A CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE HAPPENS ON PURPOSE,
SO YOU WILL GET THE MOST OUT OF IT IF YOU ATTEND ON PURPOSE
Why spend time and money to attend a Christian conference? You can watch it for free on the internet or on television.
Last year I attended a week-long conference in Missouri. I live in Ontario, Canada. The drive time was twenty hours each way. There were hotel, gas and food expenses for the week. Plus buying the things we forgot to bring. We also thought it appropriate to give offerings. And of course, we may find other “good” reasons to spend money when we travel.
The ministry hosting this conference broadcast it live on the internet. So we could have watched it at home. That would have saved us the travel expenses. And we could still see every session from beginning to end. We could have sung with the choir and said “amen” to the Preaching. All from the comfort of our home. Oh yes, and we could still give our offering through the internet.
But as believers, we participate in added value by being there. Value that cannot be communicated through the internet or television. Consider the following three reasons why being at the conference will have added value for you:
THE TANGIBLE ANOINTING AT A CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE
I am not a cessationist. Cessationism is the doctrinal position most Christians seem to hold. It says that certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit ended when the last apostle of the Lamb died.
Cessationist do not actually believe that all manifestations of the Holy Spirit ended. If that were the case there would be no sovereign governance of the purposes and plans of God. Which they normally believe strongly in.
Actually, salvation would be on hold apart from the manifestation of the Spirit. Jesus makes it clear that one must be born of the Spirit to see and enter the kingdom of God. Which of course is what it means to biblically become a Christian. (John 3:3-8)
Anyway, I am not a cessationist. I believe and enjoy, those manifestations of the Spirit assigned to the Church by Scripture. You can review these in Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5:22-23, James 5:14-16, and elsewhere in the New Testament.
“To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” – Colossians 1:29
So, I believe the Holy Spirit attends Christian conferences of all kinds. And if we honor His presence and intent, we will enjoy His power and grace.
If a given conference is the will of God, the Spirit of God has a determined role to play in it. There will be a particular anointing there in accord with the purpose of God for that conference. That anointing will be manifest in ways that faith connects with. Even by television or internet. But it will also be manifest in ways that require your physical presence.
In 1988 I when to a minister’s conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I especially remember the night that Lester Sumrall ministered. After his message, he called two seasoned ministers to the front. He then instructed the ministers in the pews to come and have hands laid upon them by one of these to ministers. According to the leading of the Spirit.
My pastor had made the trip from St. Louis, to attend this meeting. We both went forward immediately. (I had recently moved to Tulsa to attend Rhema Bible Training College. We had invited our pastor to come and stay with us so he could attend this ministers conference.)
I received something that night by the laying on of hands. Something that has never left me. A gifting from the Lord that remains with me to this day. Laying your hand on the television will not work for this. (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6)
“There are some things that work through television, and some that don’t”
But this is just a sample. There are many things like this, that are subject your actual presence at a Christian event. Perhaps even the cessationist will confirm this.
FELLOWSHIP AROUND THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT
Again, in that same conference there was also the bonus of having our pastor stay in our home. Our fellowship and conversations were edifying. No, this did not all happen at the conference. But it would not have occurred apart from our attending this conference.
I find times of fellowship with those who attend Christian events and conferences to be rich. We encourage one another, and learn from one another. These things should be highly valued. We pray with one another and release faith for each other’s wellbeing, assignments, and successes.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:1–4
Interacting with other Christians and ministers attending the meeting was a blessing. We made new friends, and refreshed old friendships. Anointed and wonderful things happen beyond the broadcast. The time spent in conversations, interactions, and fellowship yield great benefits. Even the conversations my wife April, and I have as we travel are special.
CHRISTIAN AND MINISTERIAL NETWORKING
Being a the conference multiplies its benefits. Arrangements may be made or encouraged by the hosting ministry for networking. But if not those opportunities will still arise. These will be beneficial to mutual progress. You will refresh one another’s passion for the Christian lifestyle and ministry. At various conferences we have found new ministries to support and encourage. And others have connected with us for our encouragement.
A little over a year after we moved to the mission field, we attended a Kenneth Hagin Campmeeting. A couple sat next to my wife and I at the evening services. We shared with one another about the ministries we served in. One evening after the meeting they said the Lord had put something on their heart. They wanted to give the ministry translation equipment. We had mentioned that we ministered in a bilingual community. They took our contact information and sent us the equipment.
What a blessing. Nothing expected, but something the Lord had sovereignly arranged for His own purposes. The Lord encouraged us through this couple. The equipment served us well and the encouragement has outlasted the equipment.
There’s nothing wrong with attending a conference by internet or television. Sometimes that is our only option. But know that if you choose to go to the conference, the cost is well worth it. Blessing awaits you, along with opportunities to be a blessing.
We attend conferences on the internet. But whenever we can we prefer to go. Over and over again the blessing multiplies when we’re able to attend. And by the way, Hebrews 10:24-25 includes these conferences:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,as is the manner of some,
but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
This principle actually covers all local church services, as well as other kinds of meetings the pastor and his staff call for. These are assemblies to further the vision and mission of the local church. And it also applies to conferences we should be at. Conferences that are part of what God has called us to be involved in. These meetings provide opportunity for being blessed and being a blessing. Even when you’re not on the schedule to present.
Be a blessing today. Please, share a story with us.
What have you experienced a Christian Conference?
There’s a form below for your response. Thank you.