Preach the Word 2013: Missional Preaching || Alex Early

bookI’m at the Preach the Word conference through Acts 29 today and as always, posting my notes to the sessions I attend.

Alex Early is the Lead Pastor of Mars Hill Church Ballard. Alex’s session was on missional preaching and how to preach into the culture God has sent us to.

Pastor Alex was the planting and lead pastor of Four Corners Church in Newnan, Georgia before leaving for Mars Hill Church. Prior to church planting Alex has received his Masters in hermeneutics at the London School of Theology, as well as having received a M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Reformed Theological Seminary. Alex and his wife Jana have been married for eight years and have two kids.

Here are some things that jumped out from his talk:

  •  If you want your life to remain unchanged and your church to remain unmotivated or have people sing about Jesus with their hands in their pockets, ignore the bible. 
  • The nature of the Bible is that it takes over our lives.
  • Jesus is called a friend of gluttons, drunks, tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19). That’s how we should be described.
  • No one should ever have a bigger vision for the world than the men and women of God.
  • Who in the city you live in is beyond the saving grace of God?
  • The only hope you have as a missionary is to embrace the reality and reminded daily of the grace of God.
  • The gospel is for those who have been crushed by legalism.
  • The gospel is for the slut and for those who are offended that a pastor would say the word slut.
  • The gospel is for everyone, no matter where they stand or what they do. All of us need the gospel.
  • The gospel is the most inclusive message you will ever hear and so exclusive in how it saves people.
  • The Bible is written mostly by 3 murderers, so don’t say God can’t save anyone.
  • If you anchor your identity in the fact that you are the prodigal that the father has forgiven, living on mission isn’t something you have to work at, but something you work out.
  • If you want to preach effectively or understand grace, remember where you were the night before you met Jesus.
  • As a pastor, I need Jesus as bad as the people I preach to.
  • The gospel is God saves sinners.
  • The mission is very simple: make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
  • The art of hermeneutics is the art of interpretation.
  • Being a student of culture means understanding it. Understanding why people do what they do.
  • Missional preachers exegete scripture, culture, congregation, self.
  • When you preach, you must have a clear understanding of what the Scripture is and who it is about and who it is written by. Whatever the goal of Scripture is, that is the goal of preaching.
  • If the bible doesn’t provoke you or annoy, you aren’t paying attention. It came to wage war on you.
  • The author of the Bible is always present with every reader.
  • The Bible says God is already on mission and then bringing us into his fold and sending us on mission.
  • All theology is an argument against someone or something.
  • We want to make sure that we are answering questions that the culture is actually asking.
  • Too often people who love apologetics don’t lead anyone to Jesus because they’re concerned about being right.
  • As a pastor, are you provoked by the idols of your city and culture (Acts 17:16).
  • As a pastor, do you know what people love and hate about your city? Do you know who is successful, who is hurting? Do you know the goals and vision of the city?
  • Do you know why people of your city aren’t worshiping Jesus? What are the sins and idols of your city?
  • Start preaching to those people you want to see.
  • Pastors should know what the concerns of the congregation are. How do they feel about war, healthcare, the economy. Who is influencing those in your congregation? What celebrities do they look up to?
  • Elders are to be well thought of by outsiders. Do non-Christians know your elders? Do they like them?
  • Would you say what is on your Facebook status to a room full of lost people?
  • Being around lost people will cost you comfort because they don’t worship your God, they worship their god.
  • Instead of seeing a sinner, see someone who has the potential to change the world for Jesus.
  • The gospel demands you can your reputation, to give up lies to follow Jesus.
  • Being on mission will cost you time as lost people won’t call you on 9-5. Their lives fall apart after 5pm.
  • Being on mission will cost money, being where lost people are will cost money.
  • Being on mission means you’ll need the Jesus who sent you there.
  • Being on mission will never cost you more than it cost God.

Alex’s session was so good for my soul. So convicting.