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The Basics Conference

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A look at the basics conference for pastors

A return to basics

Each year for the past ten years, pastors have gathered at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to share advice and guidance and to receive practical help with their preaching. At the conclusion of the 2009 conference we spoke to a few of the attendees and got their perspective on Basics.

What others are saying

“That’s why it was so appealing when the brochure said, ‘Basics,’” explains Reverend Dr. Gregory Clark, Sr., of Streetsboro, Ohio. “It was just telling me that I really have gotten away from that. Alistair [Begg, senior pastor of Parkside] takes us and says, ‘This is how you do a sermon.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, right.’ And then we notice how far we have gotten away from that because we just don’t have anyone to engage us like that. Alistair, over the years, he’s been challenging us.”

Pastors Chang Cho and Albert Chung, two-time attendees from Toronto, Canada, remember and appreciate the lessons theylve learned from last year’s conference of “preaching the Gospel to yourself and feeding yourself to help others.” Pastor Chung adds, “Other conferences focus on growing your church and like to use the buzzword, ‘leadership,’ but this conference is cross-centered and meets our needs as pastors in order for us to grow.”

Preach, preach, preach

Jack McCullough, a church elder from Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, explains. “People are saying, ‘We don’t really think preaching is the way to go. We should change it.’ But to come here and hear the speaker say, ‘Preach the Word. Preach, preach, preach.’ That’s what we need to hear. To know that we are not alone, even though it might appear that way whenever we each go back to our respective towns and cities and churches.”

They keep coming back

“Guys are coming because of their respect for Alistair because he’s practical,” explains Reverend Dr. Clark. “He’s down-to-earth. He’ll take the time out. And especially when we were talking to him, we see he’s just like us. And you don’t know that until you sit down and talk to him.”

Mr. McCullough and his pastor, who have attended the conference six times, have found their experiences here invaluable. “It costs a little bit more to come over [from Europe] and it takes a little bit longer, but the quality of the teaching and the ministry that’s given out and they way that you’re looked after, it’s really second to none. You can’t put a value on that,” remarks Mr. McCullough.

What a difference three days make

At the start of the conference, Pastor Roy Gray from Tarboro, North Carolina, wasn’t sure what to expect. He was open to the experience and ready to go with the flow. As he was getting ready to board the shuttle to the airport, I asked Pastor Gray what he will take away from this conference. He reported back, “I realize how much more I need and want to grow as a preacher. I will be back.”

This year’s conference will be May 11-13 at Parkside Church. Join us and see what everyone is talking about. Register today while space is still available.


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