Even more Together for the Gospel

April 30, 2007

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow we begin taking registration for T4G 08.  If the Lord tarries, and gives us life, we look forward to gathering with many of you again, and many more of you for the first time.  We have moved the event a few blocks down in order to double the number of people we can accomodate.  A word to the wise, register soon AND book your hotel rooms or make other arrangements to stay soon.  We have no way of knowing how many will register, but a number of indications (e.g., pastors saying they weren’t there last time, but want to bring their whole leadership team this time) suggest that the registrations could come in more quickly than may seem normal.  We shall see.

The conference otherwise should be very similar to last time–bare but packed schedule, larger book store, heartfelt singing, lots of speaking and panel discussions, no break out sessions. 

One new thing–Thabiti Anyabwile agreeing to speak.  Thabiti has been given by God great gifts in service of Him.  He wields those gifts with a deft humble, self-deprecating manner and gentle style, complete with smile, laugh and yet an intensity and mental quickness which mark him out.  He is young in his pastorate (he’s in his first year as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman) but has years of experience in ministry.  He was a faithful and effective chairman of our elders at CHBC before God called him on.  His ministry has left wonderful fruit in our life, and I know that the ministries of both Thabiti, and his wife Kristie, have left long trails of good behind them in North Carolina.  Thabiti is a faithful preacher of God’s Word, and I look forward to how we will be built up by his sharing in next year’s conference.

Something that is meant to be different about the T4G conference, and what it may inspire in your own ministry, is that it is built on, and attempts to model and provoke relational networks for encouragement and accountability.  So inviting Thabiti was no mere decision of the 4 of us to send him a letter.  First, we had to work at building in relationships, and introducing Thabiti to the brothers who didn’t know him.  So the delay in announcing his speaking reflects nothing on our confidence in him, but rather highlights the different kind of conference this is.  From the moment the idea was born, time would need to be set aside for fellowship together and co-laboring.  That has now largely happened.  And we are delighted not simply at Thabiti’s agreement to speak, but at Thabiti’s growing friendships with the other speakers involved in the conference.

Friends, you may not feel it best to take time to come to T4G 08.  There may be other things you should do.  But make sure that you are thinking about reaching your city with the Gospel, and that you are building relationships with other ministers that are doing the same.  Pray for one another.  Encourage one another.  Work for the spread of the Gospel in your city.

And if you have time, come to Together for the Gospel 08.  Registration opens tomorrow.