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Learning to Love God’s Word

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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September 4, 2020 2:00 am

Learning to Love God’s Word

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 4, 2020 2:00 am

Pastor Kennon Vaughan talks with Dave and Ann Wilson about his passion for studying the Word of God. He shares what influenced him to start Downline Ministries, a disciple-making ministry, and explains how anyone can get involved in this nine-month study online. Kennon reminds listeners that biblical training is for all people, not just pastors, and will help those who are already believers grow in spiritual maturity and fall more deeply in love with Jesus.

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When God changes a person's life.

He gives that person an assignment on new mission something to do. Here's Pastor Kevin born. I think of second Corinthians 5 anyone is in Christ is a new creation the old is gone, the new has come. All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation is just sad to me that somehow there's a dog worse in our churches, and of folks that believe I'm saved. In the end of my salvation was having word of encouragement on Sunday that would get me through my this is family life today hosts are Dave and Anna Wilson and Bob Payne can find us What does it look like for you to live life on mission God. You need a little equipping a little training to figure that out. Talk more about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us.

You been a pastor for many decades now 3+ decades. Ryan, if three and as a pastor, would you say people in your church are more prone to want to study and go deep in God's word no to want to live mission lead do evangelism and discipleship. Yes, that's how the more prone by me. I get on the and very sorta.

This thesis right but yeah I mean we are a church of action and I think it's sort of an expression of my top gift is pride evangelist. We always say we start our church with a go ape and apostle of profit and evangelizing and apostle meeting that you know a self-starter was take this mountain a prophet who sorta said here's what God said to us in and so I'm the guy that when I preach him always asking so what you know what we can do at this and obviously want to go deep biblically run want to go deep in Scripture, but I'm always going that when I think the personality is sort of followed that in our church and I bet you that I pastor I I'm a pastor. I think our church is probably grown more in the other direction.

Let's study unknown. Let's get deep and we probably need a little more prodding I probably need to do a little more prodding as a pastor and and draw the net and bring the application home when I do the Sunday afternoon debriefing with my wife about the sermon sheet she will say you could've given some more concrete examples. Here are some action points here because I I love the abstraction and the it's harder for me to get to the practical side of things and I think people will lean in one direction or another and yet both are really important were called to both you need a balance yeah we we got up another pastor who's joining us today on family life to a from nearby Memphis Tennessee were here in Little Rock. Kevin Vaughn is joining us from Memphis. Welcome pastor, thank you.

Enjoy beer Kevin Vaughn is the pastor of harvest church in Memphis and also gives leadership to a ministry called downline that our church has been involved with and help support explained to listeners what downlines all about because I think it touches on both of the things we been talking about here. Absolutely that's a great introduction for downline downline is a ministry I committed to equipping believers just as Ephesians 4 for the work of the ministry for the work of making disciples, and really the primary vehicle by which we do that is a nine month institutes without the downline Institute. We are just as you guys have talked about. We are equipping people the word of God. We literally start the nine months in Genesis 1 we closed the book in rev. 20 to 9 months later and as we go, which is a rich gospel centered study in God's word. We are also bringing practical evangelism and discipleship training throughout. So we are hoping to infuse Accommodation with your, deeper passion for God through his word deep understanding of his word to be nourished by his word and at the same time to be inspired and equipped to run heartily on the great commission that Jesus is invite us and do you lean one direction or the other, not even as our talk and I was thinking you might ask me that you not that I really believe, probably through my experience which is been with some men who who are so strong in each that I will love to study God's word. I may maybe that's my lien, but I'm so enamored with the great commission and wrapping my life around it. Every second every day what that looks like that I don't know what I will hello how to parse out which one I leaned the mean those are just two great passions. God's word, making disciples when you started it downline were you starting at for the people in your church know if the time I was not pastoring I was.

I was actually in seminary. Howard Hendricks was one of my greatest heroes and mentors at Dallas seminary and I would pick his brain every Friday lunch and I did notice about the guys around me that were also students and friends of mine.

They were always talking about church leadership in preaching. I was always talking to prof about disciple making it just seemed to me that over the 50 years he had been a prophet. He'd been even more. A disciple maker. He was so relationally vested in his students in the influence it was was so paramount in church leadership in American Christendom of our day because of the depth he went with the students and I got the privilege of being one of those in and in my conversation with him. The Lord begin to stir in me, just a deep desire to see a fit. It's fair to say a restoration of biblical discipleship in and through the local church.

So do not know what that would look like. I figured I might be like a discipleship guy on a staff at a church in a but the Lord just slowly but surely gave me a vision for what we just described a nine month this do that would take leaders from churches and started Memphis and was all part of the process of I was talking to pastors as I was in seminary and learning from profit and asking a lot of questions at the local level at local church level Memphis and pastors were saying there was not a great strength, at least in their churches, even elders, even pastors later. Knowing how to intentionally invest life on life in a biblical disciple making pattern that and see that going on fundamentally in the church. It was the exception. It wasn't the norm. And so my heart was that this Institute we created would allow churches to send leaders and leaders, meaning lately later lately alien will absolutely both it was formed for. It was a is a lay Institute but we have about 60 church partners in Memphis in and so many of them have sent staff there. We fed we probably have 15 senior pastors go through by for the joy of the learning and to be with their people, but it it's geared for laypeople and some come stage I of the Bible that I've never really understood how to put God's word together other skunk is a cohabiting church. 30 years are great sermons but have not had to make a disciple and so wherever you're coming from.

The invitation is hey come be equipped to participate wholeheartedly in response to the gospel in the great commission and part of that equipping has to be it it it coincidentally has to be the word of God and so that's primarily what we use to hopefully make you ready inspired equipped for the work having a census again as I listen to this event and every one of our staff members.

This should be orientation. So what's it look like a man if I was saying that to our staff you're going through the downline program. How do they do it they go online downline and may apply for the S2, which, therefore, live institutes, and there is one here Little Rock.

There's one in Conway in Southwest Georgia and Memphis and those locations are noted on the website but we also have an opportunity this year which is very unique. The challenge of the pandemic unveiled an opportunity and the challenge of keeping our students in all of our locations engaged with our teachers who you know and we are limited in our space and our our ability to meet.

We use the zoom application to continue our classes March through May and in doing so.

Folks always want to invite their friends.

Let's put out something on social media.

Let's invite folks to come study Ephesians with us and we kept doing this and I mean it spread it really multiplied and so in the off-season. That's our summer, we cannot revamp and re-gear up, then set the counter for the next year we said there's a great pause right now. Globally, there is this messing with people's lives there vocations. Ron Paul's and everybody's in a different situation. But how can we steward the balls for the sake of kingdom impact and so we said let's offer a lifestream version year. Maybe that will always perceive this way.

Or maybe it's a unique opportunity will see how this goes but were opening it up or anyone with a good Internet connection worldwide can go through the Institute with us. So now there's a tab even as of today, as were talking. There's a tab is been created that just says downline online and so that's where you would click and we would someone will contact you and just give you the details, which are generally making sure you understand that from the moment we begin this should be September 14 will go through mid-May. We meet together four hours a week we meet Monday night, 630 to 830 in this essential time and we meet Wednesday morning 545 to 745 and the scout worked around your your general 8 to 5 schedule of of a many of the folks to go through as we mentioned probably lay men and lay women and we have everything is is is taped and if you miss a class because you have to of its family crisis work emergency you have a link in your just responsible to listen or watch and catch up before next class.

545 central time is 345 out of Darius coast. You have to be really hungry to catch it. On the nonliterate backside either exam.

You know it is not really here's the only assignment week we do together we memorize a passage of Scripture each month and you got accountability partner.

We have some time in class were you're in just hiding God's word in your heart.

Hopefully that becoming a pattern for their life. And then the other thing that you required to do is you that are read, teach, and we have instruction why this would make sense if you went through. We have our Bible teaching are practical discipleship, teaching, and then we have some of our spiritual life teaching which is her beautiful manhood biblical womanhood and so you cannot pick one track and you have to read teach that track as your learning. So some folks who in the world by teaching that that's the greatest place to start of so many people have been a learner for so long without ever, crossing the threshold of seeing themselves pouring in the someone else and again many are intimidated by that prospect. Many would would say no matter how much Bible they receive. They just don't know enough and profit. You should always tell me the hardest part is just starting just just been committed being willing to invite someone to follow you as you follow Christ invite them into this you left Tyler to such, but in your letter know you're really studying about.

We love to share what you're learning with talent and he says the reason people never get good at making disciples as they never start that your assignment you're going to begin an interview with a daughter or son has this absolutely be the first one I have a lot of spouses that learn in kids and not worse Oregon. Many of these folks talk to the pastoral staff.

It's a work I be teaching this may be a small group or class or one-on-one relationship, but that is the key assignment each week you got your classes and every time you're sitting down and you're now taking what is been invested in you and your pouring in the someone else in the context of relationship. I'm imagining blisters having one of three responses to what they're hearing you describe. There's some group of listeners who would say I have been looking for something like this. This itch has been in me. I want to go deeper into God's word. I want to get more active and more involved. I that's a lot of people I there's a lot of winning a lot of my friends are saying I'm not going to send anything. I'm learning I'm thinking deep into God's way. I think there's a second group that goes. This sounds really good but I mean how to how to even think about fitting this in to everything else that's going on. Life is crazy. I just don't have space in my life. And then there's 1/3 group that's kind like I think this is probably good for those really you know kind of the Green Beret Christians there to lend a IL-18 if this is not the what the average Christian should do this is what the super Christian Jeff if it would be okay. I love to address all three yeah, you have the first category of hay at this sounds great.

I got even one string seminary, big famous and rented a Masters at Dallas edited Dr. Gordon Connell.

I was in similar seven years and because I love to study God's word and all things related. It was a joy so I have nothing but encouragement for someone feeling led to go sooner. I do lament historically that so much of the reason discipleship lacks in the church is because of the creation of the institution of the seminary in my own research and in doing a doctorate in discipleship in the church. There is a part of me that grieves that we merely outsourced to seminaries that which is given as responsibly the church so again I'm a huge fan of seminary, but I would say I always say to any part of a layperson for me.

One year of downline is about the same equivalent for me is 2 and seven years in similar thing. The first class I took was like Ruth in the minor prophets and I figure out later work fit in, but to start in Genesis and really walk through and we go exegetical.

He threw about 70% of God's word with overviews over the other parts and it's so rich to see the way it all fits together. You will have handles on God's word that helps you to be a student work and should you go to seminary. From there, this will do nothing but create and undergirding a foundation by which now you can learn in a far more accelerated your understanding will be so much exponentially greater if you had downline as a foundation before you and seminary so this is either pre-seminary or it might wind up being exactly what you need me and never need to go to set a min subcategory one that that's it. Let me say this when you diving exegetical he. But you're also pulling back 30,000 feet and is an occasion to not only get the book of Genesis you can understand the whole thing because so many people in our church and most churches like I'm intimidated by this book. I don't even understand how to office get a they're not gonna feel that way when they're done now. This is such a joy for me just to share because I've had the chance. He 3000 people in my city go through this. From 60 different churches and that's a lot of feedback, we gather in the number one thing that everyone you were talking somewhere near 100% of students of said is felt more love Jesus we always get that and then secondly I know my Bible and just the intimidation of where I began. How can I possibly I have to go to seminary know if we start with an overview of the entire Bible and then we go back and we walk you right through it and then we can begin with the overview two reasons. People always tell me they don't make disciples.

In my years of being in this field of a discipleship ministry is number one I don't really know what that means and number two I don't know my Bible well enough had been assuming no formal theological training. If you go through downline. Those two fears are title waived with a gospel excitement that is cool I mean I know last year in our church. We and I brought it to our team on Mike let's do a Bible overview series yeah and you know I'm doing the Old Testament week one in 30 minutes for Genesis to Malachi 10 I got I was great and I had images and walked to the whole timeline and that was great right it right and I like nobody's can remember this in a six and they didn't did New Testament next week in 30 minutes you know that's right. It's like this is helpful, but you and people here with you since I will way I would put this kind of time in a week. And guess what, it can be worth it because he is going to be an investment that you can actually remember and that was one of Bob's three categories to hoarseness as that sounds awesome. How could I I'll know how you know I'm speaking to people in some different context and walks of life and in a may not be the year for someone to do, but I would say if there is a something stirring in your belly like all wish I could I just say this if you find a way to commit that time the Lord mishap.

This is too important not to do if there's this opportunity and it's now and I don't know the on what's more important in prof industries Dolly safe or too busy to to make disciples of drought include being equipment disciples then were too busy right so is it worth considering carving back something is there something that could be given over as a stewardship of the gospel in lieu of getting this training that has been, for whatever reason lacking in your life and ounces of this. If you begin had just about can promise you. So this is out in the said this in your 12 or maybe even five of 15 years in over 5000 people trained 3000 and in the community on the part of no one is ever begun in two or three weeks their hairs on fire coming there going. This is the greatest thing I've ever done. So if they began they will find ways from that from that point to continue to contest get admin sample list and just see if God doesn't stir sense what I was say and you start to go. I was I was doing this, but that's really not as important.

I believe your hunger for this is gonna grow RI what about the person who goes with this is for those really got super Christian. Yes, this is Best Buy. The biggest question in that. That's where I would even from a typical theological grid just push back gently.

The site that's the very problem in our church today is that we have the mindset that biblical training for the purpose of making disciples would be for the super Christian or for the clergy or for the pastor and not for all of us there in lies the entire idea of the sleeping army that is the church and from warnings we get in Scripture not to remain in the maturity Hebrews and Colossians to the idea that Christ even Matthew Forney called the sub follow me that the very first sentence and I will make you fishers of men. I think of second Corinthians 5 if anyone is in Christ is a new creation the old is gone, the new has come. All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation is just sad to me that somehow there's a divorce in our churches. It is folks that believe I'm saved. In the end of my salvation was me having word of encouragement on Sunday that would get me through my week versus the invitation which Christ gives to the great commission that his Holy Spirit will empower us for something that he's called us to. When he called us to new life in Christ. It's part and parcel to our salvation, our sanctification, the ministries give us that's the joy of our salvation, and so I would love to just kinda speak heartily to the person St. St. that's not a biblical idea that this is for the super Christian it's for the Christ follower.

The gift given us the stewardship of our salvation. Paul in Romans 12 how to respond to the mercy of God given me and salvation are respond and surrender our spot my life. It present my body as a living sacrifice, this my spiritual act of worship. The gospel compels us to lay hold of the ministry we been given Canon year passion spills out of every pore in your body from God's word and discipleship. I mean, it's cool to see this.

What is this look like in your home you got five signs like, how do you transfer that into your home. Yes, my wife Catherine I five boys, Caleb, Luke, Jonathan and David and Matt were for Maccabee now is whether narrating the biblical names and Mike met my favorite historical fiction is my glorious brothers Howard fast is the story of the Maccabees and that was a Jewish family. I'm Jewish and it was a fell family five boys and so to me.

Stars aligned and we used to juggle you for ordering an iMac and pray that God would use them to restore his people to himself. Go back to what Bob said for the person that thinks is to the super Christian. Another way to deconstruct that argument is the idea that there is no super Christian is going to disciple your children.

That is the privilege and stewardship. God has given you, if for no other reason I would and whether it's downline or some other way to be intentional about equipping yourself with the word of God would be to intentionally disciple your own children and a boy. This is a area extremely passionate about it used to house look in our house looking through the that the broad strokes in the specifics, but broadly it exist intentionally that my wife and I understand a word I can do perfectly, but we want to go down swinging wheat we don't want to be passive in this pursuit. We don't want to let life happen at such a rapid click there were going to bed at night, having not made intentional spiritual investments in our kids so we have a morning devotional when we all gather at the table and that's done in some time. It's a little lax because the nonschool was done before school in and of course the boys are generally school at extracurriculars there involved with in the evenings we gather again in and out. We have a time where we are reading God's word. We are also reading other great works. Spiritual works that we can enjoy discuss at their level with them and then the last thing I do in the evenings. This I just lay down with my boys. It's been so fond on the since my oldest son was three, four years old had no idea what he would do. He was kneeling next to me and he'd hear me pray. Indeed, jibber jabber something out there and we just kept going every night and now truly fun because there's five kneeling next to me and I love to hear the older spray. Knowing how that's even shaping the theology of the youngers, but we start the day in God's word.

We in the day in God's word and we try to have this like Deuteronomy 6. As we try to have spiritual conversations interjecting a biblical worldview Scripture scriptural perspective into the things happening in their lives. The trials and tribulations that the letdowns and disappointments. The great victories and celebrations. My 11-year-old son's birthday lunch, which is one of her traditions always asked him a few questions and and they love it and one of things is a water your great hopes for this year and he was talking about what his hopes were in.

And of course he most of his metrics were had to do with baseball statistics and those kind of things and so I was trying to bring it back down to a more maybe rich root of wording or growing friendship with one of his brothers, in particular those kinds of things and and he was even saying to me that he's been convicted especially in regards to one of his brothers that he and he does not really have a closeness with that brother that he has with the other ones and you somehow had a have that how can I possibly pursue that with her younger brother and what is that look like dad and so all of a sudden I'm in the shepherding role in discipling him how to pursue real authentic friendship with her dear brother, that you're going to have the rest your life so it's it's having space, creating space for spiritual conversations and being intentional with the we got a link on our and there is information available there about downline ministries and about how people can register for the upcoming nine months of downline ministry there is a special savings available to family like today listers. In fact, you can use the word family life as a keycode and save substantially on the on the cost of the downline program. It starts in about a week and 1/2.

So find out today more about downline go to family life to and a Canon. Thank you. Thanks for being here. Thanks for letting us let our listeners know about this.

I hope that a lot of our listers will just say I've had this desired.

Now I've got a way I can scratch this is when I was sitting there. I smile because I'm thinking of so many people are biblically illiterate in our churches, their followers of Christ. They just really don't on some of his it's not their fault by the lead times that they have done the homework and I'm thinking you guys in the NFL for 33 years as a chaplain. If you did not know your playbook.

Your your gone. You're not in this locker, miming their quizzes on every flight to every game about the game plan. If you failed you don't suit up and I thought why we think it's a different that when I can be kicked out of the league. We don't know the Bible but I want to be a workman of the word, and here's an opportunity to say it's that simple. Sign up, get it done and then you can be in a different place right from beginning to end. You said their hair is on fire.

I can, it's an absolute transformative nine months.

I can promise you that gun.

Thanks again. Again, I hope our listers go to our website. Family life to Click on the link for downline ministries this semester starts here on September 14.

You can sign up online. Use the keycode family life. When you sign up and you can save some money on downline this year and I hope this is the biggest year of impact in ministry you've ever had is people from all around the world.

Get connected with downline then get up a biblical and theological education and at the same time start learning how to connect with friends and family members and evangelizing disciple and share your faith and this is the perfect time.

You know what's going on in our culture right now. What's going on in our world. This is the time to say let's do something significant for the kingdom go to family life for more information about downline ministries.

If you have any questions, give us a call at one 800 FL today and we look forward to hearing from you about your experience with downline and we want to say happy anniversary today to a couple who are celebrating 60 years of marriage together today, William and Sandra Robertson got married on this day in 1960 she was a mathematician at Cape Canaveral.

He was an Air Force pilot. Happy anniversary to the Robertsons and congratulations on 60 years of marriage had quite a milestone and with that, we gotta wrap things up for today. Thanks for joining us. Hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able in some way to worship with your local church this weekend and I hope you can join us back on Monday when we're going to revisit the Detroit Lions locker room from a number of years ago when Dave Wilson was still a chaplain for the liens and the team wasn't doing great on the field but in the locker room, God was at work and will visit with three Lions players in here about what God was doing get together on Monday. Hope you join us for that think our engineer today links on the entire team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson and Bob Payne will see you back Monday for another edition of family family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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