The first week of March holds a couple of conference opportunities I’d like to tell you about in case you may be able to participate.
First, on March 5-7 is a biblical counseling conference in Kansas City, sponsored by two counseling centers, Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Redeeming Grace Biblical Counseling Center. The conference is called B3 Conference, the theme of which is bearing one another’s burdens. It is intended for anyone who is involved with someone who is burdened with trials and cares of life. That could include dads, moms, other relatives, friends, neighbors, pastors, counselors, just about anybody. Thursday evening through Saturday morning we’ll be talking about teens, grief, worry, those abused in childhood, those who have a loved one who is an addict, and more. Jesus is compassionate to those bowed down with troubles and offers grace in solutions the world can’t provide. By His Word, we learn how to help others. At this conference, we’ll learn what His Word says and enjoy fellowship with one another. Check out the website here. If you can, come to Kansas City and join us!
Second, the Shepherd’s Conference is being held March 3-6. This year is especially exciting because of the topic and the enthusiasm it has generated. As to enthusiasm, over 1,000 more men will attend than have in the past; even so, they sold out several months ago. Over sixty countries will be represented. The number of volunteers from Grace Community Church has jumped from over 700 in years past to now nearly 1200 for this conference. They have so many volunteers that organizing them has been a massive undertaking. My daughter is one of them. Like many others, she is taking a whole week of vacation from her job in order to serve the pastors and other church leaders who will attend. The servants there demonstrate hearts overflowing with desire to encourage church leaders, because they love the Lord and want to help those leaders be better equipped in their home churches.
What is the topic? The inerrancy of Scripture. The Bible is the one book which infallibly tells us about God and how to know Him through salvation His way. If it isn’t inerrant, then it can’t be trusted about what it says to do to gain eternal life. Since the Bible also explains how to live a godly life in the here and now, the issue of inerrancy affects everything we do.
Even more important, the glory of God is at stake because the Bible is God speaking. So if it has error, then either God spoke erroneously or He doesn’t have the ability to make and preserve an infallible book. The Bible would not be trustworthy. But God is perfect and speaks perfectly. Anything less than inerrancy taints His glory and leads people into error. To learn more on this issue, start with this review by Mike Riccardi.
Thanks be to the Lord for technology, electricity, recordings, and livestream! In past years, the livestreamed sessions have included the music prior to the lectures. Have you ever heard 3,000 men, sans female voices, resounding in song to the Lord? It creates a resonance that higher pitches don’t have. Furthermore, the thought of those men, those shepherds of many churches, expressing their love to the Lord in fervent song–well, it’s wonderful!
And here’s a little secret–livestream rocks! A couple of years ago, I had my first experience of livestreaming the evening sessions while my husband was attending the conference. After returning, my husband watched with me a church service by livestream on my computer, in my home office where I sit in a little recliner while I watch, feet propped up, sipping tea. His reaction? “You’ve got better seating than I do when I’m there!” That’s right! With their cameras, I have clear line of sight, no head in the way in front of me. Plus, I get to always virtually “be” in the auditorium while he often, because of the crowd on location, has to settle for watching by video in auxiliary rooms on the church campus–and without the recliner.
Another blessing is the ability to download recorded lectures. You can download whole Shepherds Conferences for free and listen through them while you iron or cook supper. You don’t iron? Or cook? Even so, if you want to listen at a time after this week, just go to media shepherds conference.
– By the way, if you attend Shepherds Conference, while traveling Roscoe Boulevard to the church, look right and left. Notice that the sidewalks are clean of trash. Shortly before I posted this (on Saturday before the Tuesday it starts), I was on the phone with my daughter who arrived on Roscoe Blvd. on her way to the church for an appointment. She observed church people, Shepherd’s Conference volunteers, picking up trash alongside the street, and not just in front of the church. (They were going to paint people’s houses, but they ran out of time. Just kidding!) I would not have known that they did this except that by the providence of God my daughter went there this Saturday and was talking to me at the time (safely, by blue tooth). My point is, if you attend, be aware that there are volunteers serving in all kinds of ways, many of which you may not realize because the work happens long before or after the conference, or also there are some who like to serve in the back rooms unseen.
My thanks to all who serve at both of these conferences. May the Word of the Lord be honored, His children encouraged, and His church be equipped and built up by both of these conferences this week. Glory be to the Lord!