However, as a pastor you rarely get to sit on the other side of the pulpit and be fed through that means--being the one preached to instead of the one preaching. And so when you have the opportunity, regardless of the cost, to sit down and hear the preaching of the Word of God it is thrilling and special. For the next two days that is what I will have the privilege of doing: hearing and being fed the Word of God by great men of God. Some of the pastors/speakers at this year's conference are among my favorite. If you "have to" listen to me preach each week then you will notice that my favorite pastor/preacher is speaking at this conference and I am very excited about that.
The focus of the conference is wrapped up so succinctly in the title of the conference, "Together 4 the Gospel." It is pastors of all different stripes coming together to gather around and focus upon what is central to our faith and calling as pastors--the Gospel. Tony Reinke gives a great comment on the conference. You can read his comments here, but I wanted to share one exceptional comment from the post:
Next week (tomorrow) we gather at Together for the Gospel. But we are not coming together to huddle around prominent evangelical figures or to merely collect a stack of free books. We gather to proclaim our allegiance and faithfulness to the changing and eternal gospel. We gather to form a picture of God’s compassion, who, rather than destroying us, has compassionately atoned for our sin and redeemed us (Psalm 78:38-39).
Another great blessing of which I am very excited about is being able to share this with Holly, my wife. It will be nice for a couple of days to be away from the girls (Annika and Alexa, we love you, but we are exhausted and need some mommy and daddy time). But more than that it will be a blessing to be able to sit down beside my wife and together soak in the Word of God together and worship together. That's another thing as a pastor you "sacrifice" some time.
And so while the conference is not cheap and given our present financial situation, out of our budget, there are some things that you just need as a pastor and a husband and wife some times, no matter the cost because you know the benefit will be well worth it. Pray for us and pray that God would be glorified in all that is said and done over these next two days as we gather Together 4 the Gospel!