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  • Writer's pictureBrian Fuller

From the Coram Deo Pastors Conference

Three of your pastors (and Christian Lewis) are attending the Coram Deo Pastors Conference, at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, NC where Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor. Coram Deo is a Latin phrase that means “before the face of God.” The phrase is associated with the Reformers of the Protestant Reformation who encouraged believers to consciously live life in the presence of God. (Psalm 56:13)

The purpose of the conference is to encourage pastors especially. We are so grateful for the opportunity to attend! Our Gospel Advancement Fund makes these kinds of refreshment and equipping conferences available to the pastors and members of EBBC.

I wanted to give those of you who would be interested, a daily update. The conference began this afternoon at 1:30pm. There are about 2500 in attendance. The congregational singing has been amazing so far!

The first plenary session was brought by Pastor Joel Beeke entitled “The Pastor’s Piety Before the Face of God.” This sermon pierced my heart with both conviction and Holy Spirit motivation to seek the Lord more passionately. Joel’s main text was from I Timothy 4:6-8.  Today, when someone is called a"pious person" it sounds like a pejorative. However, piety is essentially "our attitude towards and about God." Piety's Old Testament synonym is "the Fear of God" and its New Testament's synonym is "godliness." Piety is a result of our union with Christ, and it is nurtured in the church through preaching, the ordinances, singing, praying and fellowshipping with one another. The challenge to pastors particularly and to all of us generally is to seek the Lord with all of our hearts. Pray in private. Read the Word regularly. Meditate upon the Scriptures. Read books that ignite your love for Christ and for others. It was a great message to begin the conference!

After a break we enjoyed a panel discussion with John Piper and Joel Beeke, moderated by Jason Helopoulos. The panel was called "Navigating Pastoral Challenges and Possibilities." The BIG IDEA from the discussion was the benefit of longevity of ministry. Staying at a church 10+ years is important for mutual trust to be established. I also was encouraged by Beeke's admonition to " always, always, pray with your people."

The evening service was so good! We enjoyed a full, Lords' Day order of worship. They had a full orchestra that accompanied our congregational singing. Pastor Colin Smith brought the message entitled, "Sustaining Gospel Ministry" from John 6. Colin saw the theme verse of John 6 in verse 37, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out" and exposited the entire chapter through the lens of that verse. In the feeding of the five thousand, the Lord demonstrates that He often gives us tasks that our beyond our abilities. However, Jesus always gives us what we need in order to obey Him. Ministry can be discouraging. People can seem disinterested in the Bible or the gospel, come with their own agenda, or leave. This always hurts pastors who love their people. But, it happened to Jesus too.

We finished the night with a "late night with Ligon Duncan." It was a Q & A hosted by Kevin DeYoung.

It was a blessed day.

More tomorrow, God-willing.


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