2015 Shepherds’ Conference (Day One)

Inerrancy-SummitIf Sunday is the best day of the week, then I’m convinced that the Shepherds’ Conference has to be the best week of the year. I’ve been coming for 12 years and I have never walked away unblessed or unmoved by the ministry of Grace Community Church to so many thousands of pastors.

If you’ve never been to a Shepherds’ Conference here are some stats to give you an idea of the scale of this year’s event:

  • 4,500 men are in attendance this year (1,300 for whom this is their first time at a Shepherds’ Conference)
  • 70 different countries are represented (including many countries in the Middle East)
  • The messages are being translated live into Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese
  • 1,200 Volunteers are here to serve at the conference
  • 50,000 free books will be given away
  • 100,000 books are expected to be sold
  • 7 local Chipotle restaurants shut down today in order to come to the conference and serve lunch

10422175_10205918923318582_2683220718051613673_nOf course a conference of this nature and of this magnitude is bound to attract attention. We arrived at the campus to find several protestors who were for the most part ignored. Additionally, the conference’s website (www.shepherdsconference.org) was maliciously attacked and taken down for most of the day. Fortunately, the site is back up now so you should be able to watch the live stream tomorrow. If something happens again tomorrow, you can always go to Grace Community’s website where they are also live streaming the event (www.gracechurch.org). Also, you can find Nathan Busenitz Live Blog of the conference here.

The morning began with a Keynote Address from Dr. MacArthur in which he addressed the question of “Why host a conference on the doctrine of inerrancy?” His four points were 1) Because the Scripture is being attacked and we are called to defend it, 2) Because the Scriptures is authoritative and we are called to declare it, 3) Because the Scripture is Accurate and we are called to demonstrate it, 4) Because the Scripture is active and we are called to deploy it. You can find Busenitz live blog of the session here.

The next session began with the Getty’s leading us in worship and introducing a new song that was specially written for this conference on inerrancy. Alistair Begg preached a message on 2 Timothy 4:1-5 called “Let the Lion Out”. For me personally this was the most moving message of the day. Begg explored 1) Timothy’s Charge (v. 1-2), 2) Timothy’s Challenge (v. 3-4), 3) Timothy’s Character (v. 5). You can find Busenitz live blog of the session here.

One of the best parts of the conference is catching up with old friends over lunch, coffee or at the book store. I was blessed to run into several of the pastors and elders from my former church and to hear about all of the wonderful things happening up in Washington. It was a joy to see these men again and to be encouraged by them.

RC Sproul lead our third session through a recorded message. Sproul’s main point was that Jesus believed that the Scripture was inerrant and that we ought not have a lower view of the Scriptures than Jesus does. You can find Busenitz live blog of the session here.

I suppose that now is as good a time as any to confess that me and the guys skipped the fourth session with Stephen Nichols in order to get dinner, but fortunately Nathan Busenitz was there and you can read his live blog of the message here. In our defense, this is a lot of preaching to listen to and we fully intend to listen to the message on the way home from the conference Smile

10353023_10205922568569711_2483588022726477406_nAfter dinner we returned for the last session of the day with Ligon Duncan on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Duncan broke the passage down into three points 1) What the Bible is, 2) What the Bible is for, 3) What the Bible does. One of the most helpful parts of the message was at the very end when Duncan said that we all know that you won’t obey what you don’t believe, but many of us need to learn that you won’t believe what you don’t obey. In other words in order to believe something to be true, we must begin by acting like it is true (obedience). We must obey in order to believe. You can find Busenitz live blog of the session here.

A couple other interesting things about the conference this year:

  • Master’s Seminary alumni got express registration in the newly remodeled seminary welcome center. It was just finished last week and it really is stunning.
  • The book give away has been streamlined so that each man can pick up his box of 11 books in the book store at any point in the conference. The books included:
    • A new edition of BB Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
    • The Scripture Cannot be Broken edited by John MacArthur
    • Biblical Authority by John D. Woodbridge
    • Fundamentalism & the Word of God by JI Packer
    • Christianity & Liberalism (CD) by J. Gresham Machen
    • In Defense of the Bible by Steve Cowan & Terry Wilder
    • The Quest for the Historical Adam by William VanDoodewaard
    • Why Believe the Bible by John MacArthur
    • The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper
    • Can I Really Trust the Bible by Barry Cooper
    • Sanctification: The Christian’s Pursuit of God-Given Holiness by Michael Riccardi
  • Because the sanctuary only holds 3,000 people they’ve assigned each man to one of three groups (Augustine, Tyndale and Warfield). During each of the sessions 2 of these 3 groups are in the worship center, while the third group is in one of the other venues where the service is live streamed.
  • I have never seen this many people on Grace Church’s campus! It’s amazing how efficiently the staff and volunteers are able to serve each man’s needs.
  • For 10 years I’ve been waiting for The Master’s Seminary to have a shirt or a coffee mug or something that I could purchase to show my support and enthusiasm for TMS and this year they finally did it. I was able to purchase a nice polo shirt with the seminary logo on it that I am REALLY excited about!
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March 03 2015 10:47 pm | Blog and Shepherds' Conference

3 Responses to “2015 Shepherds’ Conference (Day One)”

  1. Adrienne on 04 Mar 2015 at 3:42 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s fun to see the stats posted.

  2. SKH on 04 Mar 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    This is great! No pressure or anything, but some of us are enjoying the SC vicariously through you. Looking forward to your daily reports/recaps.

  3. Drew on 05 Mar 2015 at 7:16 am #

    Thanks guys, I’ll keep it up. I’ll try to get some more pictures too.