We have had an annual conference somewhere in the DFW area for 21 years in a row. Today (Monday April 21) our 22nd annual conference begins.
This time is always exciting and stressful for me and for the rest of the staff. There is so much to do to get ready: finalize and print the schedule, finalize our messages and our PowerPoint slides (thank you Bethany and Shawn!), gather all the books and materials we will need, including chocolates for the book table (thank you Mark!), handle last minute details, host friends who come in for the conference on Saturday, pick out clothes to wear, and so on.
Part of the reason conference prep is stressful is because the conference is such an important time for our ministry. Much momentum is gained in the four days of the conference. People grow in the faith and gain a heightened desire and motivation to share God’s Word with believers and unbelievers. This is a time when iron sharpens iron. People encourage each other all the time.
I’m not the best at schmoozing with people. My wife, Sharon, on the other hand, has never met a stranger. By the time each conference is over she has met nearly all of the first time people and she has visited with nearly everyone else too.
My thanks to Shawn, Bethany, and Mark for all the hard work they have done to get ready for this conference.
My thanks to all the conference speakers. So many have worked very hard so that these four days will be a spiritual feast.
The Bible does not, of course, command us to have conferences. What we do here is not church. We do not baptize people or partake of the Lord’s Supper. But what we are doing can and does help local churches all over the U.S. and even in other countries as we have conferees who minister in countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica, and others who do short terms missions in Myanmar, India, and other countries. God loves the local church and anything we can do to strengthen churches is advancing the work of our Lord on earth until He returns (soon).
Thanks as well to all the GES partners who through their financial support make it possible for us publish our magazine and journal, put on our annual and regional conferences, publish books and blogs and short videos, etc.
If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch the conference live. We livestream the main sessions and some of the workshops at this location: https://zoom.us/j/351920720. If you copy and paste that in your browser, you should be able to see the conference starting Monday at 1:00 PM central time.
I never thought when I started at Dallas Theological Seminary in 1978 that I would found and head a ministry, let alone one that stands for clarity in evangelism and discipleship. It just sort of happened. And I thank God it did.