I can’t believe I’m at 100 posts already. Time flies when you’re writing all the time. It seems like just yesterday was January 5th and I was beginning the journey to attempt to blog on a daily basis. Well, lately the daily has turned into “almost daily,” but our Christian worldview still shapes how we think about our world daily so the name of this blog still adds up, so I won’t be changing it to “Think Christian Almost Daily” any time soon. For the 100th post I just so happen to be in the midst of Basics Conference 2019 here at my home church, Parkside.
This is my 6th Basics as a member of the pastoral team at Parkside. I have grown to love this conference for many reasons. My favorite thing about this particular conference when compared to others I’ve been to is that Parkside actually hosts everything necessary for the whole conference right here at our church! This takes tons and tons of volunteer work, and paid workers also, but each year the work gets done. I think the people of Parkside do an amazing job of serving food, cleaning, praying for the speakers, and even hosting pastors from out of town so they don’t have to stay in a hotel. The facilities remain well kept, the dining situation is great, there are snacks for the guys and coffee– it’s just a very hospitable week. A lot of the pastors who come to this conference do not have a support team beyond just themselves, an administrator, and maybe one other pastor on staff, and so they really need the fellowship of something like the Basics Conference to refresh and renew their spirit so they can effectively serve in the local church.
If you have not been to a Basics Conference then I encourage you to join some 1400 other men serving in ministry and make the trip to the Eastern Cleveland, OH suburbs to be a part of this conference at least one time. To give you an idea of how the three days go here is what we’ve done so far. Registration began at noon yesterday. At 3:00 Alistair Begg, the Senior pastor of our church, kicked off the conference teaching from the letter to the Colossians. Then, at 4:30 we had 4 different breakout sessions going on at the same time-I have had the honor of serving Terry Mccutcheon during these sessions. Terry comes to us from Glasgow, Scotland and he is involved in ministering to the addicted, and he is passionate about helping the local church to effectively minister to people in addiction. Other breakouts include those from Rico Tice, Andy Gemmill, Jonathan Holmes, Jeff Mills, and Matt Boswell. Then, to end the night last night Rico Tice gave another main session. So far this morning, our third main speaker, Andy Gemmill, has already spoken during a main session and right now the guys are having a coffee break. Here in 20 minutes I will head downstairs for a main session led by Rico Tice, there will then be a lunch, then 2 breakout session times, some free time, then dinner, then a main session, then Q & A with Alistair. Tomorrow there will be a Q&A with Rico, Andy, and Alistair, and then Alistair will close the Basics conference.
Beyond the logistical elements of the conference that I like so much I also love that Basics is a conference for pastors, and specifically for pastors to remain faithful in their basic tasks of teaching and preaching as they shepherd the flock entrusted to them in their local congregations. There is nothing flashy about this conference, but that is the way I believe Jesus would have it. If you’re coming to Basics expecting competing egos, amazing displays of skill, and dramatic worship singing then you will walk away disappointed. But, if you come to Basics with an open Bible, and a soft heart, and with a will to daily minister to you people then Basics will be a tremendous help and encouragement to you.
Return tomorrow when I will provide my takeaways from this year’s Basics Conference.