The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is “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.”
TGC Regional Chapters were created as a response to people wanting to be a part of TGC’s work in their local area. The desire is for these chapters to be used by many to find fellowship with other Christians in their region who want to make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their church, ministry and personal witness.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, the first meeting of the new TGC Michigan Regional Chapter will take place at Mack Avenue Community Church in Detroit at 1PM. JJ Sherwood serves as an assistant pastor at Five Points Community Church and is the coordinator of TGC Michigan. I recently had the chance to interview him about the vision for the new chapter.
David Crabb: How did TGC Michigan get started?
JJ Sherwood: The desire to launch TGC Michigan grew out of conversations over lunch with Stephen Um and Kevin DeYoung at the Preaching Christ pastors conference last year at Five Points. We hope that hope this effort will be an encouragement to those shepherding the people of God to move towards greater participation in God’s mission in our region.
David Crabb: What is the vision for TGC Michigan? What are you hoping to see accomplished?
JJ Sherwood: We desire to facilitate a fellowship of evangelical Christians in their region who want to make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their church, ministry and personal witness.
Our prayer is that this effort will culminate in a diverse, unified, Christ-exalting people as persons from “every tribe and language and people and nation” worshiping the Lamb and declaring the infinite worth of God’s glory in Michigan and beyond.
David Crabb: Tell us a little about what we can expect from this first gathering.
JJ Sherwood: The Introductory Gathering will be at Mack Avenue Community Church (4151 Seminole Street, Detroit, MI 48214) and is for pastors, church leaders and all lovers of the gospel! We will hear briefly from three area pastors, have the opportunity to network with other likeminded local pastors and church leaders, and explore how we can collaborate more as a regional chapter of the The Gospel Coalition.
David Crabb: While everyone is welcome to be connected with TGC at the participant level, membership requires “signing on” to the Foundational Documents. Is this true for TGC Michigan as well?
JJ Sherwood: At this point, you do not have to sign any documents to come to any gatherings or conferences we have planned for this year. However, our chapter will be directed according to TGC’s Foundational Documents, so if you find yourself in agreement with those documents and want to network with other pastors and church leaders for mutual encouragement, we hope this will be the place for you!
David Crabb: What are some initiatives we can expect to see from TGC Michigan in the future?
JJ Sherwood: We will have gatherings 3-4 times a year, including 2 one day seminars in 2013. We hope to put on a conference as well in the near future. We are also going to start a reading discussion group this spring on our Facebook page and our first book will be Paul David Tripp’s Dangerous Calling. As for other initiatives, we will have some time next Tuesday to discuss what would be helpful for us to pray towards as a regional coalition.
David Crabb: Would you share an example or two of encouraging Kingdom work that has come about through one or more of TGC’s regional chapters?
JJ Sherwood: One of the more encouraging developments has been what God has been doing through TGC New England, especially the inaugural regional conference, establishing The Center for Gospel Culture, and the over 1,000 pastors who have enjoyed fellowship with other like-minded pastors in this region of the country.
To learn more, follow TGC Michigan on Facebook or Twitter.