Nam, Gary, Andrew, Wayne, Hans, Kevin and Adam enjoyed a great time of teaching and mingling with brothers of the faith at the 2011 Shepherd’s Conference put on by Grace Community Church. Food and treats were top notch. Books were purchased and given. Below are some reflections.
What I found to be most profitable this year from the conference was the interaction with various missionaries and pastors. I was tremendously encouraged by the faithfulness of many men who went into unfamiliar lands (be it domestic or foreign) and are persevering in the work of pastoral ministry. I met many friends, familiar faces and strangers, all in different situations but all with the same passion and desire to exalt Christ in their respective churches.
I found that Alex Montoya’s seminar on evangelizing the community to be a breath of fresh air. It had great emphasis on the gospel and was quite convicting. He preached that we must directly confront people on their need for Christ because of sin and not to dance around the subject and offer fellowship or weak words about love and charity. “Are you a believer? Do you know that you will spend eternity in hell without Christ?” We must not be ashamed or reticent to speak about Christ but be passionate and zealous. Because we are commuter church, I feel that we are disconnected from the community in which worship. May we at IBC bust out that commuter mentality and marshall our resources so that we can begin to proclaim the gospel to our neighbors, inviting them to hear the Word, to meet the church and enjoy a meal. That is my prayer and goal.
This was my first year at the Shepherd’s conference and I must say I was not disappointed at all. There is definitely something weighty about thousands of men gathering together in one place for the purpose of encouraging and admonishing one another in order to faithfully serve and glorify God. I had anticipated a lecture like, in depth, intense theological teaching but to my surprise in every session we were worshiping which included the in depth intense teaching, well at least it was for me. One thing that I really appreciated in my experience at the conference this year was just the time of fellowship with our elders. I usually go to these types of conferences because of the opportunity to fellowship and strengthen the bond of fellowship with the members of the body. For me it was a chance to be there with these men of God to worship, to learn, and it made me appreciate them more.