Update from the Gospel Coalition Conference

Friday is for Heart Songs (part 2)

Conference imageThe Gospel Coalition Conference held at the McCormick Center in Chicago this past week was centered on the theme of “Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament.”  Some four thousand pastors and almost 1000 of their wives, joined together to worship and explore the wonder of seeing Christ in the Old Testament.

I am not going to review the conference. It was too big, too multifaceted, and too content-packed to accomplish much in this space. But here were some of my take-aways:

  1. It was thrilling to see the relative youthfulness of the conference. My guess would be that 50% of the conference was under 35.
  2. Tim Keller, of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, was brilliant in his exposition of Exodus 14. You can hear it and all of the other messages at the Gospel Coalition website.
  3. My time with my friend Steve Howell of Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) was a great encouragement and joy. How precious are friends who hear the melody of our hearts and can harmonize with your own passion for Christ!
  4. It was balm to my spirit to see so many of my former students and interns who are continuing to follow the Lord with passion. Truly, there is no greater joy (3 John 4).
  5. Had a conversation with Matt Chandler at a dessert that the Chicago Church Planting Partnership and Moody Church helped to put together. Teaser: I will tell more about the conversation in about six months. Please continue to pray for Matt as he battles a brain tumor with courage and grace.
  6. Had a great breakfast with Jeff Vandersteldt of Soma Communities. For about a year, when I have described what I felt God calling me to do in my next church plant, three different people have said, “That sounds a lot like what Soma Communities and Jeff Vandersteldt are doing out in Tacoma, WA. So it was great to sit down for breakfast and talk with Jeff. In many ways I felt like I was talking to a younger, better version of myself. Thanks for introducing us Steve.
  7. I was able to sit down with a number of former students and interns as well as many new contacts and tell them about the new ministry that God is calling us to. Business cards were flying all over the place!
  8. I got lots of free books!!!!!!!

Update: Still trying to put some of those thoughts from the conference into practice at Trinity Church.


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