The Conference was great.  Here are some thoughts.

» The lectures were great.  C.J. Mahaney opened the conference by preaching on 1 Timothy 4:16.  He urged pastors to watch their life closely.  He pleaded with men to be in relationship with other godly men who are caring for their souls.  I was so grateful for the pastors track and the SoulCare group that I get to be a part of that are serving to that end.  Mark Driscoll urged pastors and planters to be reading their Bible well.   I was convicted about whether I am in the Word for the sake of sermons or whether it is just because I am enamored with Jesus.  I want to love Jesus for Jesus…not for ministry, or church planting, or anything…but for Jesus.  Darrin Patrick spoke and called planters to make sure that meeting non-Christians was a priority in their ministry.  It can be so easy for pastors to attend meetings, prepare for sermons, and do a hundred things in the church and neglect to regularly befriend and build relationships with people who don’t know Jesus.  Tim Keller talked about the one Gospel that is expressed in many forms in the Scriptures.  So Paul talks about a gospel of the uncircumcised that he was preaching to the Gentiles (as opposed to the gospel of the circumcised that Peter was preaching to the Jews), how both were the same Gospel, but expressed differently, with stresses at different points.  Likewise churches need to preach the various forms of the one Gospel.  The guy is so smart.  Afterwards, I wanted to ask, “Can you be a pastor if you’re not as smart as Tim Keller?”  (Thankfully, you can!)  There was a bunch of good talks…and all of them should be available online soon.

» The Q&A time was priceless.  So the lectures were great, but I loved hearing these men respond to questions from the audience even more.  It’s always cool to hear how theological concepts are broken down into real time and space.  So if you end up listening to this stuff online, make sure you listen to the Q&A time too.

» For me, one of the best parts of the whole deal was meeting with other church planters.  It was so cool to think about how much work for the Kingdom was represented in that room.  Pastors from NY, LA, Philly, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, London, Vancouver, Hyderabad, and on and on - so cool.   Hearing the different stories of different church planters was so helpful for me.  God be with these men, and their families, and their churches.  Let them stay the course.

» He may not admit it, but Matt Kruse is officially a fan of The Office.  We forwent sleep to watch it during the breaks.

» Another church has committed to helping financially with the planting of 7 Mile Road.  So grateful.

» Funny to hear grown men speak of having a “man-crush” on Tim Keller.

Really glad I went.

7 Mile Road Church