Ten days from now we will gather in Orlando to be changed by God’s Word and to sing of God’s glory. Sometimes when a conference like Transfer is almost here we have this vague sense of enthusiasm—we’re excited, but if someone asked us for our reasons we’d have to stop and think for a moment. If you are joining us for this conference, let me encourage you to pray specifically. Your list will have details unique to you, but it might look something like the following.
- Praying for illumination into God’s Word.
- Praying to be empowered by the Holy Spirit toward passionate worship.
- Praying for an opportunity to pray for or encourage at least one other person every day of the conference.
- Praying for God to highlight one or two primary ways that I can live more for his glory when I get home.
- Praying for a new friendship to begin.
Looking forward to joining all of you in just ten days.
Less than two months from now we will gather to sing God’s praises, hear God’s Word, Transfer God’s truth, fellowship with God’s people. Our time together will not be very long in days, but it will be rich in memories. It will not be entertainment, but rather transforming. It will not be for spectators, but rather for those who hunger and thirst for God’s presence. Singles from Sovereign Grace churches, and our guests who come to join us, will gather in one room to affirm our allegiance to our Lord and the eternal truths of His Word. I can’t wait to add my voice to yours in Orlando. See you there.
Sunday marks the end of the early bird registration price for Transfer. If you are wanting to save money during your Transfer trip this is the easiest way to do it. Signing up before the deadline means you’ll automatically save $25.
On another note, we’d also like to point out that families of four or more receive a 15% discount. (Go to the registration page for info on getting the discount.) Married couples who come together also save significantly from the individual price.
We are looking forward to the conference! Hope we’ll see you there!
Register Now to receive the early bird rate.
When I was young, my dad read me the Chronicles of Narnia. I love the story about the Beavers and their answer to a question about Aslan. The child wanted to know if Aslan was “safe.” The answer?
“Of course He’s not safe. But He’s good.”
If you’re hoping that Transfer will be “safe” you’re missing the main part of our vision. Transfer is about God—about God in close proximity to people who want to know him and serve him. If you’re hoping for a purely mental exercise, sharing familiar songs, making a few friends, grabbing a coffee for a late night hang out—this is the wrong venue. Go have a coffee at Starbucks. Or send out an e-vite for a campfire.
But if you want to be up close and personal with a being more dangerous than a lion, more powerful than a ferocious beast, more all consuming than anything else on earth, then come to Transfer. He’s not safe, but he’s good, and that combination of ferocious love, of the God of consuming fire and welcoming grace, is the vision for the Transfer conference. We want to draw near to him, to know him, to fear him, to love him. I can’t wait.
If all we pass on to the next generation of Christians is our techniques, methodologies, perspectives, practices, preferences, or opinions, we have failed them. Their hope must be in God, his Word, and the gospel, not in us. That’s why nothing is more important to pass on than a true knowledge of God and a passion for the glory of Jesus Christ.
What do you hope will become of your church in 40 years? Do you hope it will love the glory of God, the gospel, the Bible, and other key values that you hold dear? Do you hope that young men and women will stand boldly for the vital doctrines of the faith? Do you hope that every onslaught of the enemy against the church will be met by doctrinally seasoned and spiritually passionate church members who will gladly resist the powers of evil and prove the eternal nature of the undiminished gospel?
If we hope for these things to be realized–and I am sure we all do–let us give action to our hope. Let us give ourselves to trumpeting the vision of the core doctrines that we hold dear. Let us envision those who are coming after us to stand in the gap for the church both now and in the future. Let us devote ourselves to training up those who will one day turn and raise up still others in the cause of Christ.
Let us transfer a hope for the enduring gospel from one generation to the next.
O Great God,
We look inside ourselves and find fears, weakness, and sinful desires that frighten us. We look outside in the world and see hardness, apathy and hostility toward you. Because of these stark realities, we often feel paralyzed in the face of your call to carry your Son’s name to others. We feel so incompetent for the task. So unworthy. So unclean.
Forgive us for seeing everything but the main thing—YOU. And give us eyes to see the greatness that overcomes our weakness, the power that overcomes our fears, the Holy Spirit that overcomes our uncleanness. We pray for a penetrating and dazzling sight of you as you really are, so that we may become the ambassadors of your name that you have called us to be.
How far does your vision extend? How much do you believe God has for you to do, during your time on this earth? Most of us struggle to look beyond the end of the day, or the end of the week, or perhaps, the end of a few years’ time. But God has intentions for us. He has designed us to bear fruit for eternity, fruit beyond our lifetimes, fruit beyond our generation. A single seed may produce an orchard. But the orchard will mature long after that seed has died. Does your vision extend to the transfer of gospel life well beyond your life here on earth?
The treasure of God’s word must never be assumed, never discarded, never minimized, never rejected, never neglected. Listen as Josh Murphy talks about this Treasure…that we must transfer.
If we don’t study theology we won’t transfer anything of value to the next generation. Listen as Matthew Wireman expresses his heart for the theological transfer.
The Importance of Transferring
Transferring is important to life. Very important. In fact, it can be a matter of life and death.
I have four great kids at home. Each of them is his/her own little person, with his or her own exciting personality and skills. But regardless of their personality, there are certain things that each one of them must be taught—certain things that I must transfer to them for their own good.
One of these things is the basic skill of eating real food. For every one of my kids, there came a time when drinking milk was no longer sufficient to nourish them. When my kiddos were 18 months or so, they didn’t know that it was time to start eating real food, but it was! They would have been perfectly happy with milk for the rest of their lives—but Ashley and I knew better. We knew that they needed real food to live. We needed to transfer to them the skill of eating solid food.
It’s very much the same with our Christian lives. Any young generation can assume that what they have already is sufficient for their lives before God. Young Christians can assume that their basic knowledge of the Gospel is sufficient for their lives (and in one sense it is), but they often do not understand the immaturity that results from being satisfied on milk and not solid food. There can often be a lack of nourishment—that if not addressed will lead to spiritual malnourishment and even death.
Feasting on the Word
The value of feasting God’s Word must be transferred to the next generation.
In Hebrews 5, the writer to the Hebrews offers a bit of a correction to a group of young Christians, and it’s a correction that is needed in my generation and in the generation that follows me as well. He says:
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity!
The author of Hebrews is eager to transfer truth to these young Christians. He knows that the world they are living in requires great spiritual strength and maturity. He knows that they will grow weary in the journey if they do not have real nourishment to strengthen them. They must grow! They must mature.
And so he takes 13 glorious chapters of Scripture to lead them towards maturity. He proclaims from the Word of God (the Old Testament) solid truth that will put meat on their spiritual bones. He proclaims timeless truth that he knows they desperately need. He transfers a love for God’s Word.
Do We All See the Need?
Do we see the need for this transfer? Are younger generations hungry for it? Are older generations eager to give it?
It won’t always be easy. It can even be messy. I remember watching each one of my kids learn what solid food was. They spit it out; they mushed it around in their mouth; they smeared it into their hair; they dumped it on the floor…they did everything BUT eat it. But we kept giving it and they kept trying.
How about you? Has a hunger for the meat of God’s Word been transferred to you? Are you ready to grow? Are you ready to learn bite by bite how to get more out of God’s Word? It may not always be easy (which is why we need to be taught!), but one thing is clear: the generation that learns to eat meat is the generation that goes on to spiritual strength and maturity. Our generation needs more meat.
For over 30 years, Steve Shank has been casting a vision for the truths of God’s Word. Listen as he describes his desire for God’s Word to be loved and treasured by the next generation.
Walking into the orthodopedic surgeon’s office, I was sure I didn’t need to be there.
A few weeks earlier I had been helping with our church youth group and during a game I had fallen backwards and rolled over my hand. When I got up my thumb felt a little numb and really sore, so after a few days with little improvement my mom dragged me into the doctor’s office.
The doctor could tell I was skeptical, so he pulled out the X-Rays of my hand first. It was obvious I had chipped some of my bones and had a hairline fracture—but that’s not what he was worried about. He took my hand in his and pushed my thumb backward to be flush with the back of my hand.
“You see this?” he said, “You’re not supposed to be able to do this. The ligament holding the bones of your thumb in place has snapped. It’s gone.”
A few weeks later I was counting backwards from 100 while the anesthesia took effect and the surgeon went to work repairing my hand.
Here’s the point: We aren’t always aware of the danger we’re in as human beings, much less as Christians. Usually we default to thinking we’re okay, when actually we’re in desperate danger.
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he opens by saying, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (1:6). Now, Paul is writing this letter not long after the church was planted. In fact the letter was probably written before 50 AD, meaning it was only 15-20 years since Jesus had physically walked the earth.
And yet, “so quickly” the church deserted Him.
The problem the Galatians had isn’t obvious at first. They believed in the God of the Bible. They believed that Jesus was a real historical person and he was God. They believed, in some sense, Jesus “died for them.” And yet they were deserting Christ by distorting the gospel. In the Galatians’ case they were not subtracting from the elements of the gospel, instead, they were seeking to add human merit to Christ’s work—claiming that what Christ did plus what we do equals salvation. That seems a small point of doctrine, and yet Paul equates it with abandoning Jesus.
When false gospels work their way into the church, before you know it, the body of Christ is snapping ligaments.
This is why a conscious & intentional transfer of the gospel is so important from generation to generation. Threats to the gospel are constant, serious, and seductive. This means that if we’re assuming we’re fine, we don’t need an active effort to transfer the gospel, then we’re sitting in the surgeon’s office pretending we don’t have a problem.
Here’s the point: You (yes, you) and your church (yes, your church) are under siege by false gospels right now and you might not even know it. How do you fight back? By consciously, intentionally, and relentlessly treasuring the gospel and passing it on to others. Because the good news is that when we spend time treasuring the gospel it overwhelms our hearts, smashes our false gospels, and gives us a burning desire to pass it on to others.
For over 30 years, Lynn Baird has been pastoring God’s people and communicating a passion for the gospel. His dream is to see this same passion passed on to the next generation. Thank you Lynn; we want to learn from you.
Father of Glory,
When Jesus spoke about “this hour” we know he meant the moment of his crucifixion (John 12:27-28, John 17:1). It was in that moment he most fully glorified your name! The cross was the place where you were revealed in all your resplendent goodness, grace and aweful holiness. The cross was truly the unveiling of our God. It was the place where justice and mercy kissed each other. It was the place where heaven and hell met for one agonizing moment. It was the place your wrath against sin and your love for sinners was on full display. It forever shall be the window through which we behold your glory! And as we behold Christ on that cursed tree, and Christ risen and on the highest throne in the heavens, we are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another through the secret work of the Spirit! (2 Corth 3:18). So we lift our eyes and we gaze. We are transfixed. We look with awe. We behold and we worship your glory!
To be clear, we think that our standard registration cost is a great deal! And we hope that you think so too!! But today is the last day for the early bird registration—the last day to pay even less than the very-good-deal normal registration price. So, don’t wait any longer. Don’t delay till tomorrow. Who wants to pay an extra fifty dollars more when you can pay 50 dollars less right now?
Register Now to receive the early bird rate.
From generation to generation… What we treasure, we must transfer!
One of the things that was transferred to Rich that he hopes is transferred to you is a love for the local church.
In the following video, watch Rich recount his experience as an 18 year old, driving a delivery truck, listening to God’s Word preached. Through a message titled, Passion for the Local Church, Rich became convinced that the place God does his work is in the local church. From that moment on he resolved, whatever he did for a profession, to give his best to serve God in the local church. A love was transferred from one generation to the next.
Join us May 25-28 in Orlando, FL for Transfer, a four-day gathering hosted by the churches of Sovereign Grace Ministries to celebrate and proclaim those biblical truths that are most important to pass on from one generation to the next.
This post originally appeared January 16 on the Sovereign Grace Plant & Build blog.
What could you do with $51? I’m sure you could do a lot. That’s how much individual registrations and married couples will keep in their pockets if you register for Transfer before the early bird registration ends in just 7 days. Also, by your request, we have also included an additional discount for families bringing four or more people.
If you already plan on coming—then please save yourself some cash! We are willing to loose money so you can get to the conference. That’s how much we think there is to gain by spending four days together celebrating, proclaiming, and responding to the truths from God’s Word that matter most.
It’s also going to be a lot of fun! It will be a blast hanging out with friends from your local church as well as getting reconnected with brothers and sisters across our family of churches. I can’t wait to meet you and beat some of you in pick-up basketball. Bring it on!
Fellowship like this is a great gift and a soul-building means of grace.
In 9 Days, the Early Registration price of $99 is over. After that, registration will continue, but the $99 extra-special, value, the-early-bird-gets-the-discount price will be gone forever. Don’t miss it.
Four Days. Seven main sessions. Biblical Preaching. Passionate Worship. Rich Relationships.
Applying God’s Mission
We often view evangelism as a duty or a task that usually makes us feel guilty, incompetent, and guilty. But evangelism shouldn’t be viewed as a task—it should be viewed as love. Sharing the gospel with someone that doesn’t know Jesus is the most loving thing you can do for them. Evangelism is how we love people who are lost and it’s one of the most important values to transfer to the next generation. If we love the next generation we will not only seek to reach them with the gospel, but we will equip them to reach others with the gospel.
He said, “Yes.”
We are very excited to announce the addition of pastor, author, and seminary professor, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson to the lineup of speakers for the Transfer Conference. There are few preachers today that speak of the glory of God and the gospel with the captivating clarity and passion that he does. He is a unique gift to the church of Jesus Christ and we are grateful that he has accepted our invitation to join us as we seek to transfer the clarity and passion of the gospel to the coming generations.
Here is a message he preached at the 2009 NEXT conference on the Return of Jesus Christ. Enjoy the gospel feast!
Listen Right click and select “save as” to download
There are tons of great resources available that help us treasure God’s mission. Here are a very that we think are exceptional.
God’s Mission Resources
|J.I. Packer | Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God
If God is in control of everything, can Christians sit back and not bother to evangelize? Or does active evangelism imply that God is not really sovereign at all?
|Mark Dever | The Gospel and Personal Evangelism
Evangelism is not only misunderstood, it is often unpracticed. Many Christians want to share the gospel with others, but because those Christians don’t grasp the fundamentals of witnessing, they feel intimidated and incapable of sharing the truth of the gospel.
|Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert | What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission
Readers in all spheres of ministry will grow in their understanding of the mission of the church and gain a renewed sense of urgency for Jesus’ call to preach the Word and make disciples.
|Colin Hansen & John Woodbridge | A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir
Is it possible we don’t see God working in mighty ways because we don’t ask him to work in mighty ways? Throughout history, God has used revival to build and renew his church.
Growing cold toward God’s mission is a perpetual danger for the church. Listen to Dave Harvey as he envisions us for the calling and the promise of the great commission we have received.
From generation to generation… What we treasure, we must transfer!
In the following video, Ricky Alcantar shares his love for God’s people that was transferred to him by his parents. And this transfer hasn’t stopped at Ricky’s generation. Ricky shares how he and his wife, Jenn are now transferring this same love for God’s people to their son.
Why this conference?
That the next generation might set their hope in God… Psalm 78:4, 7 says: “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done… so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” We want to transfer what matters. We want those after us to see how glorious a relationship with Jesus is. We want them to hope in God – not in our methodologies, our practices, our structures, or even our example, but in God himself. Drawing on our history as a family of churches and the amazing truths we celebrate, the Transfer Conference will create a context for us to intentionally transfer the things we treasure to the next generation. If we assume these things, we will lose them, so we must be intentional to transfer them. In a focused way, Transfer will allow us to do this by devoting each session to a particular truth we collectively treasure: God’s glory, God’s gospel, God’s word, God’s presence, God’s people, God’s design, and God’s mission.
Join us May 25-28 in Orlando, FL for Transfer, a four-day gathering hosted by the churches of Sovereign Grace Ministries to celebrate and proclaim those biblical truths that are most important to pass on from one generation to the next.
This post originally appeared January 16 on the Sovereign Grace Plant & Build blog.
Recently I walked into a friend’s newly purchased home. I had not seen the home yet and I was looking forward to celebrating God’s provision of this house for my friends. I was not disappointed. The home was beautiful, inside and out. It easily fit the description of “dream home,” complete with wood floors, a large yard with gorgeous trees, a pool, and a large gazebo perfect for large parties and lots of fellowship. Even the location was ideal: close to the church community, yet within a quiet and idyllic neighborhood. It was the kind of home that nearly anyone would love to enjoy for the rest of their lives. Except that my friends are preparing to move away.
Why? Why move from the dream home? Because they believe in the mission of God. They are preparing to help plant a church in a different city. They believe that we are called to proclaim redemption to a dying world, to be God’s ambassadors to rebel humanity, and to give our lives away to build God’s church, a beacon of hope to the world.
Is this natural? Is it normal? Is it crazy? Is it weird?
It is the mission of God—planted in the heart of every Christian, to bear the fruit of evangelism and sacrifice for the sake of God’s kingdom. At Transfer, we want to cultivate passionate, sacrificial, joyful, church-building, gospel-proclaiming zeal in the next generation. We want to “be at home” in the pursuit of God’s mission.
For the Guys
Am I seizing opportunities of sacrificial leadership toward my sisters? Am I laying down my preferences and my cravings for the sake of their interests, their benefit? Am I shouldering the responsibility to initiate godly conversation, to speak words of grace, to build up my sisters toward their heavenly Father? Am I setting an example of humble servanthood in my pattern of life and my interactions? If I desire to be married, am I anticipating marriage as a responsibility of servant leadership? Am I living out God’s design for me as a man?
For the Ladies
Am I seizing opportunities to encourage sacrificial leadership in my brothers? Am I eager to encourage godly boldness and humility rather than humorous but worldly crudeness, exciting but arrogant self-confidence, or youthful but lazy indecisiveness among my brothers? Am I primarily drawn toward Godly character in my brothers? Do I desire for my brothers to learn to lead in appropriate ways, with humility and courage? If I desire to be married, am I anticipating in marriage a responsibility to support the godly leadership of my husband? Am I living out God’s design for me as a woman?
It’s really not that difficult to kill a church. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around. The carcasses of once-vibrant churches are scattered across the landscape of America and Europe. These churches were once spiritually energized, disciple-making, gospel-spreading churches. They were churches that sprung out of the Reformation, the Great Awakening, and the Jesus Movement. They were earth-shaking churches that were making a dramatic impact in their local communities. And now they’ve been reduced to almost nothing. Nothing more than spiritual embers, barely clinging to life. What happened? What went wrong?
Of course every case is different, but I can make an educated guess as to why many of them collapsed. It is possible to kill a church in one, momentous, awful, moment. But most of the time, churches are killed by slow assassination. The life is slowly choked out of them, degree by awful degree. What is the source of this slow assassination? Three steps are involved.
Assume the Gospel
The first step in killing a church is for the pastors and members of the church to assume the gospel. Assuming the gospel means assuming that we sufficiently understand the gospel and apply the gospel. Gospel? Check. We’ve got that down. Now let’s move on to other, more important subjects.
But here’s the thing: as Christians we never get beyond the gospel. Every day I need a Savior who lived a sinless life, died on the cross in my place, rose again, and is now interceding for me in heaven. I sin every day, therefore I am prone to condemnation and discouragement every day, therefore I need to remember the gospel every day. My passion for God often grows cold; remembering the breathtaking truths of the gospel is what rekindles my fire for God.
If we assume the gospel and then move on to other things, we are vulnerable to condemnation, discouragement, and dullness. The first step in killing a church is assuming the gospel. The first step in preserving a church is constantly remembering the gospel.
Neglect the Gospel
The second step in killing a church is for the pastors and the members of the church to neglect the gospel. We’re not talking about an out and out, “burn em’ at the stake!” denial of the gospel. We’re simply talking about neglecting the gospel.
When we neglect the gospel, other things become the driving force of the church. Instead of thriving on the gospel, the church thrives on social justice, or spiritual warfare, or prophetic ministry, or arts ministry. Now don’t get me wrong, all those things mentioned above are good and important, but they can’t be the driving force for a church. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only engine that can sufficiently drive a church forward in doing the work of God. Once the gospel is neglected, the church loses its anchor and is prone to drift toward whatever model of church is most fashionable. The second step in killing a church is neglecting the gospel. The second step in preserving a church is keeping the gospel at the center.
Reject the Gospel
The third step in killing a church is the out-and-out rejection of the gospel. This usually occurs after years of step one and step two taking place in the church. It also tends to occur when a church transfers from one generation to the next. The gospel, which was so precious to the initial founders of the church is rejected by those that inherit the church. Once the gospel is rejected, the church is on a quick death march.
Killing a church is serious, awful, wicked business. God is grieved when a church rejects the gospel. In light of this, I’m grateful for the Transfer Conference.
The Transfer Conference exists to make sure that my generation does not assume,neglect, or reject the gospel. The Transfer Conference exists to equip my generation with the glorious gospel and to prepare my generation to eventually continue on the work started by Sovereign Grace Ministries. I don’t want to assume the gospel. I don’t want to neglect the gospel. I don’t want to reject the gospel. I know you’re with me.
Don’t kill your church. Come to the Transfer Conference.
This article originally appeared on the Sovereign Grace Plant & Build blog on January 12, 2013.
There are tons of great resources available that help us treasure God’s design for man and woman. Here are a very that we think are exceptional.
God’s Design Resources
|Wayne Grudem | Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth
What does the Bible really teach about the roles of men and women? Bible scholar Wayne Grudem carefully draws on 27 years of biblical research as he responds to 118 arguments often levied against traditional gender roles.
|John Piper | What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible
The topic of manhood and womanhood is still strongly debated and still greatly impacts our society. For Christians, there is no doubt that the Bible must be the last word. But what does it teach about true manhood and womanhood? And how does its teachings affect our roles in the home, the church and the wider society?
|John Ensor | Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart
There is a radical, biblical alternative to much of what is taught and practiced today regarding relationships. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart presents a bold plan for escaping the swift currents of contemporary patterns of hooking up, shacking up, and breaking up. It draws a compelling vision of complementarity between the sexes. It instructs men on what to do and informs women on what to look for in their mutual pursuit of a healthy, tender, long-term relationship.
| The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood
Answering current challenges to biblical manhood and womanhood God’s design for manhood and womanhood is being attacked on many fronts. CBMW believes that at the heart of all of these challenges is a disregard for the authority, clarity, and integrity of God’s word. Their website has a variety of articles and issues of their journal.
If you want an excellent reminder about God’s design, this message is a great way to begin. Listen as Wayne Grudem talks about the similarities and differences between men and women.
Listen To download, right click and select “save as”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. Gen 1:27
What if there was no “male and female” in creation. What if the verse just ended with “he created two ITS”. Think about it for a second. Would that be better, or worse? What if there were only “Its” in the world, not he or she, him or her, Mr. or Mrs.
Actually, this is exactly the world envisioned by powerful voices in our society today. For many, to be a man should be no different than to be a woman, to be a woman the same as being a man. Even physical distinctions are considered reversable, perhaps like painting your blue car, pink, or your pink car, blue. The essential idea is that to be human is to be an “it”—and that “design distinctions” are merely external, and changeable.
However, the Bible states the case very differently. God created us male and female, equal in value and equally crowned with the glory of bearing His image, yet different in our gender and in certain roles in the home and the church. At stake in this discussion is not primarily the value of gender roles. Actually it is our view of God and His Word.
At Transfer we want to affirm, celebrate, and pass on the glorious wisdom of God’s design, the absolute authority of his Word for men and women. We believe God wastes no words, makes no mistakes. We want to transfer a passion for His design, male and female, and pursue the glory of applying that design in each of our lives.
There are tons of great resources available that help us treasure God’s people and church. Here are a very that we think are exceptional.
God’s People Resources
|Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck | Why We Love the Church
If you’ve wondered if “church” is mostly for a previous generation of Christians, let two young guys teach you of their passion for God’s people.
|Jerry Bridges | True Community
Jerry Bridges, who penned the classic “The Pursuit of Holiness,” explains why growth in holiness must take place in the context of the local church.
|Timothy Lane & Paul Tripp | Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
If you want to understand the challenges and the solutions of real relationships in the church, turn here for insight and vision.
|Mark Dever | What is a Healthy Church?
If you’re trying to find a church, or trying to decide what a good church is, Mark Dever is an excellent guide.
|Thabiti Anyabwile | What is a Healthy Church Member?
In our culture, too many people are evaluators of the local church and too few evaluate their own contribution to the people of God. Let Thabiti give you a vision for faithful membership among God’s people.
|Donald Whitney | Spiritual Disciplines within the Church
What church practices are essential for Christians? Don Whitney catalogues the primary disciplines to be practiced by faithful members of a church.
As we anticipate celebrating and transferring a love for God’s people at Transfer, there is no better preparation we can make than praying. Only God can show us Himself. Let us pray that He will do so before, during, and after our time together.
We bow low before you, our Triune God,
We marvel at the mystery of eternal community in complete unity. You are forever One Being. You are forever 3 Persons. We are transfixed by each person of the Godhead lavishing love and other-centered attentiveness, each on the other. We know you are calling us into the same mystery–calling us into fellowship with You and calling us into fellowship with each other. We know your grand design is that we live life with other believers who are joined to the Father through the Son and empowered by the Spirit. Thankyou for this special people from all nations and races that belong to you and each other forever. Thank you for this group of sinner-saints we commit to, and walk with week by week in our local communities of faith–all faint reflections of THE Great Community—Father, Son and Holy Spirit!!
I turn 53 this week. I know for some folks that isn’t old at all. In fact, the well-known Christian author Jerry Bridges just visited our congregation and he turns 83 this week! I like being around Mr. Bridges because he makes me feel like my youth is being renewed sure enough!
But usually I feel pretty old. I have four kids, the youngest of which is seventeen. The two oldest are married and I have two grandchildren. There just is no way to be a grandfather and not recognize that you aren’t as young as you used to be. Actually, I’m in pretty much the same season of life as Mr. Bridges! And in this season I have found a growing desire to live for others.
Living for ourselves is easy or at least it is for me. I think it was especially easy because I had parents who loved me and were very effective at making me feel special! (Yes, you should pray for my wife). The older I get, though, the more I realize living for myself isn’t what God wants me to do. Even before we have a family of our own we can begin to grow in this understanding but certainly marriage and family hasten the process! All this to say that I have come to a point in my life where I see more clearly than ever that God wants me to live in a way that sets the next generation(s) up for success in the life of the church. This isn’t sad or difficult. It’s a joy and an adventure.
One of the most important ways I can serve the next generation, I think, is to pass to them—transfer—a better understanding of the doctrine of the church than the one I had when I began my Christian life. This means to impart to them a love for God’s people; the church.
The “big story” of Scripture is the story of redemption. God has a people that he treasures. On this side of the cross, the resurrection, and the day of pentecost God’s treasured people is the church. God loves the church. Paul told the elders from the church in Ephesus that “…to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Paul loved the church. He loved God’s people. This love has been transferred down through the generations to us in the pages of Scripture and the lives and teachings of the people who are the church.
I think if I can be a part of faithfully imparting the importance of loving God’s people to the next generation it will please God. So, I make every effort to do this because even though I’m not 83 I will be! And I recognize in men like Jerry Bridges what joy it brings them to know they’ve given themselves to bring blessing to the next generations.
How are we doing loving God’s people?
Many people of the rising generation have been told that loving Jesus and hating religion is the only way to truly please God. Of course that’s true if “religion” means false-teachings, legalistic structures, and creedal conformity without conversions. But what if “religion” also includes the idea of church—of those gatherings of Christians, committed to God and to one another. Can we really love God and not also love God’s people? Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder or debate, because the answer is provided for us.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
According to God, if we don’t love those whom God has made our brothers, we do not actually love God. According to God, His people are His project on earth, and will be the visible expression of the power of His gospel. According to God, if we are passionate about God, we must also be passionate about His church. If we want to encounter God and be a part of His mission, loving His glory, proclaiming His gospel, living under His Word, we must draw near to His people.
- Where is the kingdom of God on earth? His kingdom is seen in local churches that proclaim His authority and His redemption and live delighting in His law.
- Where is the character of God on earth? His character is seen in local church bodies that love one another with mercy, forgiveness, and endurance despite their frequent failures and offenses.
- Where is the glory of God on earth? His glory is most clearly seen as his people proclaim the message of a crucified and risen Messiah.
- Where is God on earth? God is present everywhere, but He is especially present within and among His chosen people, enlivening their praises and strengthening their souls and preserving their faith.
We cannot transfer a love for God’s glory, God’s Word, God’s gospel, or anything of God, unless we also transfer a passion for God’s people. God’s people are His treasured possession, His blood-bought children, His standard-bearers in the spiritual battle, His ambassadors to the world of darkness, His ministers of redemption, His priests, His salt and light to a dying a decaying world, His messengers of hope for eternity.
How are we doing loving God’s people?
From generation to generation… What we treasure, we must transfer. Transfer a love for God’s Word. Marty Machowski shares how this relates to the Transfer Conference…
Studying God’s presence leads to longing for the presence of God. If you want to be biblically informed and inspired, here are some great places to start.
|Ray Ortlund | When God Comes to Church: A Biblical Model for Revival Today
“Here we learn no new techniques about how to snap our fingers to make God come down. We learn to bow down before the wisdom of God and trust that personal revival will precede cultural revival in God’s time and by God’s Spirit.” ~Bryan Chapell
|D.A. Carson | Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians, 12-14
There is a reason Carson is considered one of the top authorities on 1 Corinthians 12-14. Let this book show you why.
|Wayne Grudem | The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today
“…a fresh, biblically sound, readable contribution…its depth of scholarship, pastoral solidity, and cautions against abuses are special strengths. Highly recommended.” ~Vern Poythress
|A. W. Tozer | The Pursuit of God
Whether you are thirsting for more of God or do not yet know of the “mighty longing after God” that so consumed A.W. Tozer’s life and ministry, The Pursuit of God will draw you into a deep, abiding relationship with the One who “nourishes the soul.”
|Gordon Fee | God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul
Fee offers a fresh and in-depth exegesis of every Spirit text in the Pauline corpus. Part Two synthesizes the analysis presented in Part One into a coherent invitation to consider the Holy Spirit’s crucial role in Pauline theology.
As we anticipate celebrating and transferring God’s Presence at Transfer, there is no better preparation we can make than praying. Only God can show us Himself. Let us pray that He will do so before, during, and after our time together.
Your face is what we seek. We know you are always fully present with us. We know Jesus has secured our relationship with you and that can’t ever be taken from us. But sometimes it seems like you are not present with us. Sometimes you remain silent when we pray to you. Sometimes we wonder if you’ve left us. We lose the “sense” of your presence with us. Perhaps you remove our perception of your favor over us for a season to stir deeper heart longings for you.
Maybe it’s help us deal with sins we have been permitting in our lives that grieve your Holy Spirit. Or perhaps it’s to teach us to walk by faith and not by sight—to trust the promise of your word and lean less on our own experience. So we choose this day to trust in the objective, unchanging accomplishments of your Son, rather than the subjective, changeable experience of our hearts. We earnestly seek your face. We trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. Oh, let the light of your face shine upon us once again.
Psalms has a lot to say about the need to pass on to future generations God’s plan and purpose. Psalm 33:11 says “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart from generation to generation.” Psalm 78:4 & 6 says; “We will not hide them (God’s words) from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done…that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God….” Passing on the glory of God’s plan and a vision for his will and purpose are not optional.
For myself, I am 60 years old and have 4 kids and 12 grandkids. All my children are actively involved in our local church. My concern has now gone to the next generation and the ones to follow that. In the 60’s and 70’s God gave us a great burden and vision to see the church fulfilling his purpose in a greater and greater way, and planting churches that will continue to do that. Now 40 years later that vision and desire has not abated but only shifted to the coming generation, my kids and grandkids. Conferences like, New Attitude and NEXT and now Transfer, have been a big part of imparting that vision. I want them to share a glorious vision for the grand purpose for Christ’s church and see her impact our cities and culture. Christ and His church are the only things from this earth that are going to remain in eternity, and the only things worth giving our lives for. This is a burden and vision we must transfer and not lose. May God give us grace to see the coming generations filled with the Spirit and vision to take up the mantle, not only for themselves but the generation that follows them until Christ’s return.
If you want to be inspired toward passion for God’s presence, this message is a great way to begin. Listen as Jeff Purswell tours the Bible celebrating the gift of God’s presence among His people.
What if God were just an idea? What if all the rest of our practices and beliefs stayed the same, but God was just an idea, not personal, not a being. Of course God the idea would still be all that the Bible says he is–holy, just, loving, merciful, and eternal–all in our religious imaginations. We could have conferences describing what the Bible says God the idea is–that He is a trinity, that his righteousness must be vindicated, that he will finally punish all those who reject his offer of forgiveness. And of course heretics to these ideas would be excluded from our orthodox religion of God–the idea. In the end it would all matter–since ideas influence our lives. After all, ever other belief system is basically grounded in…ideas.
Here’s a tragic scenario. What if God were treated as an idea by those who know He is a personal Being? What if we functioned as religious philosophers–full of orthodox vigor–and moralists–full of righteous zeal, but we never desired to know God, the Triune Being? What if we were content with ideas but never hungered for a person, never thirsted for the nearness, the reality of God? This would be the Christian faith emptied of its core, void of its heart, bereft of its hope. This, this lifeless orthodoxy, this moral travesty, is what we desperately want to resist by transferring a passion for God’s presence.
God is not an idea, He is a personal Being—three Persons, one God. His unveiled presence is our final eternal hope; the ache in our souls is meant to be satisfied only by the eternal glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Our current oxygen is enjoying the Holy Spirit, given to transform our lives from ordinary mortal experience to supernatural vibrancy, to reveal heaven touching earth in the heart and life of each believer. So, let’s ask, evaluate, and change. Is God more like an idea, or…God, in our lives right now?
As we anticipate celebrating and transferring God’s Word at Transfer, there is no better preparation we can make than praying. Only God can show us Himself. Let us pray that He will do so before, during, and after our time together.
Our God and Father in Heaven,
Thank you for speaking into this worlds darkness so that we could know you as you truly are. Thank you for giving your words to us in human language recorded through careful oral memory traditions, through writing on stone, and animal skins, parchment and paper, and now electronically in various digital forms. Thank you for translators who laid down their lives so that we could read your words in our own language! Thank you for printing presses that made it possible for the first time for ordinary people to be able to afford and obtain copies of your written word. Thank you for the internet and smart phones and tablet computers that make your word so accessible to us. Thank you also for the powerful plot-line of this wonderful revelation that so clearly shines the spotlight on your Son, Jesus Christ. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, you spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days you have spoken to us by your Son! We are overwhelmed by your wonderful mercy in initiating this conversation with us! Thank you!!
At some level, all humanity is engaged in a pursuit: a search for the true meaning of the world, of history, of reality—of life itself. It’s not difficult to discern the confusion that has resulted from this clash of fallen worldviews. The interpretive key to such questions must come to us from outside our own subjective experiences and interpretations. And in the Word of God, it has. And because it has, God can be known, His purposes understood, His will obeyed—and our lives can be spent in pursuit of that for which we were created.
This is why, of all that we seek to transfer to the next generation, nothing is more important than a trust in and love for God’s Word. Like a house without a foundation, whatever else we transfer apart from the truth of scripture will eventually collapse. The authenticity of our relationship with God, the integrity of our churches, the fruitfulness of our lives—even the preservation of the gospel we believe and proclaim—depends upon our allegiance to the truth of Scripture.
But this “transference” is not merely an academic or intellectual exercise. God’s Word is not simply to be believed, but relished and cherished, for it is in and through that Word that we encounter God Himself. This is how God reveals Himself to us. This is how God sustains us. This is how God feeds us. This is how God gives Himself to us. When by the Holy Spirit we perceive, not only the necessity of God’s word, but the potential of God’s Word—its power to accomplish God’s purposes, its clarity in communicating His voice, its precision in applying His compassion, its potency to transform human lives—our acknowledgment of Scripture will blossom into a delight in Scripture, and a devotion to Scripture. And that is something worth transferring.
As an additional resource for pastors, watch Jeff speaking about pastoral faithfulness in preaching the Word.
If you wish to know God you must know his Word; if you wish to perceive his power you must see how he works by his Word; if you wish to know his purpose before it is actually brought to pass you can only discover it by his Word.
What we treasure, we must transfer. What we would treasure and transfer, we must study. Following are rich resources to help us treasure and transfer God’s Word.
|RC Sproul | Knowing Scripture
If you want a simple, clear, provoking introduction to understanding God’s Word, this is it.
|Wayne Grudem, edited by Jeff Purswell | Bible Doctrine
Bible Doctrine summarizes the most important categories of theology and makes them understandable and edifying. Read and be fed.
|D.A. Carson | The God Who Is There
Would you enjoy listening to D.A. Carson, world renown scholar, explain the meaning of the Bible, in terms all of us could understand? Read this book. Audio and video resources for this book are also available at The Gospel Coalition website.
| Mark Dever | The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made & The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept
Ever read a book of the Bible and wonder, “So…whats the main point here?” Mark Dever provides a remarkable book by book summary of the Old and New Testament.
Loving God’s Word is a lifelong project. Neglecting God’s Word is a constant temptation. Craig Cabaniss inspires us toward the Scriptures in this message from the Sovereign Grace WorshipGod Conference.
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I’m not a big fan of honey. My children love it and my wife says it’s a more healthy sweetener than sugar. Of course, in my mind, sweet and healthy have no real need to hang out together in the same sentence…or food. So, its slightly harder for me to appreciate David’s heart in Psalm 19:10 when he says that God’s Word is “sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.” I have to go back in time and imagine life in David’s world—no flavored coffee, ice-cream, Oreos, Skittles, or Snickers. Just, honey. Honey represented the sweetener of life. The sweetest food to be imagined. Back then honey must have seemed like a gift directly from heaven to transform the diet of a fallen world. From a food standpoint, honey was experiencing the joy of heaven on earth. And that, I think, is what David is getting at when he says that to him God’s Word is sweeter than honey. So, now, I ask, is it that sweet to me?
Or course most of us believe in the authority of God’s Word; we know it should be part of our regular spiritual diet. But too often we feel towards it a bit more like…eating our vegetables than…enjoying honey. When we talk about transferring the value of God’s Word, of course we mean upholding its authority, sufficiency, clarity, and inerrancy. Of course we want to trace the storyline of redemption and obey biblical commands. But in all of these disciplines, we want to transfer and receive something else. We want an uninhibited, emotional, passionate joy in God’s Word. We want it to be more than nourishing, more than only truth. We want it to be delightful and joy-inspiring. Like honey for our souls.
As we anticipate celebrating and transferring God’s gospel at Transfer, there is no better preparation we can make than praying. Only God can show us Himself. Let us pray that He will do so before, during, and after our time together.
Our God and Father of Grace,
We ask two things of you today:
First we ask that you would take away the blindness of those without Christ so that they could for the first time see the glorious light of the gospel. We know the glory of Christ is seen most clearly in the good news of salvation. And we long that they too might honor and praise the Lamb who was slain, raised in power, and who now sits at your right hand!
But while you are revealing yourself to them, we pray you will also make your light to shine in our hearts too. Show us also the glory of God in the face of Christ. We know the glory of your being shines brilliantly around the cross-event. Help us to see it–really see it–and be amazed by it. Oh make us joyful worshippers of Jesus!
We ask this through the merit of your Son. We believe you will answer this prayer so we say “Amen”.
Why is it important to transfer the gospel to the next generation?
“No one’s life makes any sense if it is not first seen in light of God. And to start with God one needs to ask what is he like? And nowhere is that question answered with more jaw dropping profundity than seeing what Jesus did for sinners, and why he did it.”
What we treasure, we must transfer. What we would treasure and transfer, we must study. Following are rich resources to help us treasure and transfer the gospel.
|John Stott | The Cross of Christ
If you want to tour the mountaintop of gospel studies, let The Cross of Christ, by John Stott, be your guide.
|Milton Vincent | A Gospel Primer for Christians
How do we connect the gospel to the various callings and challenges and topics of the Christian faith? Take up A Gospel Primer and learn the way forward.
|C.J. Mahaney | Living the Cross Centered Life
Jerry Bridges | The Gospel for Real Life
Believing in the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not the same thing as making it the center of our daily lives. C.J. Mahaney and Jerry Bridges bring us to the foot of the cross and show us how to stay there every day.
|J. I. Packer | In My Place Condemned He Stood
Various Authors | Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
Want shorter reads that summarize the best articles and chapters about the gospel from modern and ancient teachers? Read In My Place Condemned He Stood and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.
Over the coming weeks, as we highlight each of the seven values of the Transfer Conference, we will also be remembering classic messages that have transferred these values to us in the past. Here is C.J. Mahaney on the meaning of the cross of Christ. Watch and receive the gospel transfer.