Speaking Engagements

Report Back: Cruciform Conference

What a joy it was to help kick off the first annual Cruciform Conference last weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana!

I spI wIth mI lIttle I
somethIng’s mIssIng from Indy’s welcome to vIsItors!

The theme of Cruciform this year was The Cross Purchased Life. We were treated to wonderful cross-centered preaching from a number of pastors, speakers, and godly men, including a couple of my Twitter friends…

Dustin Benge                                           Kofi Adu-Boahen

I had the honor of teaching two breakout sessions just for women.

Faithfully Fighting Feminism:
Fighting the Good Fight by Walking Out Biblical Womanhood

Click here for the session outline handout.

 

Hooked on a Feeling:
Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Emotions

Click here for the session outline handout.

 

One of my favorite parts of conferences is meeting social media friends face to face. Bunking with Michael and Erin Coughlin for two days was so much fun. They were so kind and hospitable, and I owe them a million thanks for treating me like a queen. If you’ve been around the blog a while, you may recall that Michael has written several guest posts for me. He also writes for the Things Above Us blog and hosts the Things Above Us Roundtable podcast which Michael interviewed me for during the conference. And Erin does everything else. It was a delight to get to know this sweet sister in Christ!

Erin and me

L-R: Michael Coughlin, Amy (whose last name I can’t remember, but who was such a blessing to drive me to the airport!), me, Erin

with Dustin Benge                                      with Kofi Adu-Boahen

with Kofi and Michael

And, of course, what’s a conference without books? Thanks so much to Cruciform, Michael, and Allen Nelson for these lovely gifts. (You can read a review of Before the Throne here, if you like.)

I was in Indianapolis less than 48 hours, and most of that was at the conference, so I didn’t have time to do any touristy stuff. For all you Indy Car fans, here’s a display that was set up in the airport on loan from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum:

Normally, when I go on a trip, in lieu of buying souvenirs, I try to have a meal of whatever food is iconic to that area (clam chowder in Cape Cod, Chicago deep dish pizza, etc.). I’m clueless as to what sort of cuisine is iconic to Indiana, but we found a phenomenal little local taqueria that you simply must visit if you’re ever in Indianapolis: Paco’s Taqueria. (Like I said, I was in Indy less than 48 hours and we had two meals at Paco’s. It was that good.) Traditional style tacos, quesadillas, and lots of other choices made by folks who know how those dishes are supposed to be cooked. I can highly recommend the shrimp, ground beef, and chicken tacos, but everything looked and smelled wonderful. I am officially obsessed with these tacos.

 

All too soon, the conference was over and it was time to head back home. But I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at next year’s Cruciform Conference along with Justin Peters, Justin Huffman, and more great men of God (to be announced at a later date) that you won’t want to miss! You’ve got almost a year, so start making plans now to attend October 23-24!

Many thanks to those of you who helped make this trip possible!


If your church or organization is ever in need of a speaker for a women’s event, I’d love to come share with your ladies as well. Click here for more information.


Photo Credits

Cruciform Conference video and promo pics- Courtesy of Cruciform Conference

Photos of friends at the conference- Some of these were taken by Michael or Erin Coughlin, but I can’t remember which ones. Probably the good ones.

Photo of tacos- Courtesy of Paco’s Taqueria on Facebook

All other photos by Michelle Lesley

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Breast cancer resources, What does “cruciform” mean?, Yoga-ta find a new church?…)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question. I also like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar can be a helpful tool!

In these potpourri editions of The Mailbag, I’d also like to address the three questions I’m most commonly asked:

“Do you know anything about [Christian pastor/teacher/author] or his/her materials? Is he/she doctrinally sound?”

Try these links: 
Popular False Teachers /
 Recommended Bible Teachers / search bar
Is She a False Teacher? 7 Steps to Figuring It Out on Your Own
(Do keep bringing me names, though. If I get enough questions about a particular teacher, I’ll probably write an article on her.)

“Can you recommend a good women’s Bible study?”

No. Here’s why:
The Mailbag: Can you recommend a good Bible study for women/teens/kids?
The Mailbag: “We need to stop relying on canned studies,” doesn’t mean, “We need to rely on doctrinally sound canned studies.”.

“You shouldn’t be warning against [popular false teacher] for [X,Y,Z] reason!”

Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections


 

Should women serve as the worship leader/minister of music of a church?

No.

If I answer a question in a co-ed Bible study/Sunday School class, am I “teaching” men in violation of Scripture?

No.

Is it biblical for a woman to lead a prayer during the worship service?

It is not technically a violation of the letter of 1 Timothy 2:12, but I would discourage it for other reasons.

I’ve heard people say it’s OK for women to preach or teach the Bible to co-ed groups as long as they are doing so under their pastor’s and/or husband’s authority. Is this true?

No.

I’ve received the first three of these questions again recently, so I thought it would be a perfect time to take the opportunity to remind everyone of a little resource I think might be helpful for you: my article Rock Your Role FAQs. The first question is answered in #16, the second in #4, and the third in #15. I just added the fourth question to the article. It is #20. And don’t forget to read the other articles in my Rock Your Role series, too!


Do you have any book recommendations for a woman just diagnosed with breast cancer?

Let me just start my answer by saying two things. First, I’ve taken a moment to pray for you (or whoever the woman is), that God will help you through this difficult journey and bring you comfort and peace. (Readers, will you also please take a moment to pray?)

Second, it drives me absolutely batty when I ask for a recommendation on social media for a Christian book on a particular topic and people answer in a joking, or smart aleck, or holier than thou way: “the Bible.” Obviously, the Bible is our first “go to” for every issue in the Christian life, but sometimes we need a book that can also teach us about the Scriptures that pertain to our issue.

So please understand that the first part of my answer is not meant to sound flippant or self-righteous, but to assist you in finding a good place in Scripture to park yourself. And my recommendation is going to be to get into Psalms and stay there for a while. You might also find that praying the Psalms back to God is very helpful. There is a great deal of comfort, peace, and strength for trying times in that book.

As for books outside the Bible, I have not read it myself, but I have heard trustworthy people say that John Piper’s¹ booklet Don’t Waste Your Cancer is very good. You may wish to check out Joni Eareckson Tada’s² Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Life After Shock. Joni is a breast cancer survivor and has written a number of books on suffering that you might also find helpful, though most are related to disability, not cancer. Additionally, I would recommend anything John MacArthur has written on the topic of suffering, such as The Power of Suffering, as well as anything at Ligonier. If you’d like something short and free, I’ve written several articles on suffering that will point you to a variety of Scriptures you may find helpful.

You may wish to keep an eye on the comments section of this article, as other readers will probably also have some good recommendations.

(Note to readers recommending resources: I believe the lady who sent in the question is looking for theological resources on how to cope with breast cancer biblically, not medical/holistic/other treatment resources. I’m not qualified to dispense health advice, so those types of recommendations will not be posted.)

¹John Piper is not someone I normally proactively recommend. I’ve explained why HERE.
²Over the years I have received three or four questions about Joni’s actions and theology, but she is generally regarded as doctrinally sound. AS with any Christian author, read discerningly.

Is there a biblically sound Reformed private forum where I can ask some questions about my salvation? I am not in a church.

Since you’re specifically looking for a forum type of interface, I would recommend the (women only) Theology Gals Facebook group. I don’t know what “flavor” of Reformed you are, but it is mostly Presbyterian (though, in the past there has been a large contingent of Reformed Baptists in there too). If you are looking for a good Presbyterian church, they should be able to help.

You can also try my Searching for a new church? tab at the top of this page. It leans more Reformed Baptist/Reformed Bible church, but there are other denominations, non-Reformed, and non-denominational churches, too.

When you say you’re “not in a church,” I’m hoping what you mean is that you’re in the process of trying to find a solid church but haven’t yet. If that’s not the case, and your intention is to stay out of church altogether, please be advised that this is not in keeping with Scripture. The Bible knows nothing of a “Lone Ranger” Christian. Please give my article Basic Training: 7 Reasons Church is Not Optional and Non-Negotiable for Christians a read.


I have a question regarding the Cruciform Conference that you’ll be speaking at. There is only one person I’ve heard use that term “cruciform” before and it was Ann Voskamp. What does it mean exactly? Also curious what you’ll be addressing there?

I actually had a couple of ladies ask me this question after I announced that I would be speaking at the Cruciform Conference this fall. I am so glad you asked rather than wondering if it had something to do with false doctrine!

The word “cruciform” simply means “cross-shaped“. I’m really excited to be speaking at a “cross-shaped” conference, where all of the teaching will center around the cross – we can’t let false teachers have all the good words! :0)

Also, lest anyone mistakenly think I will be teaching men at this co-ed conference, I will not. I will not be teaching any of the main sessions. I will be teaching two breakout sessions for women:

Faithfully Fighting Feminism:
Fighting the Good Fight by Walking Out Biblical Womanhood
and
Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Emotions

Get your tickets quickly since space is already filling up! (This would make a great Father’s Day present!)

 

 


My church recently started having yoga classes. I spoke to my pastor about it and he didn’t see a problem with it because they use Bible verses and don’t use the lingo typically used in yoga. But they use the word yoga to promote their classes. Do I find a new church?

For those unfamiliar with the theological issues related to yoga, or “Christianized” yoga, as this reader’s church seems to be using, please see my article The Mailbag: Should Christians do yoga?

Since I don’t know all of the issues and circumstances at your church, I can’t definitively tell you whether or not you should leave this church.

If this is the only theologically problematic issue at your church and there are no other doctrinally sound churches within reasonable driving distance of your home, I would lean towards recommending that you stay where you are and wait out this class (it probably won’t last forever), praying your kneecaps off in the meantime, and kindly and gently explaining your biblical reasons for not attending the class to anyone who asks.

If there are multiple theological problems at your church (and I suspect there might be if your pastor sees nothing wrong with yoga) and there are other doctrinally sound churches in your area, I would lean more towards exploring those other options for a church. The Searching for a new church? tab at the top of this page may be helpful for you.

This is something you will need to pray for wisdom about, and possibly seek counsel on from a mature Christian friend. Of course, if you are married, you and your husband will need to discuss and pray about it together, and you will need to respect his final decision on the issue.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Speaking Engagements, Special Events

Women’s Events on a Shoestring Budget

 

Have you ever wanted to host a women’s conference (or any event, really) at your church, but it just wasn’t in the budget?

My husband and I have served a lot of small churches, so those tight-knit fellowships and their pastors hold a special place in my heart – especially the ones who want to give their ladies a doctrinally sound alternative to the mega-conferences whose doctrine can be questionable at best.

I’ve spoken at some absolutely wonderful conferences hosted by small churches, so I know it can be done with excellence if you’re not afraid to think creatively and work efficiently.

Here are a few suggestions to prayerfully consider if you’re putting together an event on a shoestring budget. And readers, I want to hear from you too – what has your church done to support and finance special events that has worked well? Add your comment in the comments section at the end of the article.

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I’m going to start with a principle that applies to anyone doing professional work for your church, from conference speakers, to the band playing a concert at your youth event, to the plumber fixing the pipes in the bathroom, to the accountant who does your church’s bookkeeping:

You must pay workers, and you must pay them a fair wage or fee in addition to their expenses (travel, lodging, etc.).

I’ve been blessed that every host church I’ve ever spoken at has understood this and has been very generous with me, but I’ve heard that there are Christians out there who expect anyone doing anything for their church to do it for free because it’s “ministry”. Some even begrudge paying their pastor a salary! This is not biblical. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite.

It often takes many hours of hard work to properly prepare for a speaking engagement, concert, etc. (And don’t get me started on how much time pastors put into their jobs compared to the salaries most of them earn.) This pre-event work as well as the event itself may take the worker away from her family or cause her to have to cancel other activities. She may even have to take time off from her regular job to work at your event. What she’s doing for you is work and she deserves to be fairly compensated for it. This is one aspect of your event that you can’t cut corners on.

Sometimes it is hard to know what a fair wage is for the worker you’re hiring. And, indeed, it will vary from worker to worker. Ask her for a number. Figure out whether or not that amount is feasible on your end. Then, be honest with her and let her know whether or not you can guarantee (not try to raise, not “take up a love offering at the conference and hope for the best” – guarantee) that amount. If you can’t, it is then up to her to decide whether or not she can afford to work at your event. Being honest and transparent from the get go helps remove a lot of the awkwardness that comes with talking about money. I know I always appreciate it.

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Now that you know one of the expenses for the event, it will be easier to estimate a  budget to cover it and the rest of the expenditures. Sit down with your planning committee and prayerfully discuss the purchases you’ll need to make for food, decorations, and any other materials, and come up with a reasonable budget for your particular venue. Use godly wisdom and exercise good stewardship.

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Don’t try to compete with the expensive glitz, glam, and giveaways of mega-conferences. You do you, your church or host organization. I’ve seen many churches go with a “simple elegance” or “homestyle” or “local charm” level of theme and decor that has turned out perfectly lovely and welcoming (Check out some of the church events I’ve spoken at.). And remember, it’s the caring and hospitality of the hosts that will make the greatest impact on your attendees, not the swanky food, decorations and swag bags.

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Plan your event as far in advance as possible. Not only will this give you plenty of time to raise funds, but some expenses – plane tickets for your speaker, for example – go up as time goes by.

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While some speakers need to stay in a hotel for various reasons, others are perfectly willing to be fed and housed by church members, which can cut your expenses considerably. Ask your speaker which she prefers and be ready to graciously provide either type of accommodation.

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Go local. If you can find an appropriate speaker who lives in or near your town, it will cut down on your travel and accommodation expenses for her.

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Ask your pastor or elders if there is any money set aside in your church’s budget for the women’s ministry or special events. Find out whether or not you can use it and if there are any requirements for how it must or must not be spent.

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Put the word out to your whole church and ask for help. Make a list of the things you’ll need that people can donate or lend: fresh flowers from members’ gardens for centerpieces, table cloths, paper plates, small gift bag items like pens and notepads, snack items, etc.

You could even have some fun with it and throw a women’s conference “shower,” registering for the items you need (even WalMart and Target have registries these days) and inviting the whole congregation to bring their gifts and come fellowship together. And don’t forget the “money tree” (or some other receptacle) for people who would rather give cash or a check.

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Take up a love offering from your congregation for conference expenses. If your conference is far enough ahead in the future, you might be able to take up two or three over time.

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Consider a crowdfunding campaign for event expenses such as Go Fund Me or Kickstarter (there are even Christian crowdfunding sites), or set up a PayPal account specifically for donations for the event. (Some Christians feel it is biblically inappropriate to ask non-Christians to donate to a Christian cause. You will need to find out where your church stands on this issue when deciding who to share the crowdfunding information with.)

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Have a good, old fashioned fundraiser at church, such as a church-wide “garage sale,” bake sale, or car wash.

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Consider partnering with another doctrinally sound local church (or two or three!) to co-host the event and split the expenses. (Check out their doctrine first. You can’t biblically partner with churches that teach false doctrine.)

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To recoup your expenses (don’t depend on these to cover expenses) and maybe set some money aside for your next event, consider selling tickets at a nominal price, suggesting a voluntary donation amount, or “pay what you can,” for tickets, and/or taking up a love offering at the event.

Most attendees could afford, say, a $5 ticket, and if you have 100 attendees, that’s $500 to start off next year’s event budget. You could also offer the option of sponsoring tickets. People who want to support the conference could give enough money to cover a certain number of tickets, which could then be given away to women who would like to attend but can’t afford to.

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It should go without saying, but be sure to get your pastor’s, elders’, or other leadership’s approval every step of the way.

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With plenty of prayer, wisdom, organized planning, and good stewardship, it is possible for small churches to host an awesome event that will glorify God and be a blessing to the women of your church and community.


Here’s a question a few readers asked
in response to the article above.

 

I loved your article Women’s Events on a Shoestring Budget. The funding tips encouraged me to put on an event for our ladies, but our small church has never done anything like this before. What kind of event should we have and how should we get started?

I was so encouraged to get a couple of questions like this in response to my article. Even at a small church (and sometimes especially at a small church) a women’s event can really help refresh and build up the ladies of your church. It can be a great outreach to the ladies of your community, too.

I would recommend starting small and then growing year by year. For example, if I were in a church with an attendance of 50-150, I would start with an in-house (only ladies from your own church) mini-conference. A Saturday morning simple breakfast (coffee, doughnuts, fruit – food that’s easy to get, serve, and handle), followed by a local speaker (maybe the pastor’s wife at a sister church, or even one of the ladies in your own church) and a couple of songs. You could end there, or possibly have a time of discussion around the tables afterward, or just allow the ladies to hang around and fellowship with each other.

The next year, you could build on that. Maybe the speaker does two sessions with a break between, and you invite/publicize to other local churches. The following year, you could do an overnight retreat or you could expand the conference to an all day thing and have more than one speaker. If you start small and grow your event each year, you’ll learn things you should and shouldn’t do differently along the way, and you won’t be biting off more than you can chew the first time out.

Another thing that might be a good idea is to have a meeting with all of your ladies and ask them what kind of event they’d like. You might be thinking “conference” and they might be thinking “movie night”. It’s good to brainstorm and take the pulse of your ladies on what they’d prefer.

You could also get the men of your church involved in putting together and serving at your conference or event. I spoke at one conference where the men of the church actually put on the conference for their ladies – to honor and thank them. That was one happy bunch of ladies!

Just remember what I said in the article: Don’t try to compete with the expensive glitz, glam, and giveaways of mega-conferences. You do you, your church or host organization…And remember, it’s the caring and hospitality of the hosts that will make the greatest impact on your attendees, not the swanky food, decorations and swag bags.

Doctrinally Sound Teachers, Special Events

Report Back: Reflections on G3 Conference 2018

 

A week ago today, I was drinking from the fire hose of good teaching and good fellowship at the 2018 G3 Conference: Knowing God – A Biblical Understanding of Discipleship. I not only had the blessing of being able to hear many of my heroes in the faith speak for the first time in person, but I also had the joy of meeting numerous social media friends – finally! – face to face.

Some of the wonderful brothers and sisters I got to hear from:

I remarked to a friend that it felt strange to me when readers approached me during the conference to thank me for being a good resource for them. “I’m not really a resource,” I said, “I point people to others who are good resources.” So, in keeping with pointing you to good resources, I’d like to share a little about some of the pastors and teachers I sat under last weekend – not so much about what they taught, but more about how God uniquely crafted and fit each of them into the Body to minister to their local churches, and the church at large, in their own special way. I highly recommend each of them to you.

Josh Buice

A superb example to other pastors, Josh has the heart of a shepherd and a servant. He is genuine and humble, and his greatest concern is that His people know and serve God through their local church. I’ve previously recommended Josh here and have had the pleasure of linking to many of his materials.


Tim Challies

Tim is someone who has figured out his ministry context and is flourishing in it. He not only serves his church well, but is intent on learning from his church in order to serve it better. Tim’s is one of the handful of blogs I follow regularly.


David Miller

Kindness and grace personified, David has a way about him of speaking hard truths in gentleness. Due to degenerative muscular atrophy, David uses a wheelchair and had to memorize his entire sermon including the lengthy Scripture passages he cited, which was very encouraging to me for my own Scripture memory. David reminded me of older, small church pastors I have known who are so good at loving and caring for their sheep.


Justin Peters

If you’ve ever wondered what biblical meekness looks like, you need to get to know Justin Peters. Calm, kind, graceful, knowledgeable, and with a quick wit, Justin cares deeply about sound doctrine and calling out false teachers because he has a heart for people to be saved and know the truth of the gospel. Justin taught two breakout sessions on the New Apostolic Reformation, and I am overjoyed to report to you that there was standing room only (and there were many standing) for both sessions. What a joy to see Christians getting informed so they can protect themselves and their churches! I have recommended Justin here and have linked to several of his resources.

Justin’s a Louisiana expat in the Northwest, so I brought him
some essentials from home: king cake and crawfish :0)


Voddie Baucham

Voddie is intense. He is passionate about preaching and the Scriptures to such an extent you begin to sense that, if he could, he’d grab you by the shoulders and physically stuff you with Scripture and a proper understanding of it. He wants the church to get it. I’ve recommended Voddie here.


Martha Peace

Gracious. Godly. Gutsy. That’s the “G3” of Martha Peace. Unlike so many of today’s “divangelistas” Martha is not a young, silly, hyper Barbie doll. She’s older, mature, and sedate, yet still fun to be around. She doesn’t have the perfect figure or the trendiest clothes. She looks and acts like your average, older, wiser sister at church. And that’s a good thing. We need far more mature sisters like that to look up to. It was a blessing to see her breakout sessions full of younger women who want that kind of biblical teaching and example from a Titus 2 woman. I’ve recommended Martha before, based largely on others recommending her to me. Now it’s my pleasure to commend her to you, having personally heard her speak.


My dear friend, Darlene (left), with her hero of Biblical Counseling and women’s Bible study, Martha Peace.


James White and Michael Kruger

Drs. White and Kruger presented a joint session on the canon of Scripture. Lovable eggheads both, they showcased the fact that Believers don’t have to gullibly check their intellects at the door of Christianity and that academicians don’t have to be godless liberals. They made “doctrinally sound smart” look beautiful.

Paul Tripp

I thought I was a fairly decent parent until I sat under Paul Tripp’s teaching, but I get the feeling he can make pretty much any parent feel like a failure. There’s a purpose to that: without God’s grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, relying on your own efforts, you are a failure as a parent. Paul wants you to see that so you’ll stop trying to parent in the flesh and parent with the gospel instead so that your children might be saved.


Derek Thomas

Derek Thomas is the iconic image of an elder statesman pastor, a breath of fresh air standing in stark contrast to today’s cool, hipster, twentysomething pastors. There is a Bible-fueled furnace deep in Derek’s soul that empowers his preaching. He is living proof that formal doesn’t have to equal cold and boring.


Tom Ascol

This is a man who knows God and wants you to know Him, too. Tom is a regular Joe who’s good at explaining biblical concepts simply and lovingly, like the uncle who taught you how to tie your shoe or ride a bike. I was pleased to learn that he is Southern Baptist as well as the executive director of Founders Ministries, and am looking forward to hearing more from him.


Steve Lawson

Long one of my favorite pastors, Steve Lawson is the definition of unction in preaching. The man is a preaching machine, and I don’t see how he replenishes all the calories he must burn off in the pulpit. There is an urgency about his preaching that says, “You need to know this, and you need to know it now because it will help you love Jesus more, and you don’t want to wait another second to love Him more, do you?” It’s been my pleasure to recommend Dr. Lawson here. If you listen to preaching and podcasts, you’ll want to add him to your queue.


Phil Johnson

The man knows his stuff, and he tells it like it is. He’s a straight shooter. That’s the main thing I appreciate about Phil Johnson. There’s no way I could briefly capture the awesomeness that is Phil, so I’ll just leave you with a little tidbit I learned on this trip, that made him even dearer to my heart. He said he was a terrible extemporaneous speaker, but a decent writer, so when he preaches, he writes out his manuscript word for word and reads from it at the pulpit. I’m exactly the same way when it comes to speaking. If you’re not already listening to, and reading Phil, get caught up. I’ve enthusiastically recommended him here.


Equally as important as the wonderful teaching at G3 was the opportunity to meet so many good friends I’d only been able to get to know on social media. I even got to meet a few readers, too!

Nate Pickowicz, Gabriel Hughes, Me, Beki Hughes, Sonya Walker

Josh Buice said something during his sermon that really stuck with me: Attending a conference is an unbelievably wonderful experience, but it isn’t church. Church is where we go back to when a conference is over – to do the hard and joyful work of ministry and the long-term labor of love of discipling and being discipled in the local body.

And Josh was absolutely right. God doesn’t call us to be conference junkies, bouncing from event to event because we’re addicted to the high we get from “mountaintop experiences.” That’s not real life. And it’s not biblical life, either. God calls every Christian to be plugged into a local body of Believers. To walk with the same group of people week in and week out through sorrows and joys, sins and victories.

Aaron Armstrong                                                            Allen Nelson

But in another sense, the very reason conferences like G3 are so addictive, is that they are the church. The universal church. The church catholic. The family of Believers we’ll spend eternity with.

I can’t tell you how many times I totally tuned out the preaching or the music and just looked out over that sea of people I’d never seen before – enraptured by the words of  God, praising the name of our dear Savior – and thought, “This is the tiniest little taste of what Heaven is going to be like.”

Kevin and Lynnette

And every time I shrieked with delight at the first glimpse of a precious friend I’d previously known only online, I thought again, “This is what Heaven will be like!” A glorious family reunion with loved ones – those we’ve known personally, those we’ve known from afar, and those we’ve never met before – all bound together by our mutual love, adoration, and worship of Jesus.

Thanks so much to those of you who generously gave financial gifts which enabled me to attend G3. Your investment and kindness meant so much to me, and I hope you’ll be blessed by the way God has grown and encouraged me through this conference as I continue to serve you through this online ministry.

If you ever get the chance to attend G3, I can’t recommend it enough. But if you don’t, you can download the G3 app, listen to all the teaching from past conferences, and soon, from this year’s conference.

The G3 Conference was a wonderful experience, and I hope I’ll have the opportunity to go back. I think the most important thing I learned at G3 is that a Christian conference can do lots of things, but if it doesn’t send you back home loving your own church more and equipped to serve it better, it hasn’t done its job. I came home with both. Thanks, Josh Buice, Pray’s Mill Baptist Church, and everyone associated with the G3 Conference.

Discernment, Doctrinally Sound Teachers, Word of Faith Movement

Josh Buice – Justin Peters Interview

(Photos courtesy of twitter)

One of my favorite blogs is pastor Josh Buice’s Delivered by Grace. Josh is pastor of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Georgia, near Atlanta, and also coordinates the annual G3 Conference (gospel, grace, and glory) there. I’d highly recommend anything Josh is in charge of, so read the blog, go to the conference, and visit his church next time you’re in the area.

Josh recently interviewed another favorite of mine, Justin Peters. Justin is perhaps best known for his teaching and discernment ministry exposing the Word of Faith movement. You’ll definitely want to visit Justin’s web site to read his amazing testimony and view an excerpt from his discernment seminar.

In the interview, Justin touched on his testimony, discussed the Word of Faith movement, talked about false teachers Todd White, Joseph Prince, Beth Moore (more information here, including Josh’s article referred to in the interview and more from Justin on Beth), and Joyce Meyer, and explained the problems with heavenly tourism books and movies like Heaven Is for Real. The interview is both informative and edifying, and I encourage you to give it a listen.

Click Here to Listen