No, I don’t call myself a Calvinist or reformed, but I do believe in God’s grace and sovereignty and I desire to be gospel-centered. And I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s ‘Together for the Gospel’ Conference. This was my first T4G Conference and though I don’t know how it might compare to the others, I would highly recommend you add this to your schedule in April 2014. There are many reasons, here are a few:
The PREACHING – Nine main sessions about the power of the gospel. I don’t ever remember a time that my spirit was more stirred to preach and witness. I appreciate the authority with which the messages were given, the humility of the messengers, the preeminence of the Scriptures (specifically the gospel) in every session. Zealous. Urgent. Authoritative. Never have I heard such content in such a short conference – every message deeply affected in me a hot passion to continue preach and to share the powerful gospel. Here are my notes.
The MUSIC – Bob Kauflin led worship for 8k+ with his piano and voice. He led us in true worship of spirit and truth. What a joy to sing the old and new hymns – such rich doctrine, such beauty and poetry. What a pleasure to listen to and sing in such a choir of men (and ladies). Listen here.
The ZERO-DOLLAR BOOKSTORE – That’s right… $0. T4G, Crossway, and Lifeway (and others I’m sure) sponsored a bookstore and vendor area where every registrant would receive ~20 books, CDs, pamphlets, etc. absolutely free. This is not just an immediate blessing but will continue to bless as I make time to dig into these resources. Here’s the stack. I also enjoyed browsing the other bookstore with such a wide variety of authors and topics.
The FRIENDSHIPS – I did not go to T4G alone. I came with 3 close friends and left with many more. Thanks to Michael, Brad, Dave, Jamie, Jon, Jared, and Tom. Next time, I will be bringing more friends and making even more…
The PANEL DISCUSSIONS & BREAKOUTS – As I understand it, the format this year was very different than in the past. I have no point of comparative reference, but suffice it to say that these were interesting. Because they were so topically oriented and pointed, I must admit that some interested me much more than others – but the 1-2 that caught my attention were very interesting and facilitated even more questions / study / conversation. I look forward to catching up on the ones I missed on the T4G website.
The TESTIMONIES – This year’s theme, Together for the Underestimated Gospel, was beautifully highlighted by ~8 testimonies of the power of the gospel. This stirred each one of us as a testament to God’s might and the reach of the good news.
The LOCATION – Although this conference was located in my backyard (Louisville), I would definitely travel if it were necessary. I met many people who did travel… from Canada, India, Cayman Is., and all over the USA. The YUM! Center & the Kentucky International Convention Center were excellent venues. (One caveat… the meal plan was a high for the quality of food – but still worth the convenience.)