Archives For Josh Otte

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.

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.

This is a potent antidote to “gospel-centered overload” and “radical guilt” and “missional burnout.” We all need to listen to this sermon once a month! Let this vision for all of life and faith in Christ permeate your heart and mind and prayer and preaching!

Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley is a book that lives up to it’s name. Page after page Farley encourages us to see and savor the gospel as the power of God for our salvation…and for our parenting. Do you really believe that the gospel provides all the tools necessary to raise children, target their hearts and show them how to follow Jesus? This book is relentless in encouraging and equipping you to parent from the power of the gospel.

Here’s a small taste of how the gospel is the classroom that teaches us everything we need to know to become effective Christian parents.

  1. The gospel teaches Christian parents to fear God. God promises to bless parents who fear him.
  2. The gospel motivates parents to lead by example. God wants to our children to see his faithful and the beauty of the gospel in our marriage.
  3. The gospel centers families in their male servant leaders. God holds fathers responsible to teach and train their children. We look to Christ for the example of true masculinity and leadership.
  4. The gospel teaches and motivates parents to discipline their children. Biblical discipline reveals the horror of sin and the hope of forgiveness.
  5. The gospel motivates parents to teach their children. The primary teachers of children are not schoolteachers, Sunday-school teachers,  youth pastors, TV/Internet, …but parents.
  6. The gospel motivates parents to lavish their children with love and affection. The gospel defines what love looks like. Christ’s love must be our love–sacrificial.
  7. The gospel is the solution for inadequate parents. Parents often feel the weight of their (our!!!) own failures and inadequacies. The gospel is our solution. Our hope.

And here’s a helpful review of the book and also a helpful interview with the author.

Living on Mission in the Sticks

Josh Otte —  February 28, 2013 — 1 Comment

90133b526a2111e2992f22000a1fb823_7Josh Cousineau recently wrote an article on living missionally in New England. With all the books and blogs promoting urban ministry and “The City” I think you’ll be blessed and encouraged to read the whole thing.

After walking us through some of the unique challenges to rural ministry, Josh offers this wise exhortation:

There really is not much difference between living on mission in a large urban context, and a rural context, other than distances. Those of us who live in a rural context can believe the lie that if only I lived in a big city, mission would be easy. Or we could embrace our call as ambassadors of Jesus Christ and live on mission because that is what Jesus did on our behalf. And Jesus did it in small towns with no Starbucks or foursquare check in. Maybe what we need to start with is a heart that is actually broken for those in our community. Maybe that is the best way to live on mission in your town, broken for the people who call your town home.

Read the whole thing.

Below is an invitation from the Ockenga Institute at Gordon-Conwell:

We are excited to announce the Spring 2013 Pastors’ Forum series with Drs. Sean McDonough and Garth Rosell. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to be part of two pilgrimages: one through the rich land of Tolkien’s imagination, and the other along the path of our early church forefathers on Boston’s historic North Shore.

What: Spring 2013 Pastors’ Forums
Who: Drs. Sean McDonough and Garth Rosell
When: March 19 and May 7, 2013
Where: Hamilton Campus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Cost: March 19 – $45 regular; $25 for spouses; $35 if part of a group of four or more | May 7: $55 each individual

Registration will close one week in advance to each event, so REGISTER TODAY!

We look forward to seeing you,

David Horn, Director of the Harold John Ockenga Institute

AweNever before have I wanted to be an awefull pastor more than I do today. And someday…I hope somebody will come up to me and say, “Josh, you’re one of the most awefull pastors I know!”

I’ve been slowly chewing on Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp. Today the Holy Spirit used this quote to convince me this must be my life’s goal, my calling.

Awe reminds you that God is so glorious that it is impossible for you, as his ambassador, to have ministry standards that are too high. I’m not talking about lavish, expensively furnished buildings. No, I’m talking about a sturdy commitment to do everything you can to display the glory of his presence and grace as powerfully and clearly as you can each time his people are gathered. You are in such awe of, and have been so satisfied by, his grace yourself that you have a zeal to display that grace to those under your care, a zeal you can get no other way. You are never just doing your duty. You are never just cranking it out. You are never just going through the motions. You are never just putting on a front. You are worshiping your way through whatever you are doing at that moment as the ambassador of an expansively glorious King. And you are in reverential fear of doing anything that would dent, diminish, or desecrate that glory in any way. As a pastor, you are a glory-captured tool for the capture of others. (p. 142)

I want to be a pastor who is awestriken by the Lord of Glory who is both with me and for me.

I want to be a pastor who is awed by the infinite perfections of the true Savior and Shepherd/Pastor of my soul and the Church.

I want to be a pastor who is full of awe and hope that the Spirit of Glory is truly transforming a sinner like me to minister to fellow sinners who together are being built into a community of unity and love.

I want to be a pastor who is so personally in awe of God’s rescuing grace for me that I’m a bold, kind, humble, courageous ambassador of God’s rescuing grace for others–my family, my church, my neighbors, my community.

So yeah, I want to be awefull, awe-full, awe-filled! Don’t you?

Mission New EnglandWe are excited to be partnering with Norwich Alliance Church (Norwich, CT) in hosting a regional training event called “Mission New England.” Join us March 2nd, 9am-3:30pm, as Pastor Rob Burns from Real Life Philly encourages and equips us to experience and proclaim the power of the Gospel in the midst of our ordinary lives.

Registration is open: only $10 for groups of 5 or more and $12 per person, until Feb 27th.

For all the details, schedule, registration and directions be sure to check out the the conference page.

 

Everyday Church should be on every New England pastor’s “gotta read” list in 2013. It’s a winsome, Christ-exalting, church-encouraging missional meditation on 1 Peter. Big thanks to Dwight Bernier (church planting pastor of Initiative 22 in Montreal, Canada) for writing this six-part book review.

Here are all six posts. Each provides a wonderful summary of each chapter of Everyday Church. 

Part 1: Life at the Margins 

Part 2: Everyday Community

Part 3: Everyday Pastoral Care

Part 4: Everyday Mission

Part 5: Everyday Evangelism

Part 6: Hope at the Margins

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.