This marks the second year I’ve been given the privilege of liveblogging the Shepherd’s Conference. Just a few minutes from now I’ll go out into the -35 degree cold (that includes windchill, mind you) to set out for Los Angeles where rumor has it I can expect 75 degree temperatures. That is an adjustment of 110 degrees!
The conference, which is geared primarily towards pastors and is sponsored by Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, is composed of both General Sessions and Conference Seminars.
The General Sessions “are times when we gather as one great congregation to worship the Lord in music and sit under the teaching of godly men—men who have proven themselves to be passionate teachers of God’s Word and faithful shepherds of God’s people.” The keynote speakers at these General Sessions are: John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, and Steve Lawson. John Piper was scheduled to speak but was understandably forced to cancel as he awaits the imminent death of his father.
The Conference Seminars allow “access to a variety of teaching from pastors and elders of Grace Community Church and professors from The Master’s College and Seminary. Seminar topics range from expository preaching and shepherdology to key theological issues vital for shepherds today.” Among the seminar leaders are Phil Johnson, Irv Busenitz, Nathan Busenitz, Rick Holland, Steve Lawson and Richard Mayhue.
This year there is also a scholar’s desk, a feature that allows experts in a field to be available to answer questions from anyone who cares to ask. I’ll be serving on Wednesday afternoon with Nathan Busenitz at the scholar’s desk dealing with blogging. Should be a good time!
There will be eleven General Seminars and each person will attend five of the more than forty Conference Seminars. While last year I made sure to go to lots of the seminars, this year I am planning on spending that time writing or wandering around looking for things to write about.
I have been given free rein as to how I blog the conference. My intent is to allow those who are not able to attend the conference to be able to understand what is happening and perhaps to gain some idea of the atmosphere at such a gathering. I will provide commentary on each of the General Sessions as they unfold and will comment on anything else I find notable. I am hoping to have opportunity to speak with some attendees and ask how they are enjoying their time. I hope that my endeavors will prove valuable to those who choose to read the updates.
Shepherd’s is one of my favorite conferences. I love being in the presence of so many godly men, so many pastors, and enjoy seeing the way the conference organizers seek to serve and honor them. This really is an escape and a haven for many pastors. If your pastor is going to be at the conference this year, be sure to pray for him that God would grant him a time of relaxation, of edification and of joy as he sits under the constant preaching of the Word. And if he is not, consider sending him next year so he can benefit from this opportunity.
I’ll be traveling with Paul, my pastor. And to be honest, there really isn’t anyone I’d rather experience this conference with. As always, I’d be honored if you would think to pray for me this week. This liveblogging stuff isn’t nearly as easy as it may seem and it really does take a lot out of me. Not to complain, of course, as I really do enjoy it. But I do often find it a tough gig. And, of course, I’d appreciate prayer for my family as I’ll be far away from them for the next few days.
See you in L.A.!