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The Crisis of Conference Christians

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member

    Jun 26, 2003
    I speak at conferences. I host conferences. I appreciate conferences.
    I am also very concerned about conferences. Or more specifically, conference Christians.

    The Conference Christian

    By definition, a conference Christian is someone who spends a great deal of time (and often money) attending Christian conferences. They love hearing the speakers, love singing with the bands, love letting the world know who they meet and what they are experiencing via blog/Facebook/Twitter, and love meeting up with other conference Christians.
    Some of these conference Christians somehow manage to work a job in around all their conferences. Others are ministry leaders spending tithe dollars to pay for their hobby/vacation/fan boy obsession.

    All Around Me Are Familiar Faces

    Having spoken at conferences for various groups over the years, I’m amazed that the faces of attendees are starting to get familiar. Such conference Christians somehow make the rounds between seemingly all the big events.
    I have literally had a photo taken with some people at five or six different conferences in a single year. These are usually single white guys from decent families who treat preaching the way other guys do porn—obsessed with it and devoting hours to it every day.
    Here are my concerns with conference Christians:

    The rest of the story is at http://www.churchleaders.com/pastor...gn=clnewsletter&utm_content=CL+Daily+20120323
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2002
    Okay I'm a bit slow, ...I thought that YOU were the author of the post, ...not just quoting it.

    I've got a job and a ministry and a family.
    I can't afford to attend conferences very often; too much money, too little vacation time, too many other things to do.

    I imagine Mark Driscol has a bunch of groopies that want to impress him and follow him around alot.

  3. HAMel

    HAMel Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Read the very last paragraph on page 3.

    ...didn't he mention somewhere about "groupies"?
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    The OP probably needs to point out that this isn't their own account but content from the linked article (unless the OP is Mark Driscoll...if that's the case, well we've got a lot totals about.)

    That said I do agree with the article. There is a problem with "conference Christians." I stopped going to conferences about three years ago. I just got sick of them and saw them as poor stewardship. As a whole the conference speakers are nice people who do a good job...but I can usually find their talk for free somewhere else. The conference experience is okay but I worry about whether technology and lights are becoming a new idol in too many of our churches. Finally, I definitely see a problem with commercialism. The last conference I went to featured an emcee who extolled the virtues of every book and every product in the bookstore at all points in the conference. At one point a speaker who had developed a shoe line got up and the insanity that followed, when thy dumped his shoes at the bookstore, was really disgusting. At that point I left all conferences and never looked back.
    #4 preachinjesus, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2010
    Everything we do or do not do needs to be evaluated in light of the scripture.

    conferences can be a great blessing, or they can be mis-used or abused.

    If the author is seeing such danger there....i wonder if he takes no money from the offering of the conference christians?? or if he wants to reduce the cost of the conference.

    He mentions that many times he notices single christians there??? Do you think that maybe some single christians in seeking a godly mate, might attend a bible conference,looking for a mate who is trying to grow in grace and knowledge? maybe a godly mate might just be where the word of God is being opened.Should they go to a bar, or pool hall instead.
    Conferences, like anything else can be abused.So can books, sermons, or even christian hospitality. They can be a great blessing more often though.
  6. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland Active Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Interesting that he makes a connection between conference Christians and being reformed.
  7. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Our church only sends people to conferences for specific purposes. We have a limited budget and are rather small. Our paid positions are Pastor, Secretary, Music and Song Director, and Custodian. I have been to one because I am Sunday School Director. I went to learn about how to better organize Sunday School. I will not mention who it was sponsered by. What I found was lots of idle chatter with coffee and donuts in hand. The classes were not well attended. The classes I did attend presented running a Sunday School in a very authoritarian, business like manner, and decided that was not for our church. I have not been back to one since. I believe in churches cooperating to spread the Gospel, and work in the community, but conferences are not a social club. Each local church has different policies about who pays the expenses, but generally, it is paid for out of church offerings, which means someone else is paying for me to go, so I feel obligated to learn all I can to help our church grow, not an opportunity to flap my jaws on their dime. There are so many plastered on smiles of people you pass at these meetings it looks like a Lawerence Welk show.

    Another similar pattern I have noticed is attendance at funerals. I do not like to go to funerals, but do go to comfort and pay respects to church members and their families, or occasionally, a former coworker. However, as I attend them, I notice the same people at the funeral visitation, and it is always the same ones, that act like they are having the grandest time of their lives. I almost get the feeling that look forward to attending visitations so they can start talking. I would not be surprised if they look in the obits everyday to plan their daily activity. Anyway, the pattern reminds me of conferences.
    #7 saturneptune, Mar 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012