“The mission of the Shepherds’ Conference is to provide the opportunity for men in church leadership to be challenged in their commitment to biblical ministry and to find encouragement together as servants of the chief Shepherd.”
This year I had the privilege of attending my fourth Shepherds’ Conference. It was from March 5-8that Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. This conference attracted 4,500 men from 67 different countries and men from all 50 of the United States were represented. This year was especially unique because it is also the commemoration of 50 years of God’s faithfulness in the life and ministry of John MacArthur as pastor of Grace Community Church.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Faithful.” All the sermons and breakout sessions were geared towards being faithful as a Christian, and in particular, being faithful in pastoral ministry. The topics covered included being faithful in humility, faithful in personal holiness, faithful to love, faithful to disciple, faithful in the midst of persecution, faithful in the home, faithful to worship, faithful in response to criticism, faithful to guard the truth, faithful to pray, faithful in the culture, faithful to evangelize, faithful in the pulpit, and being faithful to the end because God is faithful.
This conference has been, and continues to be, a huge blessing and an encouragement to me. I would like to share with you just three highlights of my time there:
– First, the gathering of the saints (pastors, shepherds, preachers) from all over the world giving glory to God.
It was an absolute joy and a beautiful picture to see God’s amazing grace and mercy in calling people from all over the world to salvation in Christ, to be used by him to shepherd his church. This reminded me that God is so much bigger than I often give him praise for. God is working all over the world all the time and it is humbling to know that God is using me to proclaim his word and to make his name known where he has placed me.
Another incredible experience is hearing 4,500+ men singing and praising the one true living God for what he has done and for his faithfulness in their lives. The sound of all the voices coming together and singing biblical truth was emotionally powerful and filled my heart with thanksgiving.
– Secondly, the fellowship of the saints (former classmates, pastor friends, ministry co-laborers).
One of the things that I always look forward to when attending this conference is reconnecting with friends and getting to know new friends. One of the blessings was getting to enjoy this conference with my twin brother Rob, who is currently getting his Mdiv at The Master’s Seminary. I was able to see our beloved brother David Andersen as well. I was even able to meet and talk to a former Immanuel youth pastor, Jim Newcomer. The Lord’s work is never accomplished alone and this was a good reminder that I am but one member of a larger body in God’s family.
– Thirdly, the preaching ministry of the saints.
This conference is committed to challenging and encouraging church leaders through the preaching of God’s word. I not only love to preach God’s word, but I delight in hearing God’s word preached. Throughout the span of four days, I was able to listen to 13 sermons, two q&a sessions, and attend two breakout seminars. It was a highlight for me to sit under faithful men who exposit the word and have a high view of scripture.
I want to thank our Immanuel church family for allowing me to attend this conference, and Hannah, Charlotte, Lucy, and I to enjoy some time with our family and friends in California. All the prayers and support were greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Student Ministries Pastor