I went to the NEXT conference this past weekend. The "theme" (if you can call it that) for the weekend was Jesus Christ. The speakers covered his preeminence, life, death, resurrection and return.
The fellowship was rich. We spent time in breakout sessions discussing the messages and in prayer (there was also 5mins of dodgeball early one morning).
The testimonies that were shared were sooooo encouraging. Each speaker shared their personal testimony and there were also 5 conference attendees that shared as well. I LOVED the fact that the testimonies didn't end after some of the people said things like "And from that day forward, I stopped using drugs", as though the message of the gospel is "God will get you sober". My favorite quote from the testimonies was:
"A boring testimony isn't boring to the one who got saved"
The conference was amazingly Christ-centered, gospel-centered and doctrinally sensitive, so it is with Sovereign Grace ministries as a whole. It is for this reason that i'm really excited about the church that i'm going to attend when I move up to new york city for my mba. I got to spend a lot of time with the church ppl (who i already know quite well) throughout the conference (pastor included).
There was an awesome breakout session on discerning the will of God. As someone who was manipulated by people who were really big on "discerning the will of God" this presentation was a breath of fresh air. I wrote a short paragraph on a biblical view of the will of God here. The speaker (Kevin Deyoung) wrote a book called; "Just Do Something: How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc".
I was also blessed with several opportunities to share the gospel over the weekend. My sister actually pulled me out of a conversation to encourage me to share with some of the hotel workers who were just standing around in a hallway. Though I strive to make my conversations with people about the faith actual CONVERSATIONS, this one felt a lot more like I was preaching a sermon on the wrath and grace of God (prob b/c there were 4 guys).
My prayer for myself after this weekend is for Christ's preeminence, life, substitutionary death, resurrection and return to radically shape every area of my life.
I'm going to another conference this weekend. This conference is an orientation for all recipients of the graduate fellowship that i received.