Every year I help organise the WA Baptist Pastors Retreat. We hold it in Mandurah over three day with most of us staying at the Mandurah Atrium.
This year we had as our guest speaker Dale Stephenson, the Senior Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church.
Dale spoke a number of times.
The first statement he made was,
“The kingdom price is too high to adopt methods that God is not blessing”
His point being that we are not to fear the people or their approval
I would add that the price of time is also too high. Look to where God is working, and go there.
Dale then spoke about preaching and communication of vision. Do not make a big point without emphasis, Vast majority of people have a heart, Hearts and minds need to be touched. He emphasised the need for stories, and how stories shape your culture. Do you want bad stories to shape your culture?
He then finished on Wednesday with the well known story of the Lost Son
At our point of failure and when the Devil is pointing at us, God meets us in our vulnerability. Having enticed you away, the Devil then tells you you can’t come to God for forgiveness. Shame. The lost son could have been found shame, but instead the Father ran to him to show him grace. Who can now shame the son when the Father is celebrating? Who wants to go to the auditor? Who wants to go to the principals office? He saved us today and he will save us in the future
Pharisees are enjoying the story when son is getting what he deserves with the pigs. No Jewish father is going to celebrate his son feeding pigs
The story ends with the father and the lost son.
The story is unresolved with the older brother not having joined the party.
Does he? We don’t know. The listener of the story has to answer that question themselves.
The Retreat was a inspiring and full on time. Most of us love it and look forward to it every year.