Friday, November 14, 2008

DG Pastors Conference on Commending Christ

Registration is now open for the 2009 DG Pastors Conference.

From John Piper's invitation letter:
We will gather this year under the theme Commending Christ: The Pastor, the Church, and the Perishing. The focus is on evangelism—telling the gospel.

I did not have to think long about who I wanted most to lead us in this thinking, namely, Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, in Washington, D. C. Mark inspires me with his personal engagement with unbelievers.

His new book The Gospel and Personal Evangelism puts his vision in writing. Just this morning, this book jolted me again (pp. 72–73): Telling my story (“testimony”) is not the same as telling Christ’s story. My story is not the gospel. Telling it is not evangelism. I am deeply thankful Mark will give the three keynote messages.

Meanwhile, I was listening (online) to Matt Chandler preach about the challenges of evangelizing church members who think they are saved but aren’t. I was moved by the insight and courage of what he said. Matt is the Lead Pastor at The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas. He has agreed to come and help us think about that issue in our churches—saving those who think they are saved.

Michael Oh is the president of Christ Bible Seminary and Institute in Nagoya, Japan. He has agreed to be bring global breadth to our theme from his strategic perspective in Japan, with its fewer than .25% Christians. When Don Carson heard that Michael was coming he wrote to me and said, “I'm so glad to hear that you have invited Michael Oh. . . . He is a remarkable young man, being used by God in ways that are wisely breaking all kinds of molds in Japan.”

In keeping with the theme of evangelism, I plan to do my biography this time on one of the most fruitful evangelists of all time, George Whitefield. Whitefield is long overdue for this kind of attention, and I am eager to immerse myself in his life and mind for my own soul and ministry. I pray that the overflow will be useful for you.

This conference is not mainly about technique or method. It is about becoming a certain kind of God-besotted lover of lost people. So I am eager to be together with you and to worship and pray and think and discuss these great matters. I hope you will come. The Great Room at the Minneapolis Convention center sounds like a mighty waterfall when 1400 pastors sing with all their hearts to the Savior they love.
Read the whole thing.