Blog posts

Transfer | Church Planting | Jon Payne [Audio]

May 29, 2013

The final session of Transfer concluded yesterday. The past four days have been been a rich time of teaching, worship, and fellowship.

In this final session Jim Donohue shared the value of a passion for evangelism. His encouragements were:

  1. Look at Jesus
  2. Don’t make excuses
  3. Be yourself

Ian McConnell introduced the topic for this morning, Transferring a Passion for Partnership: “We’re all called to participate in this mission on the micro level of sharing the gospel with individuals and on the macro level of church planting.”

Then Jon Payne shared a message from Acts 13:1–3, casting a vision for our passion for church planting and sharing some details and stories of God’s grace about the church plant he is leading to Austin, Texas. Notes from Jon’s message are below along with the audio.

  1. Church planting is our heritage. “Church planting is every Christians’ heritage, but it’s not every Christian’s personal background. We don’t have to look all the way back to Paul to see a heritage…if you are 30 or under in Sovereign Grace Ministries, you have a heritage in church planting.”
  2. Church planting is our calling. Acts 13:2: “…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”
  3. Church planting makes you feel weak. “A church planter and the church that sends him is embracing weakness as an opportunity for God to showcase his glory.”
  4. Church planting showcases the power and glory of God. “Obedience in mission, whether you’re sending or whether you’re going, will create weakness….But then you will see the power of God.”
  5. Church planting proclaims the gospel. “God has entrusted [the gospel] to each generation so that in the church and in Christ Jesus, God may be glorified throughout all generations.”

Jon concluded with a challenge for us: “One day 30 years from now, there will be other people sitting in these seats. They will have a heritage as well. Let’s leave them a heritage of gospel-centered church planting that showcases the glory of God like we have received.”

Listen here.


Find all the summaries and audio from the conference here.

Transfer | God’s Glory | Sinclair Ferguson [Audio]

May 27, 2013

Tonight, Jon Payne encouraged us with another value to transfer to the next generation: the value of reading. Jon explained that the other values are of greater importance than this one, but that “Reading is the declaration that I need help. If [other values] seem out of reach, begin the discipline of reading.”

Then Sinclair Ferguson joined us to teach on the topic of God’s Glory. He particularly focused on God’s glory revealed in the trinity.

Below are some notes from his session, followed by the audio.

“God after all is God, and he is not man. He is the Creator of the ends of the earth, and he brought it into being simply by speaking a few words. It shouldn’t surprise that we are not able to grasp the magnitude of his inner being.”

“God’s glory ultimately resides in God’s own inner being, in God’s own inner relationship as Father and Son and Holy Spirit.”

He applied the glory of the Trinity to situations of crisis: “Whenever crisis comes, our instinct should be to go to God the Father through God the Son by God the Holy Spirit.”

Sinclair also explained how the cross reveals the glory of the Trinity: “How worthy must God the Father be to call forth such obedience as God the Son demonstrated in the gospel!”

Then he shared a quote from Jonathan Edwards: “God has appeared glorious to me on account of the Trinity!”

Listen here.


Missed any sessions summaries or audio messages? Find them all here.

Transfer | God’s Design | Kevin DeYoung [Audio]

Kevin DeYoung spoke on another one of the values we treasure this morning, God’s Design. Notes from his message are below, and the audio follows.

Kevin made this important distinction: “Gender makes no difference in how much God loves you. Gender does make a difference in how you love God.”

He explained five categories (the “a,b,c,d,e’s” of God’s design presented out of order) to consider the topic of gender:

  1. Eager Posture – “The woman is intentional to find ways to help and is eager to accept the role as a helper, and the man is intentional to find ways he might lead and accept the responsibilities of a leader…The central exhortation in the complementarian position is not for women to sit down, but for men to stand up.”
  2. Body – “Even our own desires must be subordinated to God’s will…Who you are as a man or a woman has everything to say about what you do with your body.”
  3. Appearance- “There are things that are ‘not natural’ for the sexes. Men are to be men. Women are to be women…Ladies, God doesn’t say shame on you for wanting to be beautiful, He says let me show you what true beauty is.”       
  4. Demeanor - “When Paul chooses to use an illustration on what it means to be gentle, he uses a nursing mom. And then he uses the analogy of a Father for what it means to exhort and charge.”
  5. Crown – “The crown for a woman is a true beauty. The crown for a man is true strength…There is something present in a man to be strong and lead; just like there is something present in a woman to be pure and beautiful.”

Listen here.

Transfer | Session 6 | Summary

Kevin DeYoung spoke on another one of the values we treasure this morning, God’s Design. Notes from his message are below, and the audio will be posted shortly.

Kevin made this important distinction: “Gender makes no difference in how much God loves you. Gender does make a difference in how you love God.”

He explained five categories (the “a,b,c,d,e’s” of God’s design presented out of order) to consider the topic of gender:

  1. Eager Posture – “The woman is intentional to find ways to help and is eager to accept the role as a helper, and the man is intentional to find ways he might lead and accept the responsibilities of a leader…The central exhortation in the complementarian position is not for women to sit down, but for men to stand up.”
  2. Body – “Even our own desires must be subordinated to God’s will…Who you are as a man or a woman has everything to say about what you do with your body.”
  3. Appearance- “There are things that are ‘not natural’ for the sexes. Men are to be men. Women are to be women…Ladies, God doesn’t say shame on you for wanting to be beautiful, He says let me show you what true beauty is.”       
  4. Demeanor - “When Paul chooses to use an illustration on what it means to be gentle, he uses a nursing mom. And then he uses the analogy of a Father for what it means to exhort and charge.”
  5. Crown – “The crown for a woman is a true beauty. The crown for a man is true strength…There is something present in a man to be strong and lead; just like there is something present in a woman to be pure and beautiful.”

We’ll continue posting updates from the conference and audio messages for the remaining sessions here on the blog.

Transfer | God’s Gospel | C.J. Mahaney [Audio]

C.J. Mahaney spoke from Philippians 3:1-6 on God’s Gospel. He introduced the importance of resisting legalism and valuing the gospel: “If you attempt to add your works in whatever form to [God’s] grace, you no longer have grace. Legalism means that we consider or ultimately conclude that the cross of Christ is insufficient for our salvation.”

Then C.J. shared four ways Paul equips us in this passage and protects us from legalism. Notes are below, and the audio follows.

  1. An Exhortation – “A joy [exists] in the Lord himself independent of circumstances, be they sweet or bitter. That not only protects one’s heart in the midst of opposition or a bitter providence but also guards one’s heart in relation to the attraction of legalism. Normally a first casualty of legalism is joy.”
  2. A Description – We worship by the Spirit of God: “We are God’s people only because the Spirit has acted on our hearts.” We glory in Christ Jesus: “Legalism is appealing to us because it’s a daily temptation for us to find a way to glory in ourselves just a little bit at some point each day…Legalism ultimately is self-atonement for the purpose of self-worship and self-glory.”
  3. An Illustration - “If there’s anyone who ever rested in their privileges and accomplishments, it was Paul. But a different way would be revealed to this man, and after his conversion, he would put no confidence in the flesh.”
  4. A Repetition – “Our safety is in saying and reviewing the same things, not pursuing novelties, because the same things will direct your attention away from yourself so that you will rejoice in the Lord, so that you will serve and worship by the Spirit of God, so that you will glory in Christ Jesus, so that you will put no confidence in the flesh. This is where you will be safe and joyful.”

Listen here.

*Note there was a technical difficulty at the 14:52 mark. The message picks back up with C.J. reflecting on his testimony. 

Transfer | Session 5 | Summary

Today, Jimmy Cannon shared a story of transferring and reminded us of the real purpose of Transfer: “Transfer is not primarily about what you do. We have been called to do some glorious stuff. This mission we’ve been given is glorious. But it’s not primarily about what we do; it’s about what he has already done for us.”

Then C.J. Mahaney spoke from Philippians 3:1-6 on God’s Gospel. He introduced the importance of resisting legalism and valuing the gospel: “If you attempt to add your works in whatever form to [God’s] grace, you no longer have grace. Legalism means that we consider or ultimately conclude that the cross of Christ is insufficient for our salvation.”

Then C.J. shared four ways Paul equips us in this passage and protects us from legalism. Notes are below, and the audio will be posted soon.

  1. An Exhortation – “A joy [exists] in the Lord himself independent of circumstances, be they sweet or bitter. That not only protects one’s heart in the midst of opposition or a bitter providence but also guards one’s heart in relation to the attraction of legalism. Normally a first casualty of legalism is joy.”
  2. A Description – We worship by the Spirit of God: “We are God’s people only because the Spirit has acted on our hearts.” We glory in Christ Jesus: “Legalism is appealing to us because it’s a daily temptation for us to find a way to glory in ourselves just a little bit at some point each day…Legalism ultimately is self-atonement for the purpose of self-worship and self-glory.”
  3. An Illustration - “If there’s anyone who ever rested in their privileges and accomplishments, it was Paul. But a different way would be revealed to this man, and after his conversion, he would put no confidence in the flesh.”
  4. A Repetition – “Our safety is in saying and reviewing the same things, not pursuing novelties, because the same things will direct your attention away from yourself so that you will rejoice in the Lord, so that you will serve and worship by the Spirit of God, so that you will glory in Christ Jesus, so that you will put no confidence in the flesh. This is where you will be safe and joyful.”


Keep following the blog for more updates and audio messages from Transfer.

Transfer | God’s Presence | Mark Prater [Audio]

Mark Prater gave our fourth general session message, speaking from 1 Corinthians 12:1–11 on God’s Presence.

Notes from Mark’s message are below; and the audio follows.

Mark shared a vision for spiritual gifts: “We have to be careful as Christians that the demands and effects of living in this material world don’t lull us into forgetting that we are spiritual people…we need to be daily filled with the Spirit of God.”

He then shared three characteristics of spiritual gifts:

  1. Gifts are given and empowered by God.
  2. Gifts are a manifestation of God’s presence.
  3. Gifts are for the common good. 

“The gifts you have are not about the gifts. The gifts you have are not about you. The gifts are given for others, and when you use them in God’s power, you draw great attention to God.”

Listen here.

Transfer | Session 4 | Summary

May 26, 2013

This evening, Tim Kerr shared stories of people who have transferred the value of prayer to him and gave some biblical instruction on pursuing prayer. He encouraged us with this: “Prayer doesn’t require any special skills. If you feel weak, if you feel the power of sin in your own soul, if you feel a little desperate, then you are perfectly qualified.”

Ian McConnell suggested spending a worthy $3 to purchase Tim’s eBook on prayer, Take Words With You, from Amazon.

Then Mark Prater gave our fourth general session, speaking from 1 Corinthians 12:1–11 on God’s Presence.

Notes from Mark’s message are below, and the audio will follow soon.

Mark shared a vision for spiritual gifts: “We have to be careful as Christians that the demands and effects of living in this material world don’t lull us into forgetting that we are spiritual people…we need to be daily filled with the Spirit of God.”

He then shared three characteristics of spiritual gifts:

  1. Gifts are given and empowered by God.
  2. Gifts are a manifestation of God’s presence.
  3. Gifts are for the common good.

“The gifts you have are not about the gifts. The gifts you have are not about you. The gifts are given for others, and when you use them in God’s power, you draw great attention to God.”


More updates from Transfer will follow as the conference continues. Keep watching the blog for summaries and audio messages!

Transfer | God’s Mission | Ian McConnell [Audio]

Ian McConnell shared our third session message on God’s Mission. He spoke from Romans 11:36: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Ian shared that our mission as God’s people is to make much of God: “We are here to do all to the glory of God. We exist to make much of God. It’s not about us. It’s all about him.”

Below are notes from the session.

  1. We were made for this mission. “What gives meaning to every day of your life is that you have been created in a particular way to add to a world of image-bearers.”
  2. We were saved for this mission. “You have been saved to make much of the one who saved you. You have been forgiven to make much of the one who has forgiven you. You have been redeemed to make much of the one who has redeemed you. You have been justified to make much of the one who has justified you. You have been reconciled to make much of the one who has reconciled you. You have been sealed by the Spirit to make much of the one who has sealed you by the Spirit.”

How do we live our lives to make much of Jesus?

  1. We get to know Jesus.
  2. We celebrate Jesus.
  3. We become more like Jesus.
  4. We share Jesus.

Listen here.

Transfer | Session 3 | Summary

Last night at Transfer, Jeff Purswell spoke on God’s Word. Jared Mellinger addressed us this morning on God’s People. And Ian McConnell shared our third session on God’s Mission.

He spoke from Romans 11:36: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Ian shared that our mission as God’s people is to make much of God: “We are here to do all to the glory of God. We exist to make much of God. It’s not about us. It’s all about him.”

Below are notes from the session; audio will be posted shortly.

  1. We were made for this mission. “What gives meaning to every day of your life is that you have been created in a particular way to add to a world of image-bearers.”
  2. We were saved for this mission. “You have been saved to make much of the one who saved you. You have been forgiven to make much of the one who has forgiven you. You have been redeemed to make much of the one who has redeemed you. You have been justified to make much of the one who has justified you. You have been reconciled to make much of the one who has reconciled you. You have been sealed by the Spirit to make much of the one who has sealed you by the Spirit.”

How do we live our lives to make much of Jesus?

  1. We get to know Jesus.
  2. We celebrate Jesus.
  3. We become more like Jesus.
  4. We share Jesus.

We will continue posting updates from Transfer on the blog, along with the audio messages. Stay tuned!

Transfer | God’s People | Jared Mellinger [Audio]

Jared Mellinger addressed us from Judges 7:1–23 on the topic of God’s People. 

  1. God delights to work through the weak and the few. “We believe the worth of the church is measured by the worth of the Savior we treasure and by the worth of the Word we adhere to.”
  2. God is determined to receive glory through his people. “Ultimately, this is not about the glory of the people of God at all. The banner over the church is not ‘look how great we are’ but ‘look how great Jesus is.
  3. God will not allow our sins and failures to define us. “The Spirit teaches us to view the people of God not for their failures and faults and sins but for their acts of faith.”
  4. God gives his people a preview of the coming victory. “The church is presently messier than we like to think and will one day be more marvelous than we have ever dared to imagine.”

Listen here.

Transfer | Session 2 | Summary

This morning, Ian McConnell explained that at Transfer, we want to hear God’s Word preached, and we also want to hear stories of how these values we treasure have been transferred.

Joel Shorey told one such story as he shared his vision for transferring a passion for memorizing Scripture, asking the question “If God’s word is living and active, if it can transform us, why wouldn’t we go after it all we can?”

Jared Mellinger addressed us from Judges 7:1–23 on the topic of God’s People. Some quotes from his message follow, and the audio will be posted soon.

  1. God delights to work through the weak and the few. “We believe the worth of the church is measured by the worth of the Savior we treasure and by the worth of the Word we adhere to.”
  2. God is determined to receive glory through his people. “Ultimately, this is not about the glory of the people of God at all. The banner over the church is not ‘look how great we are’ but ‘look how great Jesus is.
  3. God will not allow our sins and failures to define us. “The Spirit teaches us to view the people of God not for their failures and faults and sins but for their acts of faith.”
  4. God gives his people a preview of the coming victory. “The church is presently messier than we like to think and will one day be more marvelous than we have ever dared to imagine.”

Continue to watch this blog for more updates from Transfer as we’re exploring and recalling the values we treasure most as Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Transfer | God’s Word | Jeff Purswell [Audio]

Jeff Purswell gave the first message at Transfer on the topic of God’s Word from 2 Timothy 3: 10–17. 

Main Point: The most decisive factor for a faithful future is adherence to God’s Word.

  1. Scripture’s Origin “These words aren’t simply written by men; they are breathed out by God. They are the product of his creative breath, his very words.” 
  2. Scripture’s Power “God’s word is profitable for everything. There is no part of your life that this word is irrelevant to.” 
  3. Scripture’s Purpose “How you respond to this word is how you’re responding toward God. Your attitude toward this word is your attitude toward God.” 

Listen here.

Transfer | Session 1 | Summary

May 25, 2013

This evening, people gathered from across the country for the first session of Transfer.

Ian McConnell introduced the vision for this weekend’s conference, centered around the values we treasure that will move us to hope in God:

“What’s most amazing is that there’s Someone here with us when we gather like this. His name is God. He gathers when we gather. So we’re eager to gather like this because God promises to meet with us when we gather like this….Our heart and our passion is that we would put our hope in God.”

Jeff Purswell gave the first message on the topic of God’s Word from 2 Timothy 3: 10–17. Some brief notes from the message follow; audio will be available in a future post.

Main Point: The most decisive factor for a faithful future is adherence to God’s Word.

  1. Scripture’s Origin “These words aren’t simply written by men; they are breathed out by God. They are the product of his creative breath, his very words.” 
  2. Scripture’s Power “God’s word is profitable for everything. There is no part of your life that this word is irrelevant to.” 
  3. Scripture’s Purpose “How you respond to this word is how you’re responding toward God. Your attitude toward this word is your attitude toward God.” 

Watch the blog for more session summaries and audio messages which will be posted as the conference continues.

Transfer Is Here!

The wait is over. Transfer is here!

We gather this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate and proclaim those biblical truths and values that are most important to pass on from one generation to the next. The next four days are specifically devoted to this, that the next generation might set their hope in God.

Psalm 78:4,7says: “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, we hope the next four days 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
    • God’s mission

If you are unable to join us for Transfer, you can still benefit from what is taking place in Orlando, Florida. Session recaps and audio will be made available in a timely way via this blog. To follow the sights and sounds of Transfer real-time, follow the conversation on Twitter or the pics on Instagram with the hashtag #SGMTransfer

Finally, whether you are joining us or following from afar, please continue to pray that God would powerfully move as the Word of God is preached and the Holy Spirit leads.

Now, let’s get stated…Transfer is here!

10 Days Away!

May 15, 2013

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. 

  1. Praying for illumination into God’s Word. 
  2. Praying to be empowered by the Holy Spirit toward passionate worship. 
  3. Praying for an opportunity to pray for or encourage at least one other person every day of the conference. 
  4. Praying for God to highlight one or two primary ways that I can live more for his glory when I get home. 
  5. Praying for a new friendship to begin. 

Looking forward to joining all of you in just ten days. 

Transfer Is Coming!

April 19, 2013

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.

Jon has served as pastor for the last seven years at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, serving in worship leadership, small group ministry, counseling, youth ministry (called G2), and preaching.  In May 2013, he will be relocating with his wife Lory, their 3 children, and a team of people to Round Rock, Texas, on the north side of Austin, to plant Redemption Hill Church.

Early Bird Gets the Early Price

March 28, 2013

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.

He’s Not a Tame Lion

March 22, 2013

 

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.

Jon has served as pastor for the last seven years at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, serving in worship leadership, small group ministry, counseling, youth ministry (called G2), and preaching.  In May 2013, he will be relocating with his wife Lory, their 3 children, and a team of people to Round Rock, Texas, on the north side of Austin, to plant Redemption Hill Church.

Transfer the Most Important Things

March 14, 2013

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. 

Transfer Hope

March 13, 2013

God's Mission

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. 

Jon has served as pastor for the last seven years at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, serving in worship leadership, small group ministry, counseling, youth ministry (called G2), and preaching.  In May 2013, he will be relocating with his wife Lory, their 3 children, and a team of people to Round Rock, Texas, on the north side of Austin, to plant Redemption Hill Church.

A Prayer for Transferring…God’s Mission

March 08, 2013

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.

Transfer Vision

March 07, 2013

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?

Jon has served as pastor for the last seven years at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, serving in worship leadership, small group ministry, counseling, youth ministry (called G2), and preaching.  In May 2013, he will be relocating with his wife Lory, their 3 children, and a team of people to Round Rock, Texas, on the north side of Austin, to plant Redemption Hill Church.

Transfer a Love for God’s Word

February 28, 2013

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.

Transfer Theological Precision

February 21, 2013

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.

Matthew is a Church Planting Resident at Crossway Community Church in Charlotte, NC (2012-2013). He attended The Bethlehem Institute in Minneapolis and received his MDiv at Southern Seminary in Louisville. Recently, Matthew successfully defended his dissertation (PhD) at Southern Seminary on the self-witness of Scripture. He plans to plant a church in the southeast United States that evangelizes, disciples, trains, and plants other churches. He is married to Ashley and has three daughters. You can read more from Matthew at his blog, Off the Wire.

We Transfer What We Treasure

February 18, 2013

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.

Joel Shorey joined the pastoral team of Covenant Fellowship Church in 2005, and graduated as part of the Pastors College class of ’07-’08. He currently serves as the pastor of THRIVE, the singles & college ministry of Covenant Fellowship as well as Cross Culture, our youth ministry. Beyond time with his family, Joel enjoys reading, working out, and riding his motorcycle every day to work. Joel resides in West Chester with his wife Ashley and their four children.

Transfer a Love for Reading the Bible

February 14, 2013

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.

Steve has been involved with Sovereign Grace Ministries since its inception. In addition to serving on the pastoral team of Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ, Steve currently serves all of the Sovereign Grace churches in Western North America, Canada, and Central and South America. Steve and his wife Janis live in Queen Creek and have 4 children.

Why Gospel Transfer Matters Most To People Who Think It Doesn’t

February 08, 2013

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. 

Ricky Alcantar grew up in El Paso, TX and has a deep passion to see the gospel proclaimed in the city of El Paso. Once assuming the role of lead pastor at Cross of Grace Church in 2010, he primarily oversees vision, preaching, and leadership of the pastoral team. Ricky graduated from the Pastor’s College in 2010. He is happily married to Jenn and they have one son. In his space time Ricky enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and taking Jenn on dates.

Lynn Baird: Transfer A Burden for Planting & Building Churches

February 06, 2013

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.

Praying to Behold Christ at Transfer

February 01, 2013

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!

Last Day to Pay Even Less

January 31, 2013

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.

Rich Richardson: Transfer a Love for the Local Church

January 26, 2013

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.

7 Days Left—The Number of Perfection & The Perfect Time to Register

January 24, 2013

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. 

Register Now

Ian is the pastor for preaching and vision at Grace Bible Church in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which he replanted in 2005 (watch a video of his story). Ian and his wife, Rachel, have three children.

9 Days Left!

January 22, 2013

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. 

Register Now

God’s Mission—Pastoral Thoughts

January 18, 2013

God's Mission

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.

Jim Donohue serves as Pastor of Evangelism at Covenant Fellowship in Glen Mills, PA and loves getting to know new people.  He has served on the pastoral team since 1996. In keeping with his primary responsibility to direct the church’s call to evangelism, Jim also leads the college age ministry where he is able to care for college students as well as coordinate outreaches to local universities.

Yep, He’s Speaking at Transfer!

January 17, 2013

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

For more information on Dr. Ferguson you can read or listen to C.J. Mahaney’s interview with him. 

Resources: God’s Mission

God's Mission

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.

Classic Message: God’s Mission

January 16, 2013

God's Mission

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. 

Listen

Dave has been in pastoral ministry at Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA) since 1986, was ordained in 1988, and served as senior pastor from 1990 to 2008. Dave is the author of Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2012), Rescuing Ambition (Crossway, 2010), and When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Shepherd, 2007).

Transfer a Love for God’s People: Ricky Alcantar

From generation to generation… What we treasure, we must transfer!

In the following videoRicky 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 78:47 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.

Transfer: God’s Mission

January 15, 2013

God's Mission

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. 

Jon Payne has been on staff at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona since 2005. He graduated the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2005. Jon currently lives in Gilbert with his wife Lory and their 3 children. They are preparing to plant a church in Austin, Texas later this year. 

God’s Design—Pastoral Thoughts

January 12, 2013

God's Design

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?

Jon Payne has been on staff at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona since 2005 and leads the Youth Ministry called G2. As well, he counsels and serves small group leaders. Jon graduated the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2005. He currently lives in Gilbert with his wife Lory and their 3 children. They are preparing to plant and church in Austin, Texas in 2013.

A Step-By-Step Guide For Killing Your Church

churchIt’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.

Stephen serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, preaching, and working with youth. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included onSovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of Game Day For the Glory of God and The Greener Grass Conspiracy. Read more from Stephen and his dad, Mark at their blog, The Blazing Center.

Resources: God’s Design

January 11, 2013

God's People

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.

Classic Message: God’s Design

January 10, 2013

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”

Wayne Grudem is Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, Arizona. He received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.Div. and a D.D. from Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. (in New Testament) from the University of Cambridge, England. He has periodically taught courses in the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College.

Transfer: God’s Design

January 08, 2013

God's Design

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. 

Jon Payne has been on staff at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona since 2005. He graduated the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2005. Jon currently lives in Gilbert with his wife Lory and their 3 children. They are preparing to plant a church in Austin, Texas later this year. 

Resources: Treasuring God’s People

January 05, 2013

God's People

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.

Praying for God’s People

January 04, 2013

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!!

God’s People—Pastoral Thoughts

God's People

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.

Bill Kittrell has served as Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church of Knoxville since its inception in April, 1990. Although he grew up in West Virginia, he returned with his family in 1980 to the family farm and East Tennessee where he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. degree in Forestry in 1983. For more than twenty years Bill has served in occupational ministry, first leading a campus ministry. This ministry later provided the nucleus for Cornerstone Church of Knoxville, of which he became Senior Pastor.

Transfer: God’s People

January 03, 2013

God's People

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?

Jon Payne has been on staff at Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, Arizona since 2005 and leads the Youth Ministry called G2. As well, he counsels and serves small group leaders. Jon graduated the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2005. He currently lives in Gilbert with his wife Lory and their 3 children. They are preparing to plant and church in Austin, Texas in 2013.

Marty Machowski: Why Transfer?

January 01, 2013

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…