The Priority of Pastor’s ConferencesMarch 19, 2007
Most years, they are a highlight. Beforehand they are an effort. I’m talking about pastor’s conferences. Speaking from recent experience, there never seems enough time to squeeze them in. But upon arrival, we wonder how we’d survive without them.
Last year I had the priviledge of attending two: the Scottish Ministry Assembly in Glasgow and the EMA in London. This year, I may be struggling a little (baby arriving in June!) but I’ve still managed to clock my first conference: watching some of the Ligonier proceedings through the wonders of a live feed!
So what are some of the benefits?
1. High quality teaching from other pastors. In many situations, pastors hardly hear anything but their own voice in the pulpit. Now they have opportunity to hear God’s Word through somebody else. Its especially helpful that this is often from an extremely gifted expositor (in the last few years I’ve been priviledged to hear the likes of John Piper, Tim Keller, Vaughan Roberts, Dick Lucas, and David Jackman).
2. Highly applicable teaching for pastors. One of the values of pastor’s conferences is that the expositions are especially targeted toward the needs of pastors. I know of no other setting where the preaching is aimed so specifically to our needy group.
3. Wonderful fellowship with other pastors. Could this be the best benefit at all? To know we’re not alone. To know that others labour and suffer. And who can quantify the value of ideas shared around the lunch table or encouragement shared from someone who’s ‘been there’?
But tell me: do you always, as a matter of priority, go to a pastor’s conference? If so, which conferences have you most benefited from?