Well I was not able to post during the Together for the Gospel conference as I had hoped since I had no connectivity where I was staying. I could have made a few quick posts from my Iphone during the event but as any of you know who own an Iphone, the keyboard is not very user friendly for long or substantial posts.
I have never been one to build something up, use over the top adjectives in describing events or things, but words absolutely fail me when it comes to describing the T4G 2010 conference. If you will allow I will seperate my thoughts today and the next few days into a few categories; Fellowship, Preaching, Worship, Service, Love and Potential Impact.
This years theme was, “The Unadjusted Gospel”; the focus was on those things that cause us to adjust the Gospel to culture, to man, etc and divert our attention many times to “good” things but not the best thing, The Gospel.
For the overview I will say this had to be the single, greatest worship time that I have ever had or experienced in my life. Again, those of you who know me will note that I am not an “experience” driven person, I am skeptical of “experiences”, but that being said; I have never in my entire life been so moved by the preaching of the Word, the fellowship of the saints, the overall worshipful attitude in song and word, the collective loving, service attitude of the attendees and desire for God’s glory as I was this last week.
The word, awesome, does not begin to describe, it is a good start but it is not enough.
I will give a little more detail in the categories listed above in the coming days, I may throw in a few highlights from the sermons and the interaction we saw among the speakers as well.
A couple of interesting facts about this particular conference. The attendees came from numerous denominations and several countries all focused on one thing, being Together for the Gospel. The three main groups of attendees were Southern Baptist pastors, Presbyterian Church in America pastors and Sovereign Grace Church pastors – for each of these groups this was the single largest gathering of their pastors that will occur this year! In all there were 7000 attendees at this years event, that is up 2000 from the conference in 2008 and from the first conference in 2006 which had approximately 1500 in attendence. Why are those numbers so significant? Well you see the guys who are behind this event don’t advertise other than by word of mouth. You have pastors and church leaders rallying around the gospel for three days, returning to their homes and churches, then beginning to flesh out this passion for the gospel in their ministries and asking others to return with them two years later.
Is this a work of God? Well, numbers alone is no measure, but I would ask you to consider the other areas that I will review and after that, you decided. As for me? Well without tipping my hand, yes I believe this is a work of God, in fact the thought I had while there and driving home was that this may well be the beginning a second reformation. One like we saw in the 16th century, one driven by a return to the gospel, not one of “deeds” as some are calling for today but one power in the Holy Spirit, driven by the realization that this world is lost, that mankind is bound for a Christless eternity, they are spiritually dead and without hope, their blindness is so dark and pervasive that they don’t even realize they are blind. They don’t need purpose in life, they don’t need prosperity, they don’t need power or prestige, they need the Gospel. And as Dr. John Piper prayed, there were 7000 in Louisville who had not “bowed the knee” to the “Adjusted Gospels” of our day.
More to follow,