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The Priority of the Gospel
Canadian Gospel Coalition Conference

May 29-31, 2012

Workshops: Titles, Leaders and Summaries

B01. The Gospel in the Prayerbook of the First Century Church – David Barker

What did the first century church sing and pray? How did those songs and prayers inform their understanding of the gospel? How does this speak to us as the twenty-first century church, and our understanding of the gospel? This workshop will explore the place and message of the Book of Psalms for the church, both then and now, in how it comprehends and proclaims the gospel.

B02. Defending the Gospel in a Pluralistic Culture, Part 1 – Joe Boot

We live in an era of state sponsored polytheism and inhabit a culture dominated by philosophical pluralism. We are consistently told we live in a multi-cultural society and many Christians now question the very validity or legality of Christian apologetics. Is the defense of the gospel still our priority? How are we to understand the times? How can we face the challenge of the moment and respond authentically in justifying biblical faith in the market place of ideas with gentleness and respect? These and other critical challenges will be addressed in this two-part seminar, which shows that we can never separate the defense and proclamation of the gospel.

B03. Defending the Gospel in a Pluralistic Culture, Part 2 – Joe Boot

See B02 description.

C04. The Gospel and the Contemporary Family – Dennis Campbell

The contemporary family is going through radical redefinition as our society and churches increasingly move away from defining and building families on a gospel-centered framework. This seminar will seek to address some of the redefinitions by examining God's gospel purposes in family life.

C05. The Next Story: Living the Christian Faith in a Digital Age – Tim Challies

The world has changed. We are now a digital people living in a digital world and even the least technical of us is surrounded on all sides by gizmos and gadgets. Some of us embrace it all while others try to run away. Between the two is the sweet spot of digital discernment, where we live with virtue in this kind of a world.

C06. The Challenge of Establishing Thriving Gospel Centered Churches in the Inner City – Dwayne Cline

For decades most of our Canadian churches have fled the complexities of the urban core. As many of our inner cities attracted both the elite of our country and some of the most impoverished and neglected people in Canada, many congregations moved to the suburbs. However, the art gallery, stadium, city hall, business district, courthouse, university and hospitals are all found in our urban areas. The city has become an intricate place where our politicians, athletes, artists, immigrants, refugees, wealthy, welfare poor, working poor and students live. In many of our Canadian cities, the most densely populated areas are left with little gospel light. There is, however a remaining remnant combined with a growing interest from an emerging younger generation longing to reach the urban core. This workshop will discuss biblical principles for establishing works in our urban cores again and look at various models that are emerging to reach the inner city.

D07. Sharing the Gospel in a Yoga Saturated Culture – Benji Devadason

YOGA is a very popular program in the west. Even churches are buying into it. What is it? Can a Christian practice yoga? Can yoga be redeemed for Christ? This informative workshop will answer all these questions and give you the biblical antidote for a stressed out culture that is seeking to find peace, happiness and health through yoga.

F08. A Model for Mentoring Volunteer Leaders in the Congregation – Lane Fusilier

Congregations that are effective have fully-engaged volunteer leaders. Pastors can help their continual growth and development. At Philpott Memorial Church in Hamilton, volunteer ministry leaders are challenged to participate in the "Servant Formation Pathway", a group of nine to thirteen adults who meet monthly for deepening in the Word and in biblical theology, and are given a deeper understanding of their own calling, gifting, and temperament. This is done in such a way that their volunteer ministry continues throughout the process. The outcome intended is a cohesive leadership team, a deepening walk with Christ, and a habit of life-long learning.

F09. The Gospel and the Arts – Lane Fusilier

The gospel always has a context. The appreciation of beauty and the meaning of human existence are all bundled up in life. Once a congregation understands those concepts, the arts can become a profound medium for worship and for outreach. At Philpott Memorial Church in Hamilton, the arts have become a means of communicating the gospel in worship and a means of engaging our unbelieving friends who have a fascination for the arts. Christians who are gifted artistically have come to play a significant role in both.

H10. The Gospel Centered Century: Being Evangelical and Canadian in the 20th Century – Michael Haykin

19th century Canada was filled with Gospel-centered churches—Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Brethren, and others. This session looks at the common core of Evangelical convictions that shaped Canadian life and culture in this century, and draws lessons for the present day.

H11. The Center Cannot Hold: Evangelical Collapse and Recovery in the 20th Century – Michael Haykin

Canadian Evangelicalism saw massive collapse in the first decades of the 20th century under the weight of the modern world, and then from the 1960s onwards a certain measure of gospel recovery. What lessons can we learn from this story for the century before us?

K12. Praying Scripture: The Secret of Powerful Intercession – Tim Kerr

It has been said that church marches forward on its knees. Yet prayer is the very area in which many believers feel defeated. We often lack a sense of faith and direction in our praying. Answered prayers can be rare rather than the norm. As a result, prayer meetings are strangely missing from many churches, and often poorly attended in churches that do have them. This seminar is intended to provide a biblical solution that can powerfully change the way the church intercedes for the mission of the church.

K13. How the Priority of the Gospel Leads us to Plant (and Replant) Churches in Canada – Connan Kublik

Church membership, attendance, and even the number of healthy churches are declining in Canada. However, the hope and power of the gospel leads us to engage in establishing churches that are strongly committed to the gospel message, and to the people and communities in which they find themselves.

M14. Mixing Whites & Colours Without Making them Run: Building Gospel Centered, Internationally Multicultural Churches – John Mahaffey

The immigration patterns in Canada and the United States for the past 30 years have dramatically changed the demographics of major urban centers. Some local churches have responded to this new reality by withdrawing and attempting to maintain culturally comfortable Christian fellowships or by supporting the development of "ethno-specific” churches. This workshop will address the challenges that racially, ethnically and culturally mixed communities present for local churches. Particular focus will be placed on how our belief in and application of the truth of the gospel can guide us in the building of intentionally multicultural churches.

T15. Developing the Next Generation of Gospel Centered Leaders – Godfrey Thorogood

Why should we invest in young leaders? How do we equip the next generation of leaders? What do we need to do to ensure their ministry and leadership is centered on the gospel? How do we help them stay strong and go long in the gospel ministry? Join Godfrey Thorogood as he communicates lessons learned and practiced which will help each of us equip the next generation of gospel-centered leaders.

Z16. The Gospel and the Story – Andrew Zantingh

The Gospel of Jesus doesn't stand alone as propositional truth; nor does the Good News about Jesus have any context for meaning told by itself. The meaning and truth of the gospel can only be understood in the context of the single story of the drama told in the Bible. Many disciples of Jesus know only bits and pieces of the story. Many disciples only have never heard the story told as one story. In this workshop, we will help equip you to tell the story of the Bible through the unifying lenses of gospel and mission.