February 26, 2010
Recently I recommended that Matt Chandler take my session at the upcoming T4G conference. Mark has asked me to share why. I am glad to do so.
When I was a young pastor, a wise older pastor communicated to me an unforgettable sentence: “C.J., prepare your church for suffering.” I’ve never forgotten that sentence. It’s a sentence that informed my 27 privileged years in pastoral ministry. It is a sentence that reminded me over the years to prepare the church I love and serve for suffering. It is a sentence I have shared many times with several pastors over the years. And it is why I approached Mark, Al, and Lig with the idea of having Matt Chandler take my session.
Hearing from Matt will equip us as pastors to respond to suffering in a way that glorifies God. And it will help us return to our churches more intentional about preparing those we love for suffering. From my observation Matt has done this well, both personally and pastorally. I want to learn from his example and I think you will as well.
Here’s the plan (as it currently stands): Matt will address us from Scripture on the topic of suffering, and at the conclusion of the message I will interview him further on the topic. I will conclude the session with a few minutes of pastoral application. It is my hope that this session will serve you because serving you is the very purpose of this conference. Mark, Al, Lig, and I believe local church pastors are doing the most important work and the most difficult work, and it is quite an honor to serve you in these few days we have together.
Please pray for all who are speaking at the conference and the countless folks who will be serving behind the scenes. And please pray for Matt Chandler, who in the midst of severe suffering is honoring the Savior for whom this conference exists.