Skip to content ↓

T4G – Introduction

We are packed in to the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House Hotel, a huge hotel in the downtown core of Louisville, Kentucky. We’re shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee. The room is packed from back to front with men who have come to hear about the gospel. The room is filled to overflowing and the organizers had to turn away hundreds more. What a beautiful thing it is to be together for the gospel.

We are in a great ballroom. Huge chandeliers hang overhead. A lighting truss surrounds a stage that is flanked by two large screens which alternate between footage of the current speaker and shots of the audience. Immediately behind the pulpit–a small, open pulpit–is a three-part Together for the Gospel banner. A sea of chairs, stretching to the furthest reaches of the room, face the stage.

To begin the conference, Mark Dever gave away gift certificates to the man who came furthest to attend the conference (he was from India), the man who had been a pastor for the longest (50 years) and the pastor who had been the main preacher at his church the longest (45 years).

Dever explained that these men are not together on what to wear, on what pulpit to use or on what songs to sing or on what music to play. Mark suggested that if any Sovereign Grace guys are present, they be given access to the aisle seat so they can move around a little bit. They are not together on applause or on “amen’s.” The Sovereign Grace folk will surely be vocal in letting you know their agreement, Baptists will mumble a polite “amen,” whereas Presbyterians believe that silence is consent. Neither are they together on how to introduce the speakers. Mark encouraged us to make a game of this and during the week keep track of all things that these men are not together on. “Together for the ___________ [fill in the blank].” We are free to keep track of all the things they are not together on. If you are at the conference this week, feel free to post a comment with other things they are not together about.

Mark concluded his introduction with a brief explanation of the purpose of this conference. He explained that the keynote speakers–Sproul, MacArthur and Piper–were merely bait used to bring together all of these pastors–thousands of them–so they could meet together here, to form relationships with people from their local area. They are together to celebrate the centrality of the gospel and to take that focus to their church homes.

After mark left the stage, Bob Kauflin led us in a couple of hymns. This led to C.J. Mahaney taking the stage to provide a brief monologue, to explain the choice of the books we have been given thus far (The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter which was published 350 years ago this month and The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander along with one of three 9Marks booklets.) and to introduce his friend Mark Dever.

If you happen to be at the conference and would like to say “hello,” I am sitting immediately to the right of the sound booth. Feel free to drop by!


  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…