you at this time, as you make your power and presence known by your Spirit in the face of Jesus Christ.

We pray for those who have come to the aid of the victims—the police officers, the bystanders, the response teams and medical personnel. We pray for the doctors and nurses administering care late into the night. We thank you for their courage, on a day when our Commonwealth celebrates the heroism of the patriots of the Revolutionary War. We pray that you would be with them to guide them in their care and treatment.

We pray for churches in Boston, that together we would be light for this city. As you dwell in a special way among your people, may your people be to this city an expression of your compassion, care, and shelter for those who are scared and hurting in this city. May Jesus be on display in our words and deeds—he who wept at the death of his beloved friend, who in his own death took on himself the evil and sorrow of this world, mixed with his Father’s holy anger against our evil rebellion, yet conquered death and brought new life when he rose from the grave.

And we’re reminded that our hope rests in another city—a city that cannot be shaken.

So we look forward to the day when we will rest and rejoice in your glorious presence in that heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, as it comes down from heaven in your new creation.

We look forward to a day when you will make wars and violence cease to the ends of the earth. When all wrongs will be brought to justice, and your peace will triumph over all.

We look forward to a day when all will recognize your rightful rule over creation, when your enemies will be put under your feet, and your name will be exalted to the ends of the earth.

And we pray in the meantime that we would rest in you. Give us the grace to be still, to cease striving amid our helplessness, with the knowledge that you are God. You are our help. You will be exalted as God. Your kingdom will triumph in the end. Your name will be exalted in all the earth.

Be present with us now. And come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Find Brandon’s Blog HERE.

I’m having serious regrets for missing out on TGC13 (The Gospel Coalition National Conference). As much as I can’t wait for all of the audio and video, there’s nothing like face-to-face gospel fellowship among thousands of like-minded bothers and sisters!

In the meantime, I’m finding solace in the Songs from the Book of Luke, a collection of songs written by the church, for the church. This is one more evidence of the gospel-centered movement being more than just a fad, but actually revival–when God’s people sing “a new song” soaked and saturated in the Word of Truth! Check out the website for samples and chord sheets. Checkout their Bandcamp page and stream the whole album for free.

Here’s a little more info about the project. Enjoy!

For as long as God’s people have gathered, they have written poems and songs about the glory of God and the wonder of redemption. As the church, we sing to celebrate. We sing to remember. We sing to give voice to hope, even in the midst of life’s greatest trials.

Songs for the Book of Luke is an album by the church, for the church. The songwriters and musicians on this album all serve in congregations across the country, from New York to St. Louis to Seattle, to Dallas and many places in between. These songs have roots in the Scriptures (all of these songs are inspired by the Book of Luke) and seek, above all else, to glorify God and serve his people.

It’s been amazing to work on this project and see how much creativity is thriving in local congregations. More than 200 songs were submitted for consideration. We hope that this album might encourage churches to empower and release artists serving in their congregations to “sing a new song.” Most of all, we hope that as you listen, as you sing, and as churches consider singing these songs, you’ll be refreshed and reminded once again of the richness of the Book of Luke and the glory of our Savior.

I recently came across an article posted on the Verge blog a few years ago with a provocative title: “Why The Missional Movement Will Fail”. In it, Mike Breen shares his thoughts concerning the rise and inevitable fall of the missional “movement”. It’s an interesting read for your Wednesday, and something to chew on as you seek to be faithful to Jesus and his gospel. Read it HERE.

We are just about one week away from our Calling Youth Conference and are getting even more excited as we get closer to April 13! As noted in our previous post,  the cost of the conference is now $10 per person and $8 per person for groups of ten or more. It is not often that you find a conference actually decrease in price as the event draws nearer!

UPDATE: 4:45pm– Surprise resources!

Gospel centered discipleshipWe just received word TODAY that Crossway has made available to us Jonathan Dodson’s book Gospel-Centered Discipleship
for everyone who attends the Calling conference. If you are familiar with his book, Fight Clubs, you’ll be pleased to know that this is his expanded update of that great resource.

From Amazon:

Everyone’s idea of discipleship is different. Some people emphasize evangelism—sharing their faith. Still others promote a hierarchical system for spiritual growth, a way for older Christians to pass on best practices to younger believers. Yet, both ideas are incomplete. Real discipleship is so much more.

Avoiding extremes and evaluating motives, Jonathan Dodson insists on a way of following Jesus that re-centers discipleship on the gospel.

This book helps us understand and experience the fullness of discipleship as God intended. It combines the mess and the weight, the imperfection and transformation, the honesty and wonder of being a disciple who revolves around Jesus. Here is a practical guide to discipleship that is Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, field-tested, and easily implemented.

Register below and come to the Calling to take advantage of this surprise deal!

free book

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to this and the other free books that we are giving away to those who attend next Saturday, we wanted to make one last resource available to the next 15 people to register for the Calling. That resource is, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris. This is an excellent read and will be very relevant to some of the things that will be discussed during the conference, especially for those attending Nathan Rockafellow’s session on Restored Sexuality.

From the back cover:

Neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. We need to rescue our sexuality from lust so we can experience it as God intended.

Joshua Harris shows you how lust deceives you. Specific and honest without being graphic, this book–for men and women–will guide you in creating a custom plan for fighting lust and celebrating purity.

So register now!

Here is the form for online registrations. We hope you will join us next week (and even if you don’t register ahead of time, we’ll have room for you!)

Who is Darren Livie?

jakobguy —  April 2, 2013 — 1 Comment

As we continue to get ready for The Calling, here is the final introduction to one of our speakers from this year’s event! If you haven’t registered yet, do so by clicking here!

darren

Darren Livie

Darren Livie is the Associate Pastor at Winslow Baptist Church in Winslow, Maine, which is located 6 minutes from Starbucks.  He has been faithful to both for over 3 years. 

Darren has been in full-time ministry for over 16 years. He is passionate about serving the Church & loving those outside of the church doors.  He finds joy in preaching, teaching, and telling others about the love of God.  A few constants for him are directing the youth and children’s educational ministries, overseeing the evangelism and outreach ministries, training up leaders within the local church, and reading books by dead people that most have never heard of . . . while drinking something from Starbucks. 

When outside of church, he loves spending time with his beautiful wife, Hannah. They have been married for 7 years.  They are currently in the adoption process. In his free time he enjoys, reading, listening to jazz and folk music, watching the New England Patriots, researching, and spending time with his “righteous fox”, Hannah.

Broken Families: The Church As Restored Family

The communities in which we live and serve are landscapes littered with broken families.  They may not always be in our view, but we know they are there.  It may be a neighbor, relative, or even yourself who has experienced this firsthand.  Whatever the situation, little discourages more than a broken home.  How do we reach teens who carry this heartache? How do we engage teenagers who have experienced a broken, or blended, family?  How do we give hope to a teen who is hurting?

In this breakout session we will discuss how the Gospel is hope for the broken home.  God is a father to the fatherless and sets free the lonely in families.  We are called to be that family. The Church is home for the broken.  The Church is restored family.

A Special Calling Announcement!

As a side note, not only will everyone who attends the Calling be receiving some great books and resources, we have also been able to reduce the price down to $10 per person and $8 per person for groups of ten or more. So register now to get in on this great deal!

Who is Mark Gedicks?

jakobguy —  March 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

As we continue to get ready for The Calling, here is one more introduction to one of our speakers from this year’s event! If you haven’t registered yet, do so by clicking here!

mark gedicksMark is an adopted son of God, blessed to be married to Tracy, and father to Kaitlyn and Mark Jr.

Today, he is the preaching elder at Windham Baptist Church, being part of that faith family since 1996. Together they are on a quest to live as disciples of Jesus – moving from unbelief to belief about what is true of God in every area of life. As you can imagine, this has brought about constant change – and he couldn’t be happier.

Mark serves on the core team of the Gospel Alliance of New England and on the faculty of New England Bible College, focusing on Youth Ministry. For fun he likes to play lacrosse and work with wood, as well as anything that let’s him connect with his family.

We asked Mark to talk about his breakout session: Adopting New Methods without Changing the Mission:

My first youth ministry was fifteen kids – on a good day. My friend, Don, the next town over had nearly 100. I’m pretty sure his ministry budget was more than my salary. Their church was exploding with growth. Ours seemed to sound a slight fizzle.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We hear someone describe their ministry, and we wish we were there (though we put that in far more spiritual terms). Or maybe you’ve had someone describe the youth ministry down the road, all the while making it clear you won’t win their approval unless you do it that way.

As you would expect, there were more than two churches in the Hartford, CT area. We connected with a dozen other churches from that region, and each one was different. Different sizes, different resources, different cultures – but each of them were passionate about Jesus. That made our region better. It advanced the kingdom. Our differences allowed us to diversify. But I had to remember that, because it was far too normal for me to wish I was like others or that the others would do it just like me.

Will Gospel Centrality cause us to become clones? That’s the focus of the breakout I get to lead at The Calling on April 13.  During our time we will discuss the various shapes a Jesus-focused ministry might take, how we might discern what ours ought to look like, along with the vital question of gospel culture.

Questions we plan to cover:
- Will gospel unity lead to creepy uniformity?
- When does culture become the enemy of gospel centrality?
- What God-given factors shape our ministries?
- How do I work/walk along with ministries that do not look like ours?
- How can there be such tension between those who cling to the same core doctrines (even in one church)?