Preach the Word 2013: Gospel Centered Preaching || Harvey Turner

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

Harvey Turner is the founding and preaching pastor of Living Stones Churches based Reno, Nevada, with locations in Northern Nevada & Northern California. Harvey has studied at Multnomah University, Western Seminary, and received his Masters in Missional Leadership at the Resurgence Training Center in Seattle, Washington. Harvey also serves as the Regional Director for the West Region of Acts 29, which oversees church planting in Nevada, California, and Hawaii for the Acts 29 Network. Harvey and his wife, Rachael, have three children.

Harvey looked at how to present the gospel in preaching, which for me was incredibly helpful. Here are some thoughts:

  • The origin of Living Stones Church was taking sound doctrine to people who didn’t know Jesus. 
  • At least 50% of the growth at Living Stones is conversion growth.
  • When the church gathers, evangelism should be in mind, it should be evangelistic.
  • Because Jesus came and is coming again, we have to share that. It will happen.
  • Preaching is not complete if it is not evangelistic.
  • Your ministry (2 Timothy 4:1 – 5) will be fulfilled if you are an evangelist.
  • It is possible to do ministry and not fulfill your ministry.
  • People don’t become Christians to be seen as good, to be good people, to be well thought of. People become Christians because they met Jesus.
  • People are intrigued by Jesus. It is our presentation that creates a stumbling block.
  • Jesus helps us when we tell people about Jesus.
  • A spirit filled church is a church that lifts up Jesus.
  • You can’t plant a church with a bunch of Christians from other churches.
  • If your church plant is not fueled by evangelism, you will attract all the bitter Christians from other churches. You don’t want those people.
  • You need to cater your ministry to those who are not in your ministry.
  • The ministry of the church is for the sake of God’s elect.
  • Election is not just the people who are already followers of Jesus. Election are those that are found and those that will be found.
  • Every sermon Jesus gave was to followers of his and those who didn’t know him.
  • Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand.
  • If you are taking your church deep, you will be raising up an army of evangelists. That’s a deep church.
  • The call to discipleship is the call to be a fisher of men.
  • The only way to do ministry is to reach people who don’t know Jesus.
  • The best evangelists in your church are those who just got saved in the last 4 weeks.
  • What glorifies God is when a sinner meets Jesus.
  • Evangelism is work, no two ways about it.
  • The apostle Paul is the first reformed guy and instead of waiting for the elect to come to the church, he went around preaching to people who didn’t know Jesus, looking for the elect.
  • Preaching evangelistically must come your personal evangelism.
  • The only way to communicate to people who don’t know Jesus is to talk to people who don’t know Jesus.
  • You aren’t invited people to the evangelical subculture, you are inviting them to Jesus.
  • When you preach, always talk to non-Christians. Talk to them even if they are not there.
  • Preach in such a way so that it is obvious that you believe that someone is going to get saved.
  • When you preach, you need to say less and prove more. We need to prove what we say.
  • When you preach, it should be overly obvious that you believe everything you say.
  • Preachers are the lead theologian, missionary and apologist for your church.
  • You have to model evangelism for your church.
  • Think through things your church is doing that hinders evangelism.
  • The gospel has to be the center of every sermon.
  • Evangelize the saved and the unsaved in every sermon.
  • A lot of guys don’t preach the gospel because they’re bored with it.
  • Maybe the reason churches swell at Christmas and Easter because that’s the only time most churches preach Jesus.
  • Believe that when we preach about Jesus, people are going to get saved and be changed.

This was easily the most challenging session to me as this is an area that I need to grow in as a communicator.