2013 Shepherds’ Conference: “Remember Jesus Christ”

By: Steve Runyan

Over 3500 men from around the world in attendance at the 40th Shepherds’ Conference

The main goal of the Shepherds’ Conference is to encourage and equip pastors around the world in their respective ministries for the glory of God.  So why did I go?  I’m not a pastor.  Even though this was my first time attending, it was clear that all men in the body of Christ can benefit greatly from this conference.  I repeatedly thought throughout our time there … “Why did it take me so long to finally come?!”

This year’s conference featured the following keynote speakers:

John MacArthur – expounded on the work of God in regeneration from the encounter of Jesus with Nicodemus in John 3:1-12; explained how the scorned, substituted, submissive and satisfied servant in Isaiah 53 is the answer to the Old Testament “riddle” of Exodus 34 regarding the description of our God who is at once compassionate, gracious, abounding in lovingkindness, who forgives iniquity, and yet will not leave the guilty unpunished; exhorted the men to present a vision of Christ that elicits love and repentance by contrasting the lives of Peter and Judas in Mathew 26 and 27.  

Phil Johnson – confronted the “business model” approach to the church and contrasted it with a biblical model of shepherding from Acts 20:28ff.

Steve Lawson – challenged the men to hold a high view of the glorified Christ from Revelation 1:9-18; highlighted the importance of preaching in light of eternity describing the fates of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-24.  

Al Mohler – called the men to live their Christian lives with intensity and passion (Hebrews 12:18-29).

Tom Pennington – presented Jesus’ example of prayer as a spiritual priority and an intentional practice (Luke 11:1-4).

Top ten highlights of this conference:
10. endless food and snacks
9.  laughing at Gary’s strange excitement about a toiletry kit
8.  fantastic service by hundreds of volunteers
7.  opportunities to catch up with old friends
6.  the thunderous voice of Phil Webb
5.  singing hymns with thousands of men is a rare treat 
4.  an abundance of complimentary books (and gift certificates to buy even more!) – I’m looking forward to finishing The Man Christ Jesus by Bruce Ware
3.  tons of practical seminars (these are just the ones I attended)

– being a witness in the workplace
– how to shepherd strong personalities
– effective men’s ministry 

2.  top-notch preaching 
1. the blessing of undistracted fellowship over three days with the same small group of guys  

I can’t wait to go again next year!

(This year’s messages as well as previous years’ can be downloaded here: http://www.shepherdsconference.org/media/)

Early morning discussion over coffee

Conference bookstore

Dinner at a local spot

Timon taking advantage of the free haircuts 

Wayne H. with the TMS choir

Nam unashamedly eating an ice cream sandwich before lunch

Steve, Wayne H., and Roger breaking rice at Sam Woo’s

Men picking up their bags of free books

Steve and Wayne S. enjoying lunch

Our good friend John Street (right) teaching his session