Today begins the 2014 Parkside Basics Conference. This is an annual conference put on by Alistair Begg & Parkside Church for pastors and Christian workers. There are a few reasons why this is one of my favorite conferences to attend each year.
First, it is close to my home. I only have to travel about 35 minutes to get to the church from my office. I love that. I can get some work done Monday mornings, get back to the office on Wednesday afternoon, and still enjoy time sitting under the teaching of God's Word. Anytime I can sit under a quality conference that is close to my house, I'm going to take advantage of it.
Second, the speakers are usually men I've not had the opportunity to hear before. Besides Alistair Begg, this years conference will include Christopher Ash and Gary Millar. While I have never heard Ash or Millar speak, I have read some of their books. The Priority of Preaching by Christopher Ash is one of the most helpful books on preaching I have read in the last few years. In addition, he wrote a short little book called Listen Up!, a book on listening to preaching. Since that has always been a topic on my heart (Helping Johnny Listen), I was eager to read it and learned from it. I hope to get a chance to talk to him about that resource.
Third, the atmosphere of the conference is free, loose, and casual. I appreciate that. Some of the pastors conferences I have attended in the past tend to be filled with formal music and feel like a production. This one is just simple. Teaching, meals, and some time for fellowship (oh, and their incredible bookstore). I appreciate the simplicity of this conference.
I am looking forward today to spend some time with friends in the ministry. I am looking forward to learning and growing in my faith and profession. And I'm looking forward to getting out of the office for a few days to be challenged by the teaching of God's Word. As I often do through the different conferences I attend, I will try to blog my way through each day, sharing things I am learning.
If you are interested, you can follow along with the conference. It is being streamed live HERE. The first break-out session begins at 3pm and then the first main session is at 4:15 pm. I'm sure they would love for you to join in wherever you are at in the world.