This post originally appeared on Ed Stetzer's blog here.
I'm writing this post because Ed Stetzer didn't hold up his end of a deal. I offered my parents' vacant condo, telling Ed he had to give me two hours of coaching so I could pick his brain. We shook digital hands via email, but I didn't get two hours of coaching. Instead, because Ed's a generous guy, he gave me a lot more time and direction than I had expected or requested.
In our first session, Ed said, "Instead of talking about our feelings, why don't I coach you through some practical outreach principles and a strategic outreach plan for your church." Knowing that I am theologically Reformed/Calvinistic, he warned me the process would stretch me.
Praise God, it did.
Seeing an Exalted God.
Early in college, I saw that Scripture clearly exalts God's sovereignty in all things, even and especially in human decision making regarding salvation. Ephesians 1:11 is true. God works all things according to the counsel of his will.
I dove into this truth. I soaked in it. I still do. I went to Southern Seminary, because the only thing that can explain a guy from California moving to Kentucky is a fully sovereign God. I learned a ton at Southern, and I am profoundly grateful for my education.
Green as a fresh Christmas tree, I came to pastor Pembroke Road Baptist Church in early 2009. I was three months out of seminary and fully committed to biblically faithful ecclesiology, expository preaching and extolling a sovereign God and a glorious Gospel. These commitments haven't changed.
But as ready as I was to teach theology, I was a lot less prepared to reach people practically. This, by God's grace, has changed.
On Being More Reformed Than Jesus.
I often joke with guys about being "more Reformed than Jesus."
These lies are told every day all around our country, and people are believing them.