What is essential to a Great Commission Resurgence? This question faces the SBC and the vitality of its future. Dr. Mark Liederbach has an answer to that question that every SBC leader and Pastor needs to hear. His answer, Gospel-Centered Discipleship. In fact, he says, “Thus a Great Commission Resurgence that doesn’t emphasize a resurgence in discipleship is no Great Commission Resurgence at all… I’ve been stunned by the lack of life on life discipleship that I have seen.”
Liederbach, a man who grew up Roman Catholic, is an ethics professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received degrees from James Madison University, Denver Seminary, and a Ph.D from the University of Virginia. He is a student favorite on campus known for doing exactly what he is calling on from Southern Baptists, providing Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
To begin his sermon he asks a penetrating question, “Would your church be able to continue on and replace the staff and run effectively and efficiently (if all the leadership in the church died simultaneously)without having a search committee look outside the congregation, could you replace the leadership in your church because of the way you are training people in your church?”
Below is his sermon addressing these crucial issues entitled, “The Great Commission Resurgence and Gospel-Centered Discipleship.” It is a must listen for all future disciple-makers.
Here are other resources from b21 with Mark Liederbach:
B21 Panel @ 9marks event – Liederbach joins Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, and J.D. Greear.
Coming Soon: Baptist21 wants to hear our reader’s thoughts on the GCR and the future the task force should plot for Southern Baptists. So early next week, we will be putting up the video from the GCR panel @ SBTS and a message board to encourage conversation about this important topic. We hope you will join in the conversation.
Baptist21 recently held a panel discussion on the topic, “What is a Great Commission Church?” The panelists were Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, J.D. Greear, and Mark Liederbach. These men addressed a packed room about a variety of topics. Some of these topics included the definition of a church, multi-site, diversity in the church, and advice for young pastors and seminarians. In addition, the panel addressed questions about the nature of relationships between churches and denominational entities for education, missions, and church planting and the best ways to use money for the Great Commission. Baptist21′s Jed Coppenger moderated the discussion. Here is the audio from that panel. We hope it will be of benefit to you.
b21 Panel @ God Exposed
In this interview, Dr.’s Reid and Liederbach address several issues that we at Baptist21 believe are urgent for Baptists in the 21st Century. In this portion of the interview they touch on the issue of the social gospel, which has become increasingly popular with young evangelicals in recent years. They address the failure of both “mercy ministries” that don’t involve sharing the message of the gospel (Yes, using words!) and those ministries that ignore physical needs, paying attention only to “witnessing” with tracks or a conversation about the need for salvation. They see these models converging into ministries that care for physical needs as well as involve proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, resulting in what they label “convergent evangelism.”
Also discussed in this interview is the failure of what many churches have called discipleship, though often it is nothing more than “a rather mundane Sunday morning classroom experience sprinkled with a touch of behavior modification here and dash of spiritual checklists there,” which fails to produce disciples. They speak to their perspective on the right way for a church to engage in the process of discipleship.
They also highlight some very practical ways for a church to transition from being what they have labeled “a conventional church” into being a convergent church. It would serve us well to read this book and heed the advice of these two men in a time when we are plagued with churches that are anything but convergent. We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with these men and hear what they have to say about serving King Jesus in a way that is faithful to the Bible and winsome to the culture for His glory.
Baptist21 had the honor of sitting down with Dr. Mark Liederbach and Dr. Alvin Reid to discuss their new book “The Convergent Church.”Dr. Mark Liederbach, a man who grew up Roman Catholic, is an ethics professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary who received degrees from James Madison University, Denver Seminary, and a Ph.D from the University of Virginia. He is a student favorite on campus known for spending time on the basketball court with students as well as for his engaging classes. Dr. Alvin Reid is a well-known author and blogger. He is a professor of evangelism at Southeastern and a student favorite. He is known for spending more time with students than colleagues. He has grown up most of his life as a Southern Baptist. So, in these two men you have the unique perspective of a nearly lifelong Southern Baptist and in Liederbach a man who only recently became a part of this denomination of faith. These men were gracious enough to sit down with us.
A brief description of the book: “Countless followers of Christ find themselves restless. They wonder if there is more to Christian faith than compulsory church attendance and rigid moral standards, and they wander in search of what they hope will be a better form of Christianity—if such a thing exists. The Convergent Church brings together conventional Christianity and the emergent church, moving beyond the antipathy that has developed between the groups and urging Christians to honestly consider the best that each has to offer.”
Book Endorsements: “The Convergent Church tells us where we are, explains how we got here, and offers a vision for where we need to go. Biblically and theologically faithful, culturally and missionally relevant, this is a must read for those who care about the church of the Lord Jesus in the twenty-first century.”—Daniel L. Akin President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The spiritual landscape of our world is changing; tens of thousands of people leave the church and thousands of churches close their doors every year. For the sake of the gospel and for the honor of Jesus we must refocus our hearts, retool the local church, and recharge followers of Jesus to accomplish the Great Commission. The Convergent Church does just that. This book is essential for the seminarian, the barista at Starbucks, the computer programmer at IBM, and everyone in between.”—Tyler Jones Pastor of Preaching atVintage21 Church
Questions they address in part one of this interview:
0.What prompted and motivated you to write this book? What is convergence?
0.What effect do you hope this book will have on the church at large? And more specifically for the purpose of our site, how will it help us be Baptist in the 21st century and what does the SBC most need to hear from this book?
0.You break down several streams of the Emerging Church. What are some of the “dangers” in the emergent church? What are the best characteristics of that movement? What are some of the “dangers’ in the traditional evangelical church? What are the best characteristics of that movement?
0.Some critics may say “Doesn’t the Bible spend a lot of time saying that we should be separate from our culture not influenced by it?” How would you answer this critique? How should pastors communicate to traditional congregations that relevance doesn’t mean accommodation?
I was blessed to be able to read an early manuscript of this book and I found that I was very engaged in what they were writing. I was reading this manuscript as we were starting up this blog and I found myself thinking a lot of what they are saying in here is exactly the kind of things we want to dialogue about and explore on Baptist21. Part of our purpose is “Baptist 21 is grateful for a Southern Baptist heritage where the Gospel has been faithfully passed down and effective Great Commission ministry has been undertaken. Many believe there is a crisis ahead for Baptists, particularly Southern Baptists, in the 21st century. Our commitment is to work diligently in the present by honoring the Gospel faithfulness of the past, contending for the Gospel, engaging current cultures with the Gospel, and cooperating toward future Kingdom effectiveness among Southern Baptists in the 21st century and beyond.” I believe that this book helps us do such a thing. I recommend picking this book up and reading. Please help us begin a conversation about how we can be a group of convergent churches that are on Mission with our King in the 21st century.
Some of the Questions to be answered in part 2: How does your book address the question of whether there ought to be an emphasis on Evangelism as opposed to the Social Gospel or Mercy Ministries? How do we combine mercy ministries and passionate, bold proclamation? What is the difference between traditional Evangelism and Convergent Evangelism, and why is the distinction important to know? What does a covergent idea of discipleship offer as opposed to the more conventional ways of doing discipleship? How would you transition a church from being more conventional to being missional/
N.A. and B.W.
Switch to our mobile site