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3/1/13 at 12:03 PM 2 Comments

Live Blog: Verge 2013 Conference - Making Disciples For Jesus

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The Verge Network is a group of connected Christians working together to promote Christian community. The Verge Network held its first conference in 2010. Today we will be live blogging as Christians discuss and learn about how to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship was a job given to all Christians when Jesus gave the Great Commission.

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David Platt

10:28 a.m., EST- "We live in a day where it means almost nothing to be Christian"

10:29- He says that a poll noted that 4 out of 5 claim to be Christian but half of those claiming to be Christians are not involved in church; Even among “born-again Christians” the poll notes that many say they believe they can get into heaven by their good works and believe that Jesus sinned while he was on earth.

Platt says he believes that the polls are wrong because some of those claiming to Christians are not. He quotes Matthew 7:21-23

Platt said he is terrified at thought that “many” do not really know God.

10:30 - Platt says what does mean to biblically know Christ?

10:34 - Platt read Matt. 4:18 where Jesus gathered Christian “Follow me and I will make you fisher of men

10:35 - He asks what does it mean to follow me?

10:40 - Platt defines the “me” of Follow me: Jesus is the promised one, the center of history, fully human and fully God, sovereign of the wise, shepherd of the week, ender of exile, lovers of his fiercest enemies, savior king, righteous judge, the new Adam, the true Israel, the hope of all gentiles

10:43 - Jesus is worthy for more than a nominal adherence.

10:45 - Platt told pastors don’t teach people that Jesus is just someone that we need to accept in our hearts. God does not need our acceptance; we desperately need God.

10:47 - When a person comes face to face with God, you’re going to look different.

10:49 - Platt says this is what it looks like to follow Jesus:

- Live with radical abandonment for His glory: *In a world where we protect our lives, Jesus calls for us to lose our lives. *Laying doesn’t make sense until you understand who Jesus is
- To live with joyful dependence on His grace

 10:57 - Platt is telling the story of he and his wife’ process to adopt Caleb from Kazakhstan to say the God’s adoption of us has nothing to do with us, but rather a parent planning long before we even considered God to adopt us.

-To live with faithful adherence to His person
-To live with urgent adherence to His mission

 11:08 - Platt told Pastors the cost of non-discipleship is very costly top the Church. The cost of nominal Christianity is Costly to the world.

11:10 Conference is reflecting on three questions

  • What is God saying to you?
  • What are you going to do about it?
  • Who are you going to Share it with?

11:15 Video plays, speaks says“If you’re not making disciples I would go so far as to say that you are not a church”

Francis Chan

11:19 - Chan prays for pastors because he belives many of them have lost the joy of ministry.
He prays “Father restore the joy of your salvation”

11:24 - Chan says to pastors don’t you want to see something supernatural like someone being raised for the dead? He tells them we can have that kind of experience if we would foster a supernatural love in our churches – a love where people come into the church, look around and say “wow, this can’t be real”

11:29 - Chan said of pastors “So many of us have given up on that dream, and we’ve found other ways to attract people.”

Chan jokes about how he has sometimes thought about setting up services where even if the holy spirit doesn’t show up, people will leave thinking, “OK, that was good.”

“My concern is that is very easy to settle for something else”

He says so many pastors are existing in a “safe zone” where they try to create the magic of a service with certain stories or videos or soloists without the supernatural power of God.

He quoted 1 Corinthians 1: 17-18. Paul, he said, could have emptied the power of the cross by using eloquent words and sounding wise but he chose to humble himself to the level those around him and preach the cross.

He asked pastors, when was the last time they humbled themselves.

“How many of us have done that when we walked into a situation and allowed ourselves to look dumber than we are?”

Francis Chan questioned, “Do you still believe in the power that is in the simple message of the cross

Chan said he is not preaching this message to criticize mega churches – “Its not about that.”

He confessed that right now he’s working with house churches but he says he’s not against mega church.

He believes that pastors need to take a “risk” and “bet” on the gospel.

He warns, “If we’re not careful we can spend our lives justifying why those things don’t happen anymore”- why people don’t live spiritually fruitfully lives or why people aren’t loving others or disciplining others.

11:42 -Chan closed by saying, “It is wrong when the church doesn’t love each other.. That’s a sin”

11:50 - Aaron Ivey Band perform praise and worship

Jeff Vanderstelt

1:02 Why didn't Jesus have a 40 year ministry?

1:03 There is no backup plan. There doesn't need to be a backup plan because God will rescue all of the people that belong to him.

1:05 Video shows the work of 3DM.

1:08 Video encourages child sponsorship.

Michelle was a sponsored child.

1:14 Christian Rapper Propaganda speakes with rhythm and rhyme. Speaker talks about breaking down racial boundaries: There is no them. There is us. We are the problem. Jesus moved in and could speak immigrant.

1:16 Video by Misseo talks about building the scattered church.

1:18 Video - from Rebuild Network: You can build churches without making disciples, but you cannot make disciples and not build churches.

Intermission - Segments from the morning session are being repeated via the convention webcast. Since the CP Events blog missed some of the speakers, we are featuring missed comments below.

Francis Chan

1:20 - Can we forget that we are in convention mode? If we have lost our first love, this is all a joke.

1:23 - Chan reads from Exodus 33:15 - "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."

1:27 - Chan tried to think of a new name for the conference. Chan also says that at some conferences the participants leave wanting to start a movement and he believes that God is doing something in the lives of the participants.

1:28 - Video for Asbury shows how the seminary is working to build a student community for spiritual growth.

1:30 - Video by Ministry Grid says that only one in four churches has a plan for developing leaders.

1:34 - Video for the Gospel Project is shown. This new curriculum uses a story-based approach to help disciple believers.

Jo Saxton

1:39 - Jo Saxton grew up without a father but was blessed to be have loving people raise her. Jo says, "I did not know my heritage. I didn't know I came from a line of kings."

1:42 - It is uncomfortable being fatherless. We can lead and people can see the glory of our God.

Video for Hope Coffee shows how a company meets human needs by putting a roof on a person's home, and providing a water tank for a family.

Video for Knox Seminary talks about the centrality of the Gospel.

David Platt

1:52 David Platt reads three Bible passages from Mattew 28, Matthew 24 and Revelation 7. Then Platt say, "There will be a day when this commission is complete."

1:55 Video from Forge America describes building relationships and reconciliation as part of the missional church.

Intercession has ended.

2:32 In video Dr. James Perkins says we can make disciples by being disciples. Perkins also mentions a question that Francis Schaeffer asked, "How should we then live?"

2:34 Conference organizer Stew says that the conference features short speeches and videos so that one person doesn't take too much time because no one person has all the answers.

Sometimes discipleship starts with a conversation.

2:35 Video features testimony of a police officer that works on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Most people in the area hate police officers. Dion says if you tell them you care about them, they will hold you to your word.

Dion says this his assignment.

Jo Saxton

2:39 The time is now. People are desperate for Jesus now.

Jo reads from Luke 10.

2:43 Jo says we see a reproducible strategy. A person of peace receives us and is open to what we say about Jesus.

2:44 Sometimes the person of peace will be in a permanent relationship with us. Other times the person of peace will be a gatekeeper.

2:45 Who are the people of peace that are open to you? Are you looking for the people of peace?

2:47 When was the last time we testified of what we are thankful for?

2:48 Jo's church served a pregnant woman. She was Hindu and now calls on Jesus.

2:50 Don't get caught up with the people that don't want to know. Instead look for the people that will seek Jesus - the people of peace.

Michael Frost

2:53 Michael performed a wedding. During the time he spent with the family he befriended family members and observed that they were opening to the gospel.

2:55 Missional means that Jesus came to earth. It is about people crossing from death to life.

2:56 God draws people to himself.

2:57 God entrusts us with the kingdom - with the Good News.

2:59 We must live the gospel: "Demonstrate it to proclaim it."

3:00 Sharing our faith is sharing the story of God.

3:02 In a video Alan Hirsch says that discipleship works best in small groups.

Neil Cole

3:03 Neil starts by quoting E.M. Bounds, "Men are working for better methods. God is looking for better men."

3:05 Neil reads from 2 Timothy 2 which is about influence that spreads through people - disciples.

3:07 What is the #1 complaint against Christians? That we are hypocrites.

3:08 The only way we can be transparent is by confessing our sins to each other.

3:09 We have to learn to be vulnerable and confess to each other and take in the scriptures. We need truth deep in our souls to change our lives.

3:10 We have to develop a hunger for truth.

3:13 In small groups we confess our sins, we ask probing questions and read portions of scripture. We also pray for the salvation of souls of people.

3:14 If you cannot reproduce a group of 3 you will not be able to reproduce larger groups.

Dhati Lewis

3:16 If we are going to develop healthy patterns of discipleship, we must demonstrate hospitality.

3:18 In the BIble not showing hospitality received a rebuke. How can one be faithful in discipleship if one doesn't snow hospitality?

3:21 We've reduced discipleship to a conversation at Starbucks.

3:22 How are we using our house as a weapon for the Gospel?

3:22 We made a commitment to open up our home and allowed people to live with us.

3:23 We want to invite you into our lives. Everynight we teach about worldviews. We teach about money. Everyone is engaged in the Gospel.

3:23 We have to redeem all of reality.

3:25 Learning is more than just exchanging information.

3:26 Where are the laborers?

3:26 Over 50 people have come into our home.

3:27 Many members of our church are taking people into their homes without being asked.


3:30 Conference host asks the attendees to consider 3 questions.

3:40 In a video Chris Norman describes how he needed to be coached in how to build community and develop disciples.

3:44 Chris says he had previously viewed discipleship as a transfer of knowledge but now he sees discipleship as doing what Jesus did. Chris and his wife Kathy were trained by 3DM.

3:46 We are trained to grow the church instead of growing disciples.

Mike Breen - Global Team Leader of 3DM

"You are going to make fruitfulness than success your primary objective."

3:52 Breen tells the story about a man meeting someone planting trees. Ten years later the man goes back and sees the same person planting trees. Years later he goes back and sees forests and sees the same person now very old still planting new treas.

3:54 The most fruitful person in all the world was Jesus and he tells us to multiply ourselves by abiding in Jesus.

3:56 I was successful but I wasn't sure I was fruitful.

3:57 Breen encourages his listeners to leave an orchard behind.

Todd Engstrom

4:00 What do missional communities do? Practices without the word of God will set you up for failure. We have family meetings. We want our gathering to foster obedience to Jesus.

We have to carve out time at the dinner table.

4:03 We asked our people to host a dinner at their houses. Real conversation happens in real life.

4:04 Our LTG life groups: Hear from the word of God, be accountable by talking through our sin and repent, and finally consider and pray for friends and neighbors that don't know Jesus.

4:07 Obedience requires that we make time intentionally for people outside our group.

3 factors - Neutral location, natural fits into lives of people and meets regularly

4:11 Video of rapper Propaganda. If you are going to the grocery store bring someone with you. We need to see simplicity in discipleship

Caesar Kalinowski

Caesar starts clapping on stage and people join in. There is rhythm.

We need to change from additional to intentional in discipleship.

There are six rhythms:

Do we know God's story?

4:18 We starting inviting a guy to all his church's parties. Hal comes with an oxygen tank to his side and wears his army uniform. Thanked Hal for serving. This helped build their friendship.

4:22 One day Hal's feet swelled because he wasn't able to put medication on his feet. So Caesar put medicine on Hal's feet. After Hal died, Hal's son joined a Christian community because of the love shown to his dad.

Jeff Vanderstelt

4:24 Apart from Jesus you can do nothing. We will never lead anyone to Jesus unless the Holy Spirit is at work.

4:26 Jeff asked a friend to pray to God as "Dad".

4:27 How do you overcome temptation? Scripture alone will not help you overcome sin. You need the Holy Spirit and the Word.

4:29 The Holy Spirit will convict of sin. We are not required to do His job.

4:30 We must be filled, led, anointed with the Holy Spirit. Intellect alone will not save people.

4:33 Jeff tells a story of a person that hung himself and the neighbor, a weak Christian, rescued him by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4:35 If you have the Spirit in you, you can do remarkable things.

4:35 Jeff asks anyone that doesn't know the love of God to stand up so that he can pray for them.

4:37 Jeff prays.


4:39 Discipleship is face to face, shoulder to shoulder.

4:41 Video from GCM revealing its goal to have a missional group for every 1,000 people. "You are the church."

4:45 Video from Verge about people experiencing the Kingdom when we intentionally build relationships with them.

8:02 Welcome back to the Nerve Live Blog.

8:03 The Aaron Ivey Band opens with worship.

8:09 Worshippers sing, "I will not fear, His promise is true."

8:12 Lyrics come from the Bible: "I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord."

8:18 Singing praise to Jesus the great shepherd.

8:22 Singing the song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).

Jeff Vanderstelt

8:27 Everyone of you is making disciples. Are they becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ?

8:28 Jeff reads Ephesians 4:13 .

8:32 If you want people to grow up into Christ, you must speak Christ.

8:34 Jesus is the Son of God. The one who lived a perfect life. You can know that it is never your obedience that saves you.

8:35 Without the resurrection we are still in our sins. Jesus wants people with power to overcome sin today.

8:36 Do you know how to speak the Gospel to finances? Jeff says that he sees very little Jesus in what the Church teaches about finances.

8:38 People become addicts of stuff they buy and become worshipers of the marketplace.

8:38 How many single people? How many married people here?

8:39 The reason you wait until after you are married to have sex is because you want your life to show the purity of God's faithfulness.

8:40 How good is shame at preventing sin? We use shame to produce guilt. Are children doing good to avoid punishment?

8:43 Jeff tells a story about how his children have responded when they sinned and were confronted.

8:44 If we teach children to hide they will become deceivers.

8:45 Jeff prays for his kids. I want sorrow over sin not over a game.

8:46 The Bible teaches that children that rebelled against their parents deserved death but Jesus died for our sins.

8:48 If you give hope through something other than Jesus, then you are a false teacher.

8:49 When you go to work, you go to work for God.

8:50 If you are not satisified with Christ, you will never be satisfied.

8:51 Jeff teaches 4 questions.

  1. Who is God?
  2. What has he done?
  3. Who am I?
  4. What do we do?

8:54 The reality is that God is in control the whole time.

8:56 God became a man in Jesus. We have to give people Jesus in every aspect of their life.

8:57 Do people have a Jesus-centered answer to the problems they face?

8:59 When you identify to people what they worship, it is easy to introduce them to Jesus.

9:00 Jeff tells a story about a woman that he counseled. She didn't need dating advice. She didn't need another man. She needed Jesus Christ.

9:03 When you start equipping people, you help people become aware of what they didn't know. Keep helping them know that there is still more to know about Jesus.

9:04 Don't just do Bible studies. Make sure they apply what they learn.

9:06 We need to be gospel fluent people. The gospel flows out of us. Be so gospel fluent that you don't know how to give an answer that isn't related to the gospel.

9:07 "What is the question? Jesus is the answer."

9:08 Jeff ends his sermon with a prayer.

Jackie Hill - poet

9:09 Why are we here?

9:11 "What slaves of Christian business we have become."

9:12 "At the right hand of the father He is not leaving us alone."

9:12 "We must follow before we lead."

9:14 As music plays somberly people are to contemplate answers to 3 questions.

Kevin Peck

9:17 We need to practice what we already preach.

9:18 I find myself thinking about Jesus but not feeling his presence.

9:20 We can find ourselves doing things apart from God.

9:21 Lord come and search my heart for where ever I need to repent.

9:23 We are going to pray for God's power. (People form small prayer groups to pray.)

9:24 The entire life of a believer should be repentance.

9:25 We are hell-bent on independence. We need to find ourselves in state of repentance. We need to preach the gospel to our hearts.

9:27 Kevin reads the Bible story of Jesus told his disciples that had fished all night and caught to toss their net on the other side of the boat. Their own efforts brought nothing but God's way brought an abundance.

9:29 Ask God to show us where we are fishing from our ability.

9:30 (Small groups pray.)

9:36 Worshipping by sing Nothing But the Blood.

9:43 Kevin talks about Moses and how after everything he had seen there was a trend of frustration with the job he was given. Moses smashes the rock out of agitation. We know the final score in because of Jesus. We can live with confidence.

9:44 Because Christ is more powerful than the grave and sin and has offered you his joy, we can enjoy life abundantly. God is the joy.

9:46 I want to behold your glory.

9:47 (Small groups pray.)

The worship team prays.

9:51 Worshipping by sing the song All I Once Held Dear.

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die

9:58 Kevin says the Great Commission was delayed. The disciples had to wait until Pentecost. Without the power of God nothing will happen for God's sake.

10:00 God is powerful. He will not lose a single person that belongs to him.

10:01 We are going to pray that God sends his power on his church.

10:04 Worshipping by singing the song With Everything.

10:09 Worshipping by singing the song God Undefeatable.

God undefeatable, kingdom unshakeable
In majesty and power You reign
Love undeniable, matchless and bountiful
To waken us to life You came
You came

10:12 - Closing prayer.

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