Conferences are inefficient. Why travel hundreds of miles to catch sessions that you can watch online for free? This is especially true when you’re in the same room as the speaker, but you’re so far away that you have to watch the screen.
Yet conferences are important. Not for the books: they’re just as cheap at Amazon, and easier to get home. Not for the music, although the music was amazing. No, they’re important for a more important reason: we need to belong.
Here’s what The Gospel Coalition Conference did for me:
- In a world of fluff books, it reminded me that there are more solid books out there than I’ll be able to read in a lifetime.
- In a culture of shallow preaching and teaching, it exposed me to more depth than I could absorb, with much more on tap than could be delivered in a couple of days.
- At a time when it’s hard to find good models for ministry, I saw and met many. I’m grateful to call many of them friends.
- Most of all, it reminded me that I am not alone.
Ray Ortlund tweeted before the conference:
The Gospel Coalition = a tribal gathering of gospel-feasting, revival-hungry young heroes for Christ.
Tribal gathering: bingo. The real benefit of TGC11 was that it connected many of us to something bigger. When the tribe gathers, stuff happens. For that I’m grateful.