Wow what a great day! I can't believe several months ago, I was debating on whether or not I should come. It has already been a wonderfully refreshing time! To tell you everything would make way too long of an entry - so here are the highlights:
1. Last night CJ gave us a wonderfully, practical message on the Church's message, task and future from Acts 15 & 16. It was so very helpful as he just encouraged us in the gospel to continue to keep preaching the gospel, build with the gospel and to seek to set people in place to minister in accordance with the gospel. We are led so very, very well!
2. This morning we heard from Jeff Purswell about the Pastor's College and the new "PC Institute" that they are developing to help assist already existing SGM pastors in our on going training and development academically - very exciting stuff! Joshua Harris spoke about the strategic role of New Attitude in helping local churches to envision and equip the next generation of leaders for faithful service in the local church and in the world. Dave Harvey spoke to us about the on going development of SGM's process and procedures in Church Planting (recruiting church planters, how to identify them and the process for their training and release into the field).
3. The first session was by Ligeon Duncon on the importance of teaching Sound Doctrine for faithful pastoral ministry. As I was listening to this, I couldn't help but think of the men of Providence in how faithfully enthusiastic you are for our INVEST classes on the teaching of Systematic Theology. You men are a joy! I don't have to convince you of the importance for a growing in sound doctrine you are pursing it! Thank you men of Providence!
4. I was able to have dinner this evening with a pastor from Switzerland, Brad Beevers who wrote that great article years ago published by CCEF, "Watch Your Language!" an article concerning the importance of using Biblical Language to define our problems. We have had dinner together at several other Leadership Conferences in the past...and when he saw me this time he just gave me a big hug and insisted that I not pay for my dinner, but that he would. He is a real delight. Likewise, as many of you may remember a story about a young woman that I read to you several years ago whose name was "Claudia" and how she came to the Lord through the faithful witness of a dear believer who just kept taking her out for a cup of coffee. Well, I got to meet her husband - who is 6 months into pastoral ministry - today and we are going to be having dinner tomorrow - (they are all from Switzerland).
5. Tonight's session was wonderful as well getting to hear from Thabiti Anyabwile, a pastor and author from Grand Cayman Islands (tough gig!) He spoke on issues of race and ethnicity in light of the Gospel. It was an outstanding message from Genesis chapter 10. Very, very good!
Well, it is about Midnight here...and Dr. John MacArthur will be speaking tomorrow morning at 8am so I had better go on to sleep. Take care my friends!