This is the third of four posts of my notes from the very excellent Reaching the Unreached conference which was held in Liverpool last week. As always with my conference notes I remind readers that these may not be the actual words of the speakers, so I might have misheard or misrepresented their views.
Titus 2v1-15 – Mez McConnell
Four people had an influence on Mez when he came to Christ aged 22
- Pastor – “if the word of God and I do not match up – I am wrong”
- Bible study leader in his 30s – “knowledgeable”
- Bloke who led Mez to Christ – gentleness, meekness, kindness, generosity who made Mez feel like a rat, in a good way.
- Family man who taught Mez to take responsibility and be a man who didn’t winge about being deprived.
The Christian life is a community affair, which keeps us rooted and on the narrow way.
Every bampot in history is attracted to the estate.
In chapter 2 we start to get glimpse of doing community.
Teach what is in accord with sound doctrine – repetition of chapter 1
Healthy doctrine leads to healthy souls.
When we hear the word “teach” we think of classrooms, or pulpits. But the way Paul envisages this is to speak regularly in day to day life. “Speak what is in accord with healthy teaching” as well as “teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”
The name “Jesus” is the purest form of doctrine and the way people say it can tell me whether we love him or not, follow him or not.
Council estate Christianity requires more attention to doctrine not less, because we need to grasp it and apply it in way people can understand.
Our character must trump our teaching. The integrity of leadership ensures the message is heard as relevant. We must lead by demonstration.
V6-8 is a blueprint for the life of the leader in the scheme. Self-controlled, set an example by doing what is good, show integrity in teaching, seriousness soundness of speech that connot be condemned.
Real men teach sound doctrine and model what it looks like, rather than living out a sanctified version of masculine beer drinking, ultimate fight night watching, iron pumping chauvinism.
Church planting needs perseverance, it is hard and life wearing. If you don’t have shopping bags hanging off your eyes then you are new to planting in the scheme.
It is easy to lead men to Christ the hard graft is to guide them through the obstacles of life, being a godly man when life’s temptations and curve balls.
We are not to be plastic wannabes. A 1-2-1 bible study at Costa coffee once a week, does not cut it. Hang out, be real, challenge men to be real men. Real men don’t beat their wives. Real men don’t screw the social and spend the money on weed and the bookies.
Let old men be role models. Train them. Invest in them. Encourage them to do their bit.
Women need role models. Reverence, not gossips, not too heavy on the booze, healthy doctrine. Many in the scheme are completely lost because for 4 or 5 generations there have been no role models. Jesus Christ is the ultimate home-maker, the term is not derogatory or controversial.
People need to see a biblically healthy, counter cultural model of family so that people can see what it looks.
Mez is a non-egalitarian, complimentarian, Calvinist and that’s why we need women on the team. We need role models. Mature, godly, women, who will speak what is in accord with healthy doctrine who will model womanhood to women in the scheme.
1-up 1-down. Find an older man to emulate. Find a younger man to train. Women can do the same.
Above all – teach them grace. Not ten ways to get to heaven. V11-15 For the GRACE of God has appeared….
Doctrine does not save, only the Grace of God, the glorious appearing of Christ.
Advice masquerades as the gospel – advice called gospel is not real ministry. Gospel must be prominent and advice must diminish. We must fight the urge to fix people, because there are too many to fix. Point people Christ as their only hope. Grace teaches us.
Grace enables us to challenge the young man who thinks he’ll never make it. Grace enables us to revive the old man who thinks he’s washed up. Grace lets the fallen pick themselves back up again. Amazing Grace, leads us home.