A while ago I read a blog post by Kevin DeYoung prior to the start of the Together for the Gospel conference. Within the post he shared four thoughts about how to approach a conference, which I noted down to read and remind myself of prior to going to EMA (Evangelical Ministry Assembly) this week.
Here are his four thoughts applied to EMA:
1. Be Thankful
There is much I can thank God for:
- The opportunity to take three days out to attend EMA.
- Time to catch up with friends.
- Being fed by some good Bible teaching.
- Adrian and the team at the Proclamation Trust who have organised this conference.
- The new people I will meet and be encouraged and challenged by.
- The freedom to gather with others to learn and worship God.
- The growth of this conference (especially as it is moving to a new venue next year).
- The gospel that saves and unites us.
During these 3 days I mustn’t forget to pray for these things:
- The speakers and organisers.
- The other pastors, youth & children’s workers, apprentices, and wives present.
- The other churches represented.
- Safety in travel.
- Conviction of sin and a fresh amazement at what Christ has done for me (us).
- Weary pastors to be refreshed and encouraged.
- Proud pastors to be humbled.
- Spiritual growth in my life and in the lives of those present.
3. Stand against the devil
There will be many temptations that I will need to resist and fight against:
- Jealousy and envy at the way God has blessed other ministries.
- Despair at how my own spiritual life, local church is progressing compared to others.
- Criticizing what is said or not said.
- Feeling the need to impress others.
- Dishonesty about my struggles.
- The celebrity culture.
- Overspending at the bookstall?!?
4. Take something home
My aim is to take home at least one thing from these 3 days:
- One new song to share – EMA has been where I first heard some of the songs we sing at Banstead Community Church.
- One new practical idea to implement.
- One new thought to ponder.
- One new encouraging word to remember.
- One new friendship to develop.
- One new book to read (no doubt there will be several with 10ofthose present!)
If you’re going to EMA this week, maybe you’d like to do these things as well.