Day one of the Pastors’ Conference ended this afternoon and, like I mentioned in the last post, it was spiritually very edifying and satisfying. Once again, the speakers didn’t disappoint – I know I can’t seem to wait for tomorrow and Thursday’s sessions.
Here’s a brief rundown of the topics and some things I’ve learned: (I’m not exactly sure of the propriety of using the speakers’ full names at this point, so forgive the initials. Also, the speakers all decided to divide the bulk of their topics evenly throughout the three days of the conference. So what follows are not exhaustive.)
- Pastor N. Espinosa spoke on the observance of the Sabbath (note: not necessarily the Saturday observance by the Jews) as a moral principle. He pointed out that discussions on the propriety of Sabbath as a principle of worship often ends in extremes of either legalistic rule-keeping or laid back complacency.
- Pastor I. Densham shared about the sovereignty of God in providence. While God has decreed all things, we must emphasize that this does not make God the author of sin. Ptr. Densham used the stories of Ehud and Shamgar to show how God works even through evil men to accomplish his purpose.
- Through his message on the importance of preaching, Pastor D. Linblad encouraged the brethren to continue to preach God’s word. He noted that preaching has declined in modern times due to people: a) desiring more therapy (what can God’s word do for me) instead of theology (what does God command me to do), and b) putting emphasis on visual (like Powerpoint presentations) over the verbal (expository preaching).
- Lastly, Bro. J. MacDonald used the story of Ezekiel to bring home a powerful point. I like his words towards the end: Pastors and preachers are mere “sons of men” (note the frequent use of the term in Ezekiel), with their frailties and sinfulness, but we have “one like the son of man” beside us, and that should be cause for joy in the life of the minister. (I didn’t do that sentence justice; you should hear it to appreciate it.)