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Tim Keller Article Notes — “Only Believers or Disciples?”

In an article for Redeemer’s January 2011 newsletter, Tim Keller discusses the importance of his church having “a broad base of the well-taught in the Word of God” in order to serve and love New York City (Derek Kidner, The Message of Jeremiah, p. 97). Some parts of the article that I found interesting and/or encouraging:

  1. The call for us to be not passive believers but active disciples: “Jesus called his apostles to go into all the world, to evangelize and baptize, and the ultimate goal was to produce not merely converts but disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). The word “disciple” is packed with meaning, but it is clear from the New Testament that it meant, first and foremost, students of Jesus. They followed him and learned from him (Luke 10:38-42). Second, it meant putting allegiance to Jesus first in your life (Mark 1:16-20). Lastly, it meant to be a man or woman in mission, sent into the world to minister both in word (Luke 10:1-20) and in deed (Luke 10:25-37), both sharing your faith and loving your neighbor (Tim Keller, January 2011 Newsletter).
  2. Some advantages and disadvantages to both large and small churches.
  3. An explanation of why the Presbyterian form of church government uses both ministry professionals and laymen as elders.
  4. Finally,  Keller references Redeemer’s current transition to a collegiate model of church organization — essentially, they are seeking to “de-megachurch” themselves into four distinct congregations throughout Manhattan. There are a multitude of benefits to this move, my favorite of which is the creation of a much greater need for leadership; instead of having one central office that oversees all of the work that Redeemer does (and that is primarily staffed with paid professionals), Redeemer’s four congregations will each need to be staffed according to the needs of their respective neighborhoods. This will create a greater need for lay leadership, which means more Redeemerites will be pulled into the essential work of the church out of sheer necessity.
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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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