Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gospel Growth Conference: Introduction

Mark Dever is definitely one of the reasons why conferences at CHBC are so great. When he speaks in front of an audience he extends a warm atmosphere to the entire group.

He began by describing how this conference is NOT about 9Marks, rather it is more a conference to introduce attendees to Matthias Media. He described how Philip Jensen is provocative in obviously healthy ways.

Then he wanted to see who is here…so he had everyone stand up (three times). As they named different type of ministries people slowly people sat down (from senior pastors to deacons).

The second time he had everyone stand again…this time they sat down by denomination (Baptists, Presbyterians, Non-denominational, Evangelical Covenant, CMA, Plymouth Brethren, Menonnite Evangelical, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, Congregationalist, Evangelical Free, Associated Gospel Church, Bible Fellowship, United Methodist, Sovereign Grace, Christian Reformed, Primitive Baptist, Anglican).

The third time he had everyone stand again…and he had everyone sit down based on how far they came for the conference (DC, MD, VA, DE, NJ, PA, NC, SC, GA, FL, NY, New England, AL, MS, TN, KY, OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, WA, less of a distance than Washington State, CA, Toronto, AK, Yucatan Mexico, Chile South America). Both the guys from Chile received three free books for coming the farthest.

Right away it felt like a small intimate environment, not like some more impersonal (and huge) conferences that I've been to (there's also free snacks and drinks at the hospitality kitchen! I never received that at some of the bigger conferences I've been to!)

It's pretty clear that this is an ice-breaker, but it's an ice-breaker with a deliberate purpose...to show exactly who is here (Tony Payne clearly spoke directly to what some of the ice-breaker revealed).

We concluded the introduction with Hymn 15, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"

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