Now that all the conference audio/video is available for free online, here’s another link to my recap of my time there:
Part 1 – visiting Bethlehem Baptist Church on Sunday AM
Part 2 – Doug Wilson Monday PM message on Father Hunger in the Home
Part 3 – Crawford Loritts and Darrin Patrick’s messages
Part 4 – Piper’s bio of Ryle and Wilson again on Father Hunger in the Church
Part 5 – Ramez Atallah on the Gospel in Egypt
Still feel really blessed by this opportunity. Hope my notes help capture some of this for you.
The conference ended yesterday morning with Ramez Atallah, secretary of the Bible society in Egypt. The DG Conference always ends with a missions emphasis so that we can be reminded that all we’ve gained in this conference is meant to be deployed in God’s mission to bring all peoples into enjoyment of Himself. Here’s my few tweets from this session. Ramez had a gripping story that roped me in and I was drawn to listen at times rather than get a note down. Here’s my few tweets:
#dgpascon Ramez Atallah, secretary of Bible society in Egypt, is speaking now… #dgpascon a Christian leader has to have vision, seeing things others don’t see, and point people towards this #dgpascon pastors must trust God’s sovereignty #dgpascon church in Egypt was planted by John Mark (who wrote the Gospel of Mark) who was martyred and used in spite of weakness
RT: Ramez Atallah: “When I came to understand the gospel for the first time, I knew that this was what my peopled needed.”
After this session, we got on the road and returned home. I’m still processing all of these notes, as you can see, but feel really blessed by God to have gotten to enjoy this conference.
After lunch, Piper came and gave a biography on J.C. Ryle. This talk really helped show what manhood looked like in the life of a historical figure. Manhood requires courage. Here’s my tweets:
#dgpascon time for @JohnPiper ‘s bio of JC Ryle #bringit #dgpascon God has given Christianity a masculine flare #dgpascon the masculine feel of Christianity is liable to serious misunderstanding and abuse. #dgpascon 8 features of masculine ministry…1) masculine ministry puts men at head to take the first bullets of criticism #dgpascon 2) masculine ministry seizes full-orbed doctrine, pressing it into life of people #dgpascon Ryle took on jellyfish clergyman who lacked doctrinal nerve #dgpascon 3) masculine ministry brings out rugged aspects of Christian life // sanctification is war! #dgpascon 4) masculine ministry takes heavy, weighty things (like hell) and never shrinks back from the truth of it #dgpascon 5) masculine ministry heralds the Scriptures with urgency and forcefulness #dgpascon 6) masculine ministry welcomes cost of courageous leadership w/o grumbling & complaining for progress of church #dgpascon 7) masculine ministry publicly & privately promote mobilizing people (women), fully engaging all people in ministry #dgpascon 8) masculine ministry models caring for wife and children for the good of the church
There are moments as Piper was speaking that I was filled with praise to God for the faithful life of Ryle. But, deeper still, I recognized the calling upon my life requires courage and boldness as well.
After this session, we had a break for dinner, then, Doug Wilson returned for an evening session on Father Hunger and the Church. My tweets:
#dgpascon the Gospel means you are privileged to carry your sin around like David carried Goliath’s head (in victory) #dgpascon we need teachers, instructors & fathers but acknowledge we have One Mediator between God & man. Don’t let them step in between. #dgpascon role of fatherhood in church esv.to/1cor4:15-16 church & family are not plan a & plan b but plan a & plan a #dgpascon we need fathers because we can only learn some things by imitation. God designed it this way. #dgpascon our job as fathers is not to get them to live by the standard but to love the standard #dgpascon we’re scared by masculine piety #dgpascon two kinds of authority: of office & of blessing, fruit of death and resurrection, taking responsibility #dgpascon worship of God the Father fills checkbook: it fuels spiritual responsibility #dgpascon when we call people to the Father … We are calling people to be like Him #dgpascon do you want traditional, godly fathers without God the Father? you are dreaming. We were made for this… #dgpascon when you come to worship corporately, you come to a person (the Father),through Jesus, and are affected, battling unbelief
Again, Wilson brought great God-honoring, Gospel-filled truth. We need to raise the standard for manhood in the church and not apologize for it. God has made us for this. In fact, the power of the Holy Spirit magnifies Jesus because He brings us to the Father. This direction shows us what our lives were meant for: the glorify the Father. We reflect this reality in church life.
On Tuesday, we kicked off the morning with a sermon from Crawford Loritts entitled Lessons Learned from his father. My tweets:
#dgpc Crawford speaking about his human father’s “signature over his soul” ending up in esv.to/gal5 #dgpascon greatness has to do with staying power…passing on integrity to another generation…not pop fads #dgpascon manhood is not a private matter but public… Manhood is the desired destination we are meant to arrive in, a holy continuity #dgpascon wanted to be like my father…not 4th member of Trinity. He wasn’t perfect. He had integrity. #dgpascon manhood is based on responsibility: being courageous, faithful, keeping promises #dgpascon being father and husband means doing things we don’t feel like doing to keep our responsibilities
RT: Every 28 days a woman is reminded of who she is. A man knows he’s a man only when a key man tells him so.
@CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon #dgpascon a real man embraces responsibility #dgpascon out of struggle comes strength: sacrifice for what’s important #dgpascon out of strength comes discipline: don’t do what you feel like #dgpascon out of discipline comes integrity: we should speak once // 3 things not tolerated: dishonesty, disobedience, disrespect #dgpascon respect is incubator for honor #dgpascon out of integrity comes inheritance: how people treat you should never define you, don’t let people recruit u to insecurities/fears #dgpascon “do right” – all we have to give to next generation is what we’ve become #dgpascon don’t minimize Spirit’s work producing Christlike character in you esv.to/gal5:22-23
Crawford’s talk was largely biographical, but really helped demonstrate what a life devoted to Biblical manhood looks like in flesh and blood. It was very helpful.
After Crawford, Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey Church in STL, spoke on Being and Building Men for the Local Mission. My tweets:
@darrinpatrick #dgpascon esv.to/Gal 5:16-6:2 scariest thing about being leader is when you lead, people follow #dgpascon we produce and reproduce what we are @darrinpatrick #dgpascon how do we build men as God is building us as men? Spiritual fruit = spiritual freedom = biblical masculinity #dgpascon false teachers said Jesus + Law, Paul is writing Galatians to fight this, giving Biblical view of obeying, working from acceptance #dgpascon botanical metaphor in esv.to/Gal5 is the most masculine thing in the Bible – explains how men change #dgpascon struggle for holiness is sign of Spirit’s presence… Fruit grows painfully and interdependently #dgpascon don’t measure you maturity by comparing yourself to others but by looking to Jesus #dgpascon you can’t legislate inner character esv.to/gal5:23 law can only deal with results not source … Fruit is inward #dgpascon only Spirit can do spiritual transformation not mere behavior modification. #dgpascon God’s growth is gradual. Spike it: esv.to/gal5:24 we are as loved and accepted by Father as Jesus is #dgpascon crucify your flesh, kill it. Helpful to know what you’re hunting. esv.to/gal5:16-18 under law = accept me b/c of this #dgpascon key to killing flesh is physical flesh: you need some brosesv.to/gal6:1-3 #dgpascon fruit grows in environment of brotherhood. Men who are surgeons not butchers, cutting to heal carefully, setting fractures
After Darrin’s session, my heart was super-encouraged by Gospel truth. My greatest need as a man is the Gospel. Darrin pointed us here and and while there is some work to pursue in obedience, the Gospel makes it possible and richly explored.
This wrapped up Tues AM.
On Monday, the conference got rolling with Doug Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, ID, preaching. His sermon dealt with Leading the Home. My tweets were:
As parents, we want our children’s hearts…so show them how to do it. God does this for us.
When Jesus was baptized, His Father was there, made His presence known, identified with Him & expressed joy & delight in Him.
Fathers need to have a fatherly pleasure over their children.
God’s generosity is showcased in John’s Gospel.
Calling God Father doesn’t mean He’s male but He’s masculine. His masculity has been bestowed on us.
#dgpc all fatherhood is from God
A family is a creation of God. God established this in the beginning.
Earthly fathers are masculinity carriers.
#dgpc maculinity is the glad assumption of responsibility
Like velvet covered brick, masculine toughness should lie underneath masculine tenderness
Biblical headship is bleeding and joyful sacrifice.
#dgpc men are called to provide and protect http://esv.to/gen2:15
RT: Doug Wilson: “If you want to preach the gospel to your wife and to your children, then die.”
Fatherhood has a point beyond “begetting” : look at the Manual (the Bible)
A father’s authority is for building up. It’s designed for giving and sacrificing for others.
#dgpc it should be a gift to them. #dgpc how can we be model without a model? By the Gospel, we can break out of fatherless tendencies by seeing the Father through Christ #dgpc we are able to imitate what we hear about / read // in biographies of fathers of gr8 men, church, missions, etc.
RT: Doug Wilson: “In the gospel, the fatherless no longer are.”
#dgpascon #dgpc fathers speak about God the Father constantly whether true or false #dgpc children need fathers regardless of resistance … Strict as God the Father is strict: holy and merciful #dgpc back to Gospel: when you turn to God in repentance, don’t believe He’s like you, receiving you poorly, believe good news. You’re loved #dgpc we’re are called to have homes of grace for all of our children
There are a few things I really appreciated in this session: 1) A clear defining of terms. 2) A Gospel centered focus. 3) the pressing to greater practice of fatherhood in homes. I really benefitted and was excited that we were rolling in this amazing theme of manhood.
As many of you know, I had the privilege this past week of attending the 2012 Desiring God Conference for Pastors. I will recap some of that experience here to collate my notes and help others who might be wondering what my benefits were from this investment.
My team (I traveled with a fellow elder and 2 younger guys) left on Saturday and arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday night. We got up Sunday morning and went to Bethlehem Baptist Church’s North Campus to hear John Piper preach in the local church he pastors. It was an amazing sermon entitled Let’s Be Rich Toward God. For this conference, I did a first and didn’t furiously take hundreds of notes. But I grabbed relevant content that stuck with me and tweeted it. Here’s my tweets from this sermon:
Piper really delivered in this message. Included in this was an autobiographical account of how he and Noel use their finances in decisive ways. As is usually the case, I left the service amazed at how God and Word-centered the leadership is.
We spent some time in the Mall of America before prepping Monday for the conference to begin.
Piper had a great post yesterday entitled Read Your Bible More and More. The post was very helpful in helping me see how intake of God’s Word is not legalism. But I loved these quotes from J.C. Ryle’s Practical Religion (p.136):
Do not think you are getting no good from the Bible, merely because you do not see that good day by day. The greatest effects are by no means those which make the most noise, and are most easily observed. The greatest effects are often silent, quiet, and hard to detect at the time they are being produced.
Think of the influence of the moon upon the earth, and of the air upon the human lungs. Remember how silently the dew falls, and how imperceptibly the grass grows. There may be far more doing than you think in your soul by your Bible-reading.
Today, go to God’s Word and be very much affected..
As I mentioned, I have the privilege of being up in Minneapolis, MN (where it is quite mild this particular winter) for the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference. If you’re not able to be here, the entire conference is available for free online as a live stream. Here’s the info:
If you aren’t able to make it Minneapolis this year for the conference, that doesn’t mean you have to miss it. The entire conference will be live-streamed, for free. And this year in addition to English it will also be live-streamed in Spanish, Chinese and Russian.
Live-Stream Schedule (EST)
8:30 – 9:30 PM Doug Wilson – “Father Hunger” in Leading the Home
10:00 – 11:00 AM Crawford Loritts – Lessons on Biblical Manhood Learned from His Father
11:30 – 12:30 PM Darrin Patrick – Being and Building Men for the Local Mission
2:45 – 4:00 PM John Piper – Biographical sketch of J.C. Ryle
8:30 – 9:30 PM Doug Wilson – “Father Hunger” in Leading the Church
10:00 – 11:00 AM Ramez Atallah – Pastoring with Vision, Creativity, and Courage in Hard Places
11:30 – 12:30 PM Speaker Panel – Doug Wilson, Darrin Patrick, Crawford Loritts, Ramez Atallah, John Piper
2:00 – 4:00 PM A Conversation with Doug Wilson and John Piper – The Supremacy of Christ in All of Life: The Pastor and His Worldview
Take advantage of this amazing opportunity and join me here.
Much of my time this past week and into this weekend has been devoted to preparing to be gone to the 2012 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference. There are some amazing videos online talking about the scope of this conference and I am blessed to get to travel with another Elder and 2 younger guys. I’m hoping God gives us all a vision of what it means to be a man of God in ministry. Typically, they stream sessions live, so if this conference interests you, check back on the conference website for info. And, if you’re reading this, would you please pray that God would begin a work of grace in the heart of all those who attend. He’s the One responsible for any kind of lasting change. Thanks.