20/20 Collegiate Conference challenges participants to gospel proclamation and missional living.

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The Southeastern annual 20/20 Collegiate Conference featured speakers Daniel Akin, Bruce Ashford, C.J. Mahaney and Darrin Patrick. This year’s theme, Gospel and Mission, examined the centrality of the gospel in the Church’s mission to the broken world. 

Approximately 700 people attended the 2013 20/20 Conference held on Southeastern’s campus. The attendees were taught how the exaltation of God and the atonement of Christ relate to the Church’s call to saturate the world with the good news. 

The conference host, Tony Merida, Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching and Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern, welcomed the conference participants to a weekend designated to studying the Scriptures and the invitation for the Church to live missionally. 

In plenary session one on Friday night, Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor of The Journey, St. Louis, MO, preached from Galatians 5:16-24. Patrick examines how God wants to first work in Christians so that he can then work through them. 

Patrick noted how the gospel grows the Church painfully, holistically, internally, gradually, and communally. Referencing Galatians 6:22-16, Patrick said, “Spiritual fruit equals spiritual freedom and spiritual fruit equals gospel transformation. When God is working in you, you cannot not tell people about Him.” 

“The word ‘called’ is why you are a Christian,” said C.J. Mahaney, Pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, KY. Mahaney preached from Jude 1 on those who are called and kept for Christ’s purposes.

Mahaney said, “It is because you were graciously, personally called by God. The call Jude is referencing is a summons, and it is an affectionate call. It is God’s determination to save. This call reveals and accents the mission of God. This divine action precedes human decision. Before you came to God, God came to you.” 

On Saturday morning, President of Southeastern Seminary, Daniel Akin spoke from Romans 15:14-24 on how the Great Commission should orient the people of faith toward the Nations.

Akin said, “The gospel should be sinners standing in front of sinners telling them that they are sinners. God in great mercy and love poured out his wrath on his only Son. The Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28 is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed. My prayer is that we would be obedient to King Jesus and see that the gospel is extended to all the Nations.”  

Following Akin, Bruce Ashford, Provost of Southeastern, preached from Revelation 5 on Christ the King and Savior of the Nations. Ashford said that we are to view Christ as the Creator and King over everything. “All things exist to glorify Christ because he created everything,” said Ashford. “Christ is not some tribal deity for some exclusive group of people. He is the Lord and Savior of the Nations. Christ’s death destroys racial pride. The ingathering of the Nations in the Church’s mission isn’t primarily a political or social issue; it is a blood-of-Christ issue. God is global, multi-national, and multi-ethnic.” 

Closing the 20/20 Conference, C.J. Mahaney filled in for Tom Elliff who was unable to attend due to personal matters. In the last session, Mahaney taught from 1 Thessalonians 2 on the profile of a church planter. Like Paul, said Mahaney, the pastor is to have a heart for the gospel and a heart for people. 

Mahaney said, “Paul was not preoccupied with the gospel as an abstract message. Paul cared about people. He was entrusted with the gospel for people. Every pastor and church planter must have a heart for the gospel and for people. As Paul was the gentle, affectionate pastor, you are to imitate him, pastor.”   

Over the two days of the 20/20 weekend, the participants were taught the power of the gospel and its missional credo: “As you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Gospel proclamation and missional living, then, are inseparable activities of how the Church exalts the Risen King and Lord of the Nations, Christ Jesus. 

To watch the messages from the 20/20 weekend, click here.

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