Weaned from "conferences"NO TASTE HERE FOR
Recently, Brother Ian Elsasser, stated in a comment --
"These gentlemen are really into conferences. How many more before the year concludes?"
I have just this morning been reading of a "Conference" at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where a reported 1,400 attendees were spiritually entertained by Mark Driscoll, C. J. Mahaney, Bill Brown, and Daniel Akin. It was evidently focused on confronting modern "culture" with the Gospel.
The thought occurred to me, "What if all these 1,400 attendees met early in the morning, had a short time of prayer, then spread out all over the area and actually confronted people with the Gospel? Wouldn't that be better than simply listening to a number of lectures on certain subjects?"
I was "weaned" from "conferences" many years ago. I can't even remember the last one I attended, it has been so long. Nowadays, I would not walk across the street to attend a "conference," much less pay a fee to attend one. The only thing I can think of that I ever learned at "conferences" was that there is very little to learn at "conferences" other than their relative uselessness. They generally simply furnish a scenario for sitting, eating, gabbing, and in most cases buying materials.
I have never heard of a "conference" where those in attendance just got together briefly for prayer, then fanned out to spread the Gospel in a community. I know that such effort has been done to some degree at the large national Baptist conventions, but not by all the messengers in attendance. This effort by some at the conventions was the best thing about the conventions, in my opinion.
I no longer attend "conferences," and have turned down invitations to speak at them. I just think they are generally a waste of time and money. Today, we have "conference speakers" who apparently "make a good living" going from place-to-place for "conferences." They seem to be somewhat "professionals" as "conference speakers," and their names keep turning up on programs promoted by flyers, advertisements, internet sources, etc.
I would like to see someone stage a "conference" where the only purpose was to have several hundred or thousand Christians make a special evangelistic effort in a community, and report back the results at the end of the day. The conference could perhaps conclude like the Northfield conferences sponsored by D. L. Moody years ago, with a baptismal service for those who had made professions of faith.
That would be a conference worth attending.
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