How good is going to a conference? People love it! I very much enjoy it, especially when it is done well with professionalism, excellence and overall a heart to worship our Saviour Jesus Christ! I understand that sometimes, people get a little 'conference crazy' and just bounce from one to the other, because the atmosphere is so open and inviting, and God moves in very obvious ways! The thing is, we can get a little gluttonous in our feeding on the Word at times. Where we are seeking out an experience for ourselves, rather than taking what has been put in us and pouring it out on others, i.e. the local church, your workplace, your families. It's cool to be hungry for God's word and His presence, but His heart is for us to DO something with what He has done in us!
We have just come back from the Apostolic National Leaders Conference where we met some amazing like-minded people whilst sitting under some anointed teaching. Pastor Bryan Loritts, leading a church called Fellowship Memphis in Tennessee, was the keynote speaker that challenged each and every person in the auditorium. Other leaders from within the Apostolic movement brought the word in season throughout different sessions as well. There was not one message that came forth that I did not feel challenged in one form or another. God was speaking to me on so many areas of my life, inspiring me for different parts of my church and blessing me through the outpouring of His presence. This was my experience, and why it was important:
Unity! So important! And to come together with hundreds of people who are all different individually and yet have a common cause and call upon their lives. It was very encouraging to do life with people who were all at different stages of their journey through life and ministry. The unity in the house was great to be a part of!
Vision! Our National Leadership Team were present and have the responsibility of ensuring that the vision of the Apostolic Movement is delivered and encouraged at these events. It is great to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Not only is it awesome to have the support of a wider network of churches, but to be accepted and encouraged in the work that Christ has set before us, by people on the other side of the nation; it is spurring us on to greater things!
Sown into! All of the messages that come forth are held in the highest regards. The Word that is brought at these conferences are done with much prayer and supplication in their preparation. They are anointed and in season. I believe that every person at the National Leaders Conference felt challenged in one way or another. God pours into us His revelation throughout such conferences but we are called to then sow what has been sown into us.
The idea of a conference has become a regular practice in our current society, both within the church and outside of it. When reading this, I can imagine people would have a handful of reasons why the 'conference idea' is encouraging consumerist behaviours in the church, but I believe that the positives far outweigh such arguments, when done in wisdom.
If you have the opportunity to attend a gospel preaching Christian conference, I encourage you to go. It's good to be sown into in an intensive style few days where people turn up with an open spirit and expectant heart. But bring that heart BACK TO CHURCH! Let your new found spirit be infectious to those around you. Live revival!
Senior Pastor at Eternity Church.