The Gospel Growth Conference
"It's hard for pastors not to be mesmerized by church growth. Who doesn't want their congregation to grow? Who doesn't want to see numbers and budgets increasing year by year? And who isn't greatly interested when the latest growth model comes along, the latest research, the latest insight that promises us the key to such growth?
But there's growth and there's growth.
Understanding what the New Testament means by growth, and how that growth happens, sets us free. It liberates us from anxiety and self-doubt, and from the slavery of chasing the latest program."I might also note for my extensive seminary audience (all six and a half of you) that you get a reduced rate, as do pastors of small churches (this is true). If you are a seminary student and also a small church pastor, then 9Marks actually pays you to come, and gives you a gift bag full of hard-to-find nicknacks--a used J.I. Packer sock, a piece of lint from Charles Spurgeon's coat, and a quill from Richard Sibbes's pen. Okay, I'm kidding about this last benefit, though it would not surprise if one were to find at least one of the trinkets in the neo-Puritan halls of Capitol Hill Baptist Church.
In all seriousness (and there's not much left here as we head into fall break, bless its name), you should go to the conference. It is on a great topic, and it will I'm sure be an enriching and challenging opportunity to think hard about the motives and methods of evangelical ministry.