Dec

03

2010

Justin Taylor|1:52 pm CT

A Year-End Challenge for The Gospel Coalition

Last September I moved my blog (“Between Two Worlds”) over here (to The Gospel Coalition site). It’s been a great move for me, and I hope the new platform has helped to serve you, too. In the past I’ve been a bit embarrassed to say this, but I really do love blogging, and my goal each day is for you to see at least something edifying and thoughtful that you can read or listen to.

The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is not a church, but it does exist to serve and honor the Church. TGC is ultimately “a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.”

I hope TGC is not merely viewed as the host of a conference or a set of blogs, but rather as a place where “humble orthodoxy” is modeled, thoughtful arguments are made, people are loved and honored, conversation is advanced, and the gospel is applied—all to the glory of God.

I think we all know, at least notionally, that free stuff costs a lot. But practically speaking, that’s easy to forget.

Even though I’m not on the payroll of TGC, I have been able to “glance behind the curtain” just a bit. It may surprise some readers how much is being done on a shoestring, see-if-there-are-any-funds-left-each-month type of budget. In the last couple of weeks they were able to add a new employee—bringing the grand total to . . . three people. I know I’m biased, but to pull off a major three-day conference and a continual web presence that serves tens of thousands of people everyday—with a staff of two, now three—is quite remarkable.

I was recently contacted by a new company called Razoo, which helps nonprofits raise money. (Full disclosure: I get nothing out of the deal!)

Their idea was for me to host a friendly contest to see who can raise the most money for TGC. It will go for about 28 days.

For any readers who are interested, you can create your own campaign page through Razoo. They tally the fundraising totals, count down until the deadline, and rank the leaders.

What’s in it for you? (Besides helping a gospel-centered nonprofit who could use some additional support?)

If You Create a Campaign Page

Then you will get a free copy of Tim Keller’s DVD curriculum, Gospel in Life (retail: $24.99).

If Your Campaign Raises the Most Amount . . .

Then you will receive the grand prize:

  • 10 free registrations for TGC’s 2011 national conference in Chicago,
  • 10 free hotel nights at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (five rooms for two nights each),
  • and $500 to spend at the conference bookstore.

I think that’s worth about $3,500.

(If you’ve already registered for the conference and booked your hotel and win the contest, you and your group’s fees will be refunded.)

If You Come in Second Place . . .

You’ll get a free iPad (ever heard of it?) and the Scholar’s Library from Logos Bible Software. Not a bad consolation prize, as it’s worth over $1,100.

This campaign might not be quite as fun as Fantasy Football, but I do think it’s for a worthy cause.

Readers know this is not the sort of thing I usually do, but I really do believe in this ministry and have great confidence that contributions to TGC are an efficient, effective way to build more and more gospel-centered resources and conversations into the lives of God’s people.

Next Steps?

If you want to enter the contest to win, go here and Create a Page under the Join This Team heading at the bottom.

If you want to donate but don’t want to be a fundraising captain, you can donate to one of the campaigns already on the list.

But what would your money actually help TGC to accomplish?

Here is a brief video explanation of why TGC exists:

Below TGC executive director Ben Peays and editorial director Collin Hansen have offered to give a ministry report for 2010 and to share what they have planned for 2011 and beyond.


The Gospel Coalition:

Who We Are and What We’re Doing

When The Gospel Coalition started several years ago, we could not have imagined the rapid growth of its influence. We’re encouraged by the interest shown by many to support the resurgence we see in gospel-centered ministry. We’re mindful, too, of the responsibility entrusted to us by God to steward this influence in a way that makes much of Jesus Christ alone.

The Gospel Coalition aims to provide free, biblically faithful, gospel-centered materials for the church. We’re focused on what Paul calls “the matters of first importance,” not distracted by theological fads or fleeting cultural trends. And we’re passionate about putting the death and resurrections of Jesus Christ at the center of Christian life and ministry. Our Foundation Documents (Confessional Statement and Vision for Ministry) keep us grounded in the gospel. These documents have served as a rallying point for thousands of people and churches around the world. They serve as a starting point—both doctrinally and in practice—for promoting gospel-centered ministry out of the church.

In order to maintain and expand our efforts to encourage such ministry, we are asking our friends to consider making an end-of-year financial contribution to our ministry. We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Our overhead costs are low, so your money directly helps us make resources available to Christians around the world through various means. Here’s a look back on what we’ve done and what we plan to do.

Website

Our website draws more than 1.3 million visits each month from more than 225,000 unique users in at least 100 countries. For many pastors and other Christian leaders, The Gospel Coalition website has become a top destination for finding relevant, timely, trusted reflection on contemporary issues, theological developments, contemporary ethics, and gospel living. This year we revamped the homepage to better serve these believers by featuring new content and commending resources from friends and ministry partners. The new site better positions us to undertake a number of projects:

  • Database: Our database includes more than 50,000 resources, including sermons, books, book reviews, features, profiles, essays, editorials, and more. Resources are organized by Scripture reference and topic.
  • Special Series: We have seen a major response to roundtable videos featuring TGC council members and friends. These videos highlight Christian leaders discussing tough issues with candor. The popular interest in these videos has extended to the TGC Asks feature, where several different thought leaders respond to the same question from different perspectives.
  • Church Directory: Our directory serves Christians by introducing them to churches in their area that share TGC’s doctrinal beliefs and vision for ministry. Hundreds of churches have signed up for the directory.
  • Perspectives in Translation is a forum we have created in partnership with BibleGateway, which engages some of the world’s leading scholars respectfully debating key issues in Bible translation.
  • TGC Reviews features book reviews and author interviews to help readers discern the best new material on the market.
  • The Ordinary Pastors Project profiles faithful ministers who may serve in obscurity but model gospel-grounded leadership.
  • TGC Recommends is an exciting new project that will help equip pastors and lay leaders to fulfill their teaching roles. TGC Recommends will mine our resource database for the best resources on a host of topics, such as prayer, discerning God’s will, and evangelism.
  • Preaching Christ Through the Old Testament is another new project that will aggregate the most helpful books, commentaries, sermons, articles, interviews, etc. to encourage Christ-centered preaching.
  • New Resources: We will be adding approximately 20,000 new resources in the coming year. Most of these will be print materials turned digital (articles, essays, books, etc.). We are also working with translators from a variety of organizations to make a number of resources available in 50 languages.

Events

  • 2010 Council Conference: Back in May, TGC’s council members and their guests met in Chicago for three days of fellowship and discussion focused on biblical models of conversion. These annual council meetings enable our leadership to provide updates on ministry, spend time in prayer and fellowship, and plan for the next year of TGC initiatives.
  • 2011 National Conference: Plans are well underway for The Gospel Coalition’s third national conference, held at Chicago’s McCormick Center in April 2011. Plenary speakers will demonstrate how to preach Christ and the gospel from the Old Testament. More than 60 speakers will expound upon a wide range of topics in breakout sessions.
  • Regional Conferences: This year TGC hosted regional conferences in Ontario; California’s Bay Area; Columbus, Ohio; and Los Angeles. The ultimate goal with our regional chapters is to move beyond an online community to physical gatherings suitable for encouragement, accountability, prayer, and sharing ideas for advancing the gospel.
  • Looking Ahead: In May 2011, we will once again host a council conference. We are working with a conference planned in 2011 for Switzerland that will feature Don Carson, John Piper, and Henri Blocher. Then in June 2012, TGC will host our first national women’s conference in Orlando. This event, featuring talks by council members and a number of key female leaders, extends TGC’s efforts to serve lay leaders, including women.

Publications

  • Themelios: Our theological journal is published three times per year. Each issue includes as many as 10 articles and 40 book reviews, and averages 60,000 downloads.
  • Books: Working in partnership with Crossway Books, TGC’s imprint has produced several books with more in the works. This fall, Crossway published Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2 Timothy, a collection of essays compiled from the 2009 national conference. Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day—a book written by younger leaders and aimed at explaining Christian theology, history, and ethics for college students—will appear in early 2011. Council members have also contributed to a volume that exposits TGC’s confessional statement.
  • Christ on Campus Initiative: TGC supports this ministry that prepares and circulates literature for college and university students. The most recent article, written by Mark Yarhouse, offers a Christian perspective on homosexuality.Christ on Campus Initiative
  • DVDs: Back in February 2009, Don Carson delivered 14 talks on “The God Who Is There” at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Those talks have become a book, DVD, and leader’s guide published by Baker. Additionally, TGC has made the full audio and HD video downloadable at our site.

We’re grateful to God for allowing us these opportunities to serve the body of Christ. Without the gospel we are without hope in the world. But because Jesus lives, we have the privilege of aiding local churches in their efforts to make disciples of all the nations and teach them everything he commanded.

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