Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Together for the Gospel: 2014

Last week I had the awesome privilege to attend the T4G (Together for the Gospel) pastors conference in Louisville, Kentucky. I traveled with my pastor and two other pastor friends, and was immensely blessed by the fellowship and encouragement of each of them. I had initially decided against going to the conference due to the potential cost of travel, but funds were made available and several kind individuals made it possible for me to attend. It was a refreshing time in God's Word; I cannot even begin to explain what the worship and study of God's Word was like at T4G. Over 7,000 people gathered to sit under faithful teaching in 9 sessions, 6 panel discussions and a breakout lecture over the course of just two and a half days.

For those who are interested, you can watch all of the sessions and panel discussions on the T4G website by clicking HERE.

Below is a brief photo journal of our journey and the conference.

We left Sunday, immediately following church and traveled to Alan & Diane Ardern's home in Tatamagouche, NS. They live in a lighthouse, which is awesome. I slept in the tower, which is more awesome.

On Monday Alan drove Andrew and I to the Halifax airport where we were greeted at the United Airlines ticket counter with; "oh, you two gentlemen must think you're flying to Louisville today... but you can't." Our flight had been delayed with the new arrival time in Louisville being 6:30 pm the following day, 24 hours later than expected. We approached another airline, US Airways, and they were able to make arrangements for us to fly to Nashville that day.

Bill and Sean arrived, calm, cool and collected, just in time for us to catch our newly assigned flight.

Our flight allowed us less than an hour in Toronto to get through security and customs, but after a jog through Pearson we made it with moments to spare.

When we arrived in Nashville we rented a car and hit the road. It was about a 3 hour drive to Louisville, and we arrived in time to have a decent nights sleep before the beginning of the conference.

Prior to T4G there was a mini conference being hosted in the hotel where we were staying. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) is a group of Christian leaders and teachers who are committed to a complementarian relationship between men and woman and their distinct roles within the church and family. The conference was about three hours long and we heard from a number of speakers in that short time. At the end of this short conference we already felt "filled up" and had yet to even register at the main conference.

The main conference was held at the "KFC Yum Center" in Louisville, KY, and began after lunch on Tuesday. 

"If we cared more about what God thinks of our friends who don't know Christ, and less about what they think about us, we would evangelize more." -Mark Dever

"Hell is real, wrath is terrible; and it is against that backdrop that repentance is so beautiful." -Thabiti Anyabwile

We were blessed to hear messages throughout the conference from nine different men, all dealing with missions and evangelism. They admonished us to be prayerfully diligent, biblically grounded and eternally motivated in taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere, always.

The music was amazing, almost 8,000 voices joined in worship accompanied only by Bob Kauflin on the piano.Click HERE for a brief peek at the music.

On Wednesday Tim Challies organized a "True North Luncheon" for any of the Canadians attending T4G to meet and discuss evangelism and missions in Canada. We enjoyed a panel discussion and Chick-Fil-A lunch.

We each had the option to attend a break out seminar, I selected "The Importance of Inerrancy for Evangelism in Missions" facilitated by Ligon Duncan and Albert Mohler. The lecture was just an hour but excellent.

It was amazing to be a part of such a big conference, we never knew who we might run into. This is Pastor Andrew Ardern and Christian hip-hop artist Trip-Lee. 

Travel all the way to Kentucky and we ran into some friends from the Maritimes.

Here is Pastor Sean Crowe with Lamp Mode artist, God's Servant.

An added bonus to each of the conferences was the books that we received as a part of our registration. We were given some excellent resources and materials to read; additional to that was the huge Lifeway Christian store, giving us access to some great resources and materials at very reasonable prices.

It was a great blessing and encouragement to travel with these pastors, we enjoyed challenging and edifying conversation and shared together in worship and prayer. Left to right is William Emberley, pastor of Grace Baptist Church; Sean Crowe, pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church; Andrew Ardern, pastor of Cumberland Bay Baptist Church and myself.

After three very full days we began our return journey. Andrew and Kayla kindly returned me to Cumberland Bay.

While I was adventuring all over the place, my precious ladies traveled to Nova Scotia to visit grammie & grampie DeNuke at the farm; Ivy had a great time with her cousins. I certainly did miss them while I was away, it was great to go, but I felt half lost without my girls.

All in all it was a very worth while time, one that I am grateful for and will look back to often as we enter into a very busy time of ministry here at Arrowhead; what a fantastic way to kick off the Spring.

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