Why I am Going to Together for the Gospel

Bright and early tomorrow morning I am flying to Louisville, KY with three other friends to attend the Together for the Gospel (T4G) Conference. I am excited, and I can’t wait to go! But why? Why have I made it a priority in my busy schedule as a pastor to attend this conference?

Why I am Going to Together for the Gospel

(1) Teaching

The men who will be speaking at this conference are godly men that have been blessed by God with the ability to shepherd other pastors. They are firmly grounded in the Word and all their counsel will be as well. I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about the gospel, as well as learning more about how the gospel applies to my life, my ministry, and my church.

(2) Books

I love books, they are essential tools for any minister, and there will be tons of vendors at the conference. The best thing is that these vendors will have hand selected a number of solid books and they will be selling them at a discounted price. As well as there will be a lot of books given away for free, which is probably the best part. I plan on coming back with a suitcase full, so much so that I am packing as light as possible, in order to make room for more books. If it is not a necessity, I am not bringing it. I am hoping these books will not only serve to educate me, but that they will also serve my congregation.

(3) Fellowship

I have found that conferences are a great time to meet other godly men from around the country, as well as it is a great time to spend with friends. I am looking forward to connecting with those I have not seen since my last conference, meeting new people, and hanging with my friends I am traveling with. Above all, I am looking forward to learning how God is working in these men’s lives and churches, as well as hearing how the gospel is being spread in their town, and how they are ministering to their community.

(4) Band of Bloggers

I am looking forward to gathering together with other fellow bloggers at the Band of Bloggers meeting to discuss and learn how we may band together as a united front to spread the gospel to the nations through the internet. As well as I am looking forward to meeting new people and discovering new blogs to add to my RSS reader.

(5) Traveling

I love to travel and learn about new places. I am looking forward to exploring Louisville, KY, seeing the campus of SBTS, and eating at a few local places.

The Next Chapter

This last Sunday I preached in view of a call at Sycamore Baptist Church. The Lord graciously revealed His will, which was that He was calling me to Sycamore Baptist as their Lead Pastor. I accepted the call, and I will be installed as their new pastor on February 5th. I am extremely humbled that the Lord has chosen to use me to lead His church. I consider it a privilege and honor to serve and lead the members of Sycamore Baptist Church in Decatur, TX.

Jen and I are both excited about this opportunity, and we are looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us and the church in the future. Please be in prayer for us as we make this transition to a new city and a new church.

You can specifically pray for us in the following ways:

  • Pray the Lord would give me the wisdom to lead His church.
  • Pray the Lord will reveal to me what I need to teach through both on Sunday Mornings and Wednesday Bible Study.
  • Pray the Lord will bless us with young couples to befriend and invite to the church.
  • Pray the Lord will allow me to find a few men to meet with for accountability and discipleship.
  • Pray the Lord will allow the church to be a light to the community, reaching it for Christ.
  • Pray the Lord will allow our transition to a new city and church an easy one.

What is Your Current Spiritual State?

Lately, I have been reading the Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter. It is a great book, and one I highly recommend. In his section on the Oversight of the Flock, Baxter challenges pastors to both be acquainted with and to know the spiritual state of their people. He believes that pastors need to know the temperament or disease of the flock, in order to be a good physician.

Benefit for Everyone

I believe Baxter’s advice is great, but it is not just for pastors. I believe everyone can benefit from his advice. We all need to understand our own spiritual state, so we know where we need the most accountability, and what we need to consistently watch out for and pray to God to help us with.

Self Evaluation

In order to help evaluate ourselves, I have provided a modified version of a list Baxter gives to his readers to assist us in testing our own spiritual state.

The list is as follows:

(1) What are your natural inclinations? What are your tendencies? In other words, what actions, attitudes, or beliefs are you disposed toward? To what sins are you naturally drawn?

(2) Who are the people you keep regular company with? Do they serve to build you up in Christ, or do they tear you down?

(3) What sins are you most in danger of committing? Are there circumstances in your life that allow you to easily sin in a particular area?

(4) What duties (prayer, Bible study, Scripture memory, evangelism, accountability, family devotions, etc.) are you most apt to neglect?

(5) To what temptations are you most likely to succumb?

If we honestly answer all these questions, we will have a proper understanding of our current spiritual state, which should help us to guard ourselves on a daily basis. As well as know in what areas we need to seek accountability from others.