March 31, 2012 by
Registration for Together for the Gospel 2012 closes tonight at midnight. There won't be on-site registration available, so if you'd like to attend the conference, register now before it's too late.
March 30, 2012 by
If you haven't registered for Next 2012 yet, note that the registration cost goes up beginning April 1. Register now to get the early bird pricing.
For information on the conference, including speakers and topics, visit www.ThisisNext.org. You can also check out C.J. Mahaney's blog for interviews with speakers Matt Chandler and Kevin DeYoung, or watch the video below to learn why he's excited about having them teach at the conference.
March 27, 2012 by
Hymns have been used by the church for centuries and are a type of congregational song we still benefit from today. Using hymns as a means to proclaim God’s greatness in the gospel is the primary aim of Sovereign Grace Music’s newest album release, From Age to Age, which combines traditional hymn structures with new lyrics and melodies.
The 14 songs on the album originated in a variety of ways. Some are old lyrics set to new tunes, while others are simply inspired by hymns of the past. A number of songs are completely new but seek to reflect our appreciation for the theologically rich heritage of hymns.
You can pre-order the MP3 album through Bandcamp from March 27 to April 10 for only $5. You’ll be able to download “Oh, My Soul, Arise” at the time of purchase. On April 10, the official release date, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the entire album.
At that time, the album will become available on Amazon, iTunes, and the Sovereign Grace Store, and the Bandcamp price will increase to $9.
Check out the pre-order deal on Bandcamp, and be on the lookout for From Age to Age when it makes its full debut on April 10.
For more information about Sovereign Grace Music, visit www.SovereignGraceMusic.org or subscribe to their YouTube or Vimeo channels.
March 23, 2012 by
Our 2012 Pastors Conference is coming up October 30–November 1 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. At this venue we'll have hotel rooms, restaurants, and meeting rooms all under one roof, which we hope will maximize the fellowship pastors share together. The first session will be Tuesday evening, and the last session will be Thursday evening.
Each year, the Pastors Conference provides a great opportunity for pastors to be encouraged and for those who are newer to Sovereign Grace Ministries to meet our pastors and better understand our values. Registration is not yet open, but please mark your calendars for this event! If you want to get a feel for what the conference will be like, listen to sermon audio from last year's conference.
March 23, 2012 by
The new Sovereign Grace Ministries Board of Directors met this Wednesday. We devoted most of our time to getting an update and overview of the state of SGM and established two immediate priorities for the coming year.
First, we decided to create a polity committee to consist of two members of the Board, two members of the Leadership Team (including C.J. Mahaney, who will chair the committee), and at least three Sovereign Grace pastors not on the Board. This committee will pick up the work that has already been done on polity and develop it to give better definition to the ministry, to how SGM as a ministry relates to pastors and their churches, and to policies and procedures for making decisions and selecting leaders. We are tasking this committee to solicit a broad range of views within SGM regarding how we are governed and how we define our connections between churches and the ministry. Once the committee’s work is done, they will submit it to the Board for review, amendment, and approval. The resulting governance and our partnership agreements will then be presented to Sovereign Grace pastors for their review. We decided, at least for the present, not to set a deadline for the committee’s work to be completed but do want this to be a top priority for our development as a ministry.
Second, we expect to receive the Ambassadors of Reconciliation report in the coming two weeks. We plan to begin discussing the report on a retreat in Louisville April 9 & 10 and then to make plans for responding.
This Board will operate differently from the interim Board. We will not involve ourselves in day-to-day ministry decisions and communication. Our priorities are appointment and evaluation of the Leadership Team, broad evaluation and strategy for the ministry, advising the Leadership Team on key concerns, and providing accountability to the Leadership Team regarding doctrine, finances, and governance. Our primary interactions, therefore, will be with Leadership Team members and others who can inform us about the ministry and counsel us regarding decisions.
It is customary to end messages like this asking for prayer, but this request is more than customary. This new Board is aware of the significant responsibilities we carry for the future of SGM. Please pray for us and more importantly, please pray for this family of local churches and your own local church so that we can—individually and connected together—plant and build local churches that proclaim the gospel and bring praise to our Lord.
Over the past several years, Sovereign Grace Ministries has developed relationships with a few pastors in the Dominican Republic. This includes Miguel Núñez, who leads a church in Santo Domingo. Miguel and the ministry he leads are featured in the video below, which is the second film we featured as part of our 2011 Mission Fund presentation.
The video ends with an overview from Dave Harvey of the many other ways in which God has been faithful to work through this family of churches in 2011. If you're a member of a Sovereign Grace church, thank you for the sacrificial service in your church, as well as your financial support, that have made much of this work possible. For more about how the Mission Fund money is spent, or to give a gift, you can visit the Mission Fund overview page.
March 19, 2012 by
Below is an announcement from the interim Board.
This week a new Board of Directors will be installed to replace the interim Board that has led Sovereign Grace Ministries since July 2011. The interim Board’s purpose was largely restricted to overseeing the adjudication of charges brought by a former leader—a process that we completed in January 2012—as well as initiating a broad review of SGM. This new Board will serve by providing ongoing governance of the ministry.
The membership of the new Board reflects certain structural changes that had been underway from 2010 but were postponed with the installment of the interim Board. These changes are primarily designed to increase the Board’s accountability and the participation of Sovereign Grace pastors while maintaining fidelity to our bylaws. Most notably, a majority of members of the new Board are pastors in Sovereign Grace churches rather than full- or part-time staff of SGM. They also meet other criteria: each has more than five years of pastoral experience; is endorsed by his local team for his character, gifts, and ability to work well in plurality; has a proven ability to reason biblically in various circumstances; has strategic and problem-solving gifts; and is committed to our mission to plant and care for churches.
You can read more about the new Board members, listed below, at the end of this post.
- Ron Boomsma
Sovereign Grace Church of Pasadena
- Paul Buckley
King of Grace Church
- Craig Cabaniss
- Mickey Connolly
CrossWay Community Church
- John Loftness
Solid Rock Church
- Ian McConnell
Grace Bible Church
- Ken Mellinger
Living Hope Church
- Al Pino
Palm Vista Community Church
Miami Lakes, FL
- Phil Sasser
Sovereign Grace Church
Each of these men was nominated by the interim Board, approved for service by their local pastoral teams, and then affirmed through a feedback process open to all ordained pastors of Sovereign Grace churches. The interim Board also gave careful consideration to comments pastors sent to us about the process and the timing of the process chosen by the Board. We concluded that implementing changes in our governance, including the process for choosing SGM leaders, should be the responsibility of this new Board.
The new Board begins its work this week. A top priority will be addressing changes in SGM’s governance, which will include participation from a broad spectrum of Sovereign Grace pastors.
Please pray for these men, the ministry, and our future. God has blessed Sovereign Grace churches and used SGM to do much good in our short 30-year history. Our hope and prayer is that God will use this new Board to lead us into a future of even greater fruitfulness as we seek to plant and build local churches through the gospel to the glory and praise of God.
Ron Boomsma moved from the Midwest to California in 1990 to work at The U.S. Center of World Missions, which reflected Ron’s heart to see people reached with the gospel. He became a member of Sovereign Grace Church of Pasadena in 1991 and joined the leadership team in 1997, eventually becoming senior pastor in 1999. In keeping with Ron's heart to reach people with the gospel, Sovereign Grace Church of Pasadena has planted churches in San Diego, Kansas City, and Orange County. He is currently pursuing ongoing education at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Paul Buckley has a PhD in material science and an M.S. in material engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He has served in pastoral ministry for eleven years. For the last ten years he has served as the founding pastor of King of Grace Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Being in the Boston area Paul has had opportunity to teach at Gordon Conwell Seminary and serve as a pastoral mentor for M.Div. students.
Craig Cabaniss has a B.A. In Religion from Baylor University and an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has served in pastoral ministry in SGM for 22 years. He has planted churches in San Diego, California, and Frisco, Texas where he currently serves as the lead pastor. He serves as an SGM regional leader with the churches in Texas. He has taught a Systematic Theology course in the Pastors College since 2004.
Mickey Connolly has served in pastoral ministry for 26 years and has a B.S. from the University of Maryland. He served as senior pastor at Solid Rock Church in Riverdale, Maryland, from 1989-96 and then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to serve CrossWay Community Church. Since 2002 he has served as senior pastor. Mickey serves SGM as their regional representative in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In addition he has taught various courses at the Pastors College since its inception in 1999.
John Loftness received a B.A. from Houghton College in 1978 and has studied extensively at the Masters degree level at Fuller Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He began his career as a pastor in 1981 when he joined the staff at Covenant Life Church. Over the years has served in a variety of roles in local churches and in SGM, primarily as a pastor. From 1990-2007 he served exclusively at Covenant Life. In 2007, John left Covenant Life to become the senior pastor of Solid Rock Church in Riverdale, Maryland.
Ian McConnell has an M.A. in pastoral theology from Bob Jones Seminary and has twelve years of pastoral ministry experience. Ian replanted Grace Bible Church in northeast Philadelphia in 2005 where he continues to serve as lead pastor.
Ken Mellinger has been a part of SGM since its inception and has 20 years of pastoral ministry experience. He has served as senior pastor of Living Hope Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania since 1993.
Al Pino has an M.A. in theology from Reformed Theological Seminary and has served in pastoral ministry for the past 27 years. For the last 15 years he has served as the founding pastor of Palm Vista Church in Miami Lakes, Florida. He had been approved for a PCA church plant in Miami but was then introduced to SGM through Larry Malament in 1994. Al also serves SGM in the Caribbean, currently working in Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Phil Sasser has more than 30 years experience in pastoral ministry. He also has a B.S. from Ohio State University and has completed graduate work at Ashland Theological Seminary. Before joining SGM, Phil served as an elder in an independent charismatic church in Ohio from 1976-89. Since 1994 he has served on the pastoral team of Sovereign Grace Church in Apex, North Carolina, where he became senior pastor 2001. Phil has taught apologetics at the Pastors College since 1999 and will teach a course on Christian ethics this coming year.
March 15, 2012 by
Categories: Books | Resources
The Gospel Story for Kids is a new church and family curriculum designed to help ground children in the gospel through using Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation, all in the ESV translation. The program is designed by Marty Machowski, a family life pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
This group of resources includes elements for church children’s ministry settings as well as for families:
- The Gospel Story for Kids Sunday school curriculum, which is being rolled out now and is already being used in over 200 churches, includes 156 stories (78 Old Testament and 78 New Testament) as well activities, coloring pages, and Scripture memory verses.
- The Gospel Story Bible is an illustrated children’s storybook Bible that can be used both in the Sunday school classroom and at home.
- Two family-friendly devotionals, Long Story Short and Old Story New, are great for using at home.
The goal of this program is ultimately to teach children the Bible while helping them to catch a glimpse of the gospel in each story. It is designed so that children who begin the program at age three will be able to complete the gospel story from Genesis to Revelation three times by age twelve.
Check out www.GospelStoryforKids.com to learn more about the curriculum, buy existing products, and keep up with news about forthcoming products.
For nine years, Sovereign Grace churches have provided training, pastoral support, and financial assistance to a pastor named Manolito and the churches he leads in Cuba. (One of the pastors, Al Pino, shared about this at length at our Pastors Conference in 2010.) Manolito has become a dear friend to those who have visited Cuba, and it has been a privilege for us to partner with him through visits and numerous events in Cuba. These events have included conferences on marriage and worship, and others designed for pastors and youth.
The video below, which is one of the two films we featured as part of last year's Mission Fund presentation, is an opportunity for Sovereign Grace church members to see and hear from the people in Cuba who have benefited from donations to the Mission Fund over the years. On their behalf, thank you for your investment in the advance of the gospel!
Check back soon for a Mission Fund video about the Dominican Republic.