February - April is conference time in the Evangelical world, and I am spending a lot more time in airplanes and hotel rooms than usual. Last week it kicked off for me at Leadership Network's Innovation 3 Conference. I thought the invitation to speak at a conference entitled "Innovation" was somewhat ironic because I have never been called, considered or even attempted to be innovative. It was a good week despite my lack of creativity and originality. My favorite part of Leadership Network's conference was hanging out with some of the other speakers (Darrin Patrick, Mark Driscoll, Matt Carter, Larry Osborne).
I have been looking forward to the next two weeks for almost 9 months now. On Monday morning early, Lauren and I will be boarding a plane for Minneapolis, MN for Desiring God's Pastor's Conference. Mark Dever is the key note speaker and will be joined by Michael Oh, John Piper and myself. God has used Pastor Piper in some really formative ways in my heart and mind, and the invitation to speak at the conference has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. The schedule has me preaching at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday (A Shepherd and His Unregenerate Sheep), participating in a panel Q&A on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and speaking at a College Outreach for Bethlehem on Wednesday at 9 p.m. It should be amazing, and I will try and post at least every other day while I am there with my thoughts and experiences.
The next week I fly out to FBC Jacksonville to speak at their Pastor's conference. I was surprised and excited about this invitation because there has been some tension between me and my fellow Baptists over the last few years and it has grieved my soul. I am hoping the invitation is a sign of some reconciliation and future dialogues. The men who are speaking are men who I have heard of but never met (Johnny Hunt, Paige Patterson, Jerry Vines to name a few). I will be speaking again at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and then again that afternoon at 2:30. I'll continue to blog in Jacksonville.
I am excited about both of these opportunities and find my heart already pleading with God to move in the hearts of pastors for the sake of His name. I would appreciate your prayers and will keep you up to date.