Matt Chandler is an amazing preacher. He has a depth and heart unlike any other speaker I have heard. God is using him significantly in the lives of others, not only in the Bible belt, but also around the country and here at this conference. He talked about the difficulty and the necessity of preaching the Gospel in the Bible belt, specifically at his church outside of Dallas. The real issue in churches these days is not traditional versus contemporary. The issue is authentic versus inauthentic. So many churches don't preachers don't teach a Biblical, text-focused, Jesus-is-God-focused Gospel. Way too many consumer churches. Unfortunately it would be too hard for me to articulate the other details of what was preached, so check it out here if you are more interested. (link will be posted ASAP)
John Piper's second message hit me harder than anything I've heard in years. I started to cry when he talked about the fact that pastors must preach what people need to hear instead of what they think they need to hear. And that's God's Truth, even though it's hard sometimes. The sermon audio and notes are on the desiringGod website here. I could clearly feel God in that room and Him using John Piper to encourage so many of these pastors to live up to God's calling of them.
The majority of the afternoon involved Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler talking to the prospective pastors here for the Acts 29 church planters' boot camp. They provided me helpful perspective by knowing that God isn't calling me to be a pastor right now. I'll talk more about that on a later post.
The Q&A session in the evening with John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Mark Driscoll was hilarious! I will put a link here once it is posted online because if you don't watch anything else, you have to watch this. It really shows how pastors can come together and agree on the Gospel and not always go about proclaiming it using the same methodology. Example: the difference between Piper and Driscoll... one of them hasn't owned a television since he was a teenager and the other one gets the majority of his application from his television. Yet, God is using them both to proclaim the Gospel in the world. Changing lives for Christ. There can be unity instead of division.
Day 0: Sunday
Day 1: Monday
Day 2: Tuesday
Day 3: Wednesday