Jesus’ work Jesus’ way
A day conference with Dr Mark Stirling

Recent years have thrown up an alarming number of stories of abuse of power in our churches. And behind each story there are precious members of the body of Christ, for whom Jesus died, who find themselves as collateral damage.

Abuse of power is fundamentally a theological issue – it misunderstands and misrepresents God’s nature and character. It is also a discipleship issue – how do we become people who know God well and reflect his character to the world? (What we really believe about God, ourselves and the world shapes how we live and it especially shapes how leaders lead.)

We can’t do Jesus’ work in non-Jesus ways. Looking for shortcuts or more efficient ways of getting Jesus’ work done – ways that avoid the cross-shaped pattern of self-giving – risk presenting a false view of God and the Gospel to the world, and there could hardly be a more serious sin.

This day conference on January 20th will outline the theological and practical issues foundational to the healthy use of power in leadership, and the development of humble and loving leaders.

There will be three main sessions, each interactive with plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion:

Session 1: Jesus work – What is Jesus’ work and what does “success” look like?

  • What is the purpose of leadership in the body of Christ? In this session, we will explore a biblical framework for church leadership and then consider some of the consequences for leaders and their churches when we define “success” wrongly.

Session 2: Jesus’ way – Power and leadership

  • Jesus’ way is demonstrated as an example to be imitated in John 13 and Philippians 2.
  • Power is for serving others! What does this look like for contemporary church leadership?

Session 3: Jesus’ way – leading God’s people in the life of grace

  • What does it look like to lead God’s people to a life of flourishing in gracious union with Christ?
  • What sorts of convictions must leaders have if they are not to fall – and lead others – into either legalism or license?
  • How will the world see God’s grace in action among His people?

This day conference is for anyone who has any responsibility within church for leading others and is free of charge. Refreshments will be provided, but bring your own lunch. There are plenty of places locally to buy lunch if you don’t want to bring one!

Venue: Hope Church Merthyr
Date: 20th January 2024
Time: 9.30am – 3.00pm

For further details contact:

The Discipleship network session at EQUIP 2023:
"The Jesus way"

Fundamentally, abuse of power is a theological issue. What we really believe about God, ourselves and the world shapes how we live. If leaders have a wrong or malformed understanding of who God is and what he is like, if their doctrine of humanity is wrong, if they have failed to grasp the real sinfulness of sin and the nature of grace, this will show itself in their leadership. As Mark says, this results in trying to do the work of Jesus in un-Jesus like ways (which we cannot and must not do!), and they will be misrepresenting God in their ministry – which is what it means to carry the Lord’s name in vain. So the purpose of these sessions will be to identify the theological issues underpinning abuse of power in leadership, and to move towards a theology which is evidenced by humble and loving leaders.

EQUIP 2023 Network Speaker

Mark Stirling

Dr Mark Stirling

Mark Stirling is a former medical doctor who pioneered work amongst university students with the Navigators in Edinburgh from 1998 to 2004. In 2007 he completed an MA in Exegetical Theology at Covenant Seminary in St Louis and in 2011 gained a PhD in Biblical Studies from St Andrews University, his thesis examining issues of discipleship and maturity in Ephesians.

Network Facilitator

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is married to Lisa and has three children. Originally a Tredegar boy, he studied and lived in Cardiff, where he first got involved with the Navigators, and was a Chemistry teacher for 14 years. After moving back to the valleys, Paul and Lisa became part of Hope Church Merthyr. They have led small community groups since 2010, helping others in growing to maturity as disciples of Jesus. Paul has been part of the leadership of Hope for the last 9 years, pastoring since 2013, and also teaches science two days a week.