I’ll be flying to Virginia Beach, Virginia, this August, to run an on-site Learn with Logos workshop. As I prepared to share this with friends, I had to ask myself, “Why should a pastor attend a conference like this?”
I came up with four reasons why pastors should attend conferences, seminars, and/or workshops:
- They help you stay current.
- They provide you with new tools and skills.
- They encourage new perspectives.
- They renew passion and excitement.
Let’s dive in with a little more detail.
Conferences, seminars, and workshops help you stay current
Odds are, you’ve had your heads down, doing whatever ministry is your passion. Week in, and week out you’re preaching, teaching a Bible Study, counseling church members, and any number of a dozen other tasks. Taking time out of your schedule to attend a conferences helps you raise your head out of the weeds, and evaluate changes.
Haven’t seen Russel Moore’s response to banishing mosques? You should. Haven’t re-thought your position on short-term mission trips? You should. Haven’t updated your sermon prep process to coincide with advances in technology? You should.
In short, a conference is a chance for you to evaluate your current situation, and stay in touch with a fast-changing world.
Conferences, seminars, and workshops provide you with new skills and tools
The best events provide practical, hands-on training. My workshop for example, will leave you with sample workflows that you can bring into your sermon preparation immediately. Sessions that help you be more productive and save time so you can spend more time doing what matters
But let’s get even more practical. How much time do you spend counseling each week? And yet, many pastors haven’t taken a course on counseling since college. What could a single weekend at a counseling conference provide you in terms of new tools for use in your congregation?
Conferences, seminars, and workshops encourage new perspectives
Every conference I attend, I see one of two perspective emerge from pastors:
- You find a pastor who is dealing with something you’ve never dealt with (and never imagined having to deal with).
- You find a pastor who is dealing with the same things you are.
Both of these are helpful. Let me explain why.
In case you’re meeting a pastor who is dealing with something you’ve never dealt with, you now have the opportunity to learn from his decisions, and potentially his mistakes. It’s possible that he’s just ahead of the curve, and this issue will soon reach your congregation.
And what if you’re that pastor? Then you have the blessing of sharing your struggles with other pastors, and helping them prepare better.
In the event that you meet fellow pastors who are dealing with the same things you are, you can embrace a sense of camaraderie. Share tips for what’s work, support your fellow brother in his time of struggle. Together, we are stronger than we are alone. And there is strength in knowing that you’re not alone.
Conferences renew passion and excitement
Conferences fill you up. They re-ignite a passion for your mission and ministry, both by the content, the speakers, and the fellowship with other like minded believers who are called to ministry.
Even the Apostle Paul had to remind Timothy:
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” – 2 Timothy 1:6.
Conferences can be a perfect way to accomplish this.
What is the last conference you attended? How did you benefit? How did you ministry benefit after you returned? Feel free to share in the comments below.