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National Leadership Conference

Friday, February 24, 2006

I got back late this afternoon from attending the National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Real life and ministry will probably mean that I do not get a chance to post much about the conference until after the weekend, but I will make a couple of quick comments.

I enjoy attending the National Leadership Conference. This is my sixth year and I have been challenged every year. Dr. Dave Burgraff has done an excellent job at co-ordinating the conference and his leadership will be missed as he heads down to Clearwater Christian College. Dr. Sam Harbin has some big shoes to fill as he steps into his new role as President of CBTS.

One of the things I enjoy about the conference is the opportunity to see friends that I rarely get to see. This year was especially nice in this regard as it is my first year of being "out on my own" and I was able to catch up with the staff from the church where I had served as an Assistant from 1999-2004. My former Pastor, Mark Franklin, even did a couple of sessions that I attended: Ministry Mega-Shifts: Staying on Course in a Changing Culture and Are You Helping to Shape the Future: Let's Talk about Internships. It was also nice because I was able to actually meet, in person, some people who I have only gotten to know over the internet and the blogosphere.

Another one of the things that I enjoy about the conference is the fact that it tends to provide an intellectual challenge that few conferences seem to provide. The perspective at the NLC is such that there are at least representatives from most of the mainstream Fundamentalist schools. They also tend to, well, bring up the topics that are not often addressed. Some of the ways that they end up being addressed are occasionally "out to lunch", but at least the topics are discussed.

Beside sitting on the two workshops by Pastor Franklin that I mentioned above, I also had the opportunity to sit in on six other workshops and all but Tuesday nights Evening Services and General Sessions. A few of these sessions had some material that I want to consider and evaluate in the next couple of weeks - probably via this blog.

Quick votes:

Best Workshop Presentation: Dr. Kevin Bauder on Separation from Professing Brethren runner up: The Relevance of Irrelevance by Dr. David Doran of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

Best General Session: Dr. Kevin Bauder on Preaching Worth Listening To

Most Passionate General Session Presentations: Pastor Lukus Counterman and Pastor Jason Janz

Most Humorous Moment: On Thursday night, a Canadian Pastor (I did not get his name) was giving his presentation of a Canadian's perspective on Fundamentalism. In this short perspective he commented that we need to change our translation, change our music, change our dress code and change our politics. In the middle of this presentation, he did one of those things that Pastors sometimes do where he asked for an "Amen." He said, "Amen, Amen?" and I heard no one respond. Maybe you had to be there.

Most Humorous Moment 2: I did not witness this myself, but the hypothetical question to Jason Janz about attending an Evangelical conference on blogging struck me as funny when I heard about it later.

One of the benefits of the online age with a conference like this is the opportunity to not only hear these presentations and workshops, but also to advance the conversation beyond even what was originally given. It is my hope in coming days to continue to reflect upon (and blog about) The Seven Sins of a Dying Church presentation by Kevin Schaal (or more likely, the articles upon which the presentation was based), Turning Our World Upside Down, the concept of internships and mentoring men into ministry, and other workshops and general sessions.

Just my thoughts, (for now)


File under Conferences_, Fundamentalism_


Scott Aniol said...

I'm curious, Frank, when the Canadian pastor said we "need to change our music," what did he mean?

Frank Sansone said...


While he said he did not want to get specific, he said that it needed to become "more akin to popular culture."

I think it was pretty clear to those who were there what directon of change in music he was advocating (and it was not the type of change that you advocate).