Fuller alum returns to speak at All Seminary Chapel and the Brehm Lectures
Fuller alum Shane Hipps speaks at chapel
Fuller alumnus Shane Hipps, the former preaching pastor of Mars
Hill Church in Grandville, Michigan and author of several books, was on Fuller's
Pasadena campus on Wednesday, October 31 to speak at All Seminary Chapel held in Travis
“I have to confess that I’m standing maybe 100 feet from
where I gave my very first sermon ever,” Hipps told the audience. “So should
you see me break into a panic attack of any kind—because I’m starting to feel
sweaty and nervous—you guys can talk amongst yourselves.”
Hipps, who last set foot on the Fuller campus in 2004, said he
was thrilled to be back.
“I feel unbelievably indebted to the institution and the
people who have led it,” he said.
Hipps’ sermon, titled “More Gardeners,” was based on
scripture from Acts 8 where Phillip meets and baptizes an Ethiopian eunuch.
Hipps explained that the eunuch’s baptism was a
demonstration of the ongoing expansion and growth of the kingdom of God and the
gospel. He emphasized that the good news, though unchanging, does look
different as it expands and grows, much like a mustard seed looks different
when it grows into a tree.
“The good news that grace is free, that peace is possible,
that love is boundless, these things never change,” Hipps said. “But how that
gets played out and expressed in each new culture, time, and era will
necessarily change, because its nature is to grow.”
Hipps challenged the audience to be like gardeners
cultivating and nurturing the living gospel. He contrasted the attitude of a
gardener, who is motivated by love and care, to that of a guard, who defends
and preserves a lifeless artifact out of fear of the object being altered.
“It’s really important that you understand the nature of the thing it is you
have to care for, because that will determine what methods you use,” Hipps
said, urging the crowd to become hospitable cultivators of the gospel and to anticipate
how the good news will be expressed in the future.
Hipps participated later in the afternoon in the Brehm Lectures, held in Payton 101. This year’s program, called “Reformation 2.0:
Worship in a Digital Age,” featured a dialogue between Hipps and Ryan
Bolger, associate professor of Church in Contemporary Culture.
Hipps will also be speaking at the three-day Preaching in a
Visual Age conference held at Ecclesia Hollywood church from November 1–3.