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National Leadership Conference - Day 1

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tuesday night was the opening night of the National Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

This is my seventh time attending the National Leadership Conference and I have been looking forward to attending. Mr. and Mrs. Rohe have been gracious hosts to me at their house about 30 minutes away from the conference. Pastor Matt Jury of Fairview Bible Church in Lewistown, Pennsylvania is their nephew and was gracious enough to be offer me the opportunity to stay with him at the house of his aunt and uncle.

One of the things that I enjoy about coming to the National Leadership Conference is that the material covered usually seeks to have a good balance between academic topics and practical topics. This year looks to be a little light on the practical, but it should be a good conference.
The theme of the National Leadership Conference this year is "Changeless Truths for Challenging Times." As I mentioned in my last post, this is the first conference in which Sam Harbin has been the Conference Coordinator.

It is still too early in the week to give any kind of overall evaluation, but there have been a couple of interesting things at the National Leadership Conference, so far.

When I picked up my notebook on Tuesday evening, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the notebook was once again filled with all of the workshop notes (or at least most of them - a few presenters apparently did not get their notes turned in on time for inclusion in the notebook). THIS IS A GOOD THING. Some of you may remember that I commented after last year’s conference that I was disappointed that they had done away with putting the notes in the notebook last year and it left me (and others) attempting to scramble for notes from the sessions that we did not attend. By having the notes in the notebook, it accomplishes at least a few important things - 1) it helps in our evaluation of which workshop we want to attend, 2) it helps in evaluating whether to purchase the CD/mp3 of a particular workshop, and 3) it makes the notebook a valuable resource well after the conference. (I generally like to keep my notebooks together, but in order to remind myself that I have a presentation on a particular topic in one of the notebooks, I slip a full piece of paper in the appropriate file folder referencing the workshop session and which notebook. For instance, when I get back to my office, I will add a sheet of paper that says, "No Other Gods: The True Nature of Idolatry Yesterday and Today by Steve Horine - National Leadership Conference 2007 - Workshop Session 1 #1" to my hanging file folder that is labeled "idolatry" so that I remember that I have it when I am working on a sermon or paper regarding idolatry.)

The opening general session on Tuesday night was a little different than anything I have ever experienced at a conference. Dr. Tim Jordan (Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Lansdale and Conference Host) led us in partaking of the Lord’s Table on Tuesday night. I am still evaluating that idea in my mind. I tend to believe that the Lord’s Table/Communion is to be done as part of a church service ("when ye are come together"). Of course, Dr. Jordan mentioned that this was still a church, but I tend to think of a church service and a conference hosted by a church are actually two different things. Anyway, it was definitely different. It was also interesting being on the other end of things since, as a Pastor, I am usually involved in the serving of the Lord’s Table instead of receiving the Lord’s Table.

Anyway, those are some initial things that I wanted to post about regarding the first night of the conference. I plan on doing a post regarding each day and the general sessions and then doing a series of posts regarding the individual workshops.

Just my thoughts,