China Chiristian Daily

- November 25, 2017 -

Church

Three Considerations For Attending A Christian Conference

By CCD Contributor: John Li
on September 07, 2017 07:09 AM

a-christian-gathering
A Christian gathering : (credit: CCD file photo )

Christian conferences are held every year, and the number has skyrocketed this year. 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, so numerous commemorative conferences are arranged by churches and institutions both in China and abroad. Which conference is the best one to attend?

The current environment offers a lot of choices and growth space for believers, different from the past religious conditions.So how should a Christian choose a conference that provides growth? This article gives several criteria for the reference of conference junkies.

1. Are the theme and the message of the conference biblical?

Everything should be tested against the Bible. The first standard is whether the theme and the message of the conference are biblical. 

A gathering is significant for Christians, but the reason for gathering must be the calling from Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Its purpose should be to spread the gospel.

2. What are the backgrounds of the speakers and organizer?

The second principle lies in what you know about the speakers and the institution. What is their theological stance? What is the present situation of their church? Who is the chairperson of the conference organizer? What conferences has the organizer hosted and what influence did they bring?

There were few conferences in the Early Church. The revival in North America in the eighteen century contributed to a flowering period of Christian conferences. In fact, a severe crisis lies behind all sorts of conferences that Christians unintentionally shift more focus on internal problems within the church and gradually withdraw from their social responsibility. Many evangelistic conferences only inspire the passion of the participants, but fail to instruct specific strategies and manipulation. They are good at producing batches of believers wild about being touched but not action. Some gatherings generate a negative result: believers go far from their churches and exalt and chase after the speech of a famous pastor.

3. How does the conference stress growth?

For some believers, attending conferences almost replaces daily devotions. To emphasize the importance of conferences, some institutions claim on their posters that conferences can bring miraculous growth in a Christian's life. However, the spiritual maturity of believers according to the Bible comes from the accumulation of daily Bible reading, prayer, and applying God's word in their lives.

Many examples can prove that less committed Christians are more interested in various kinds of conferences and appear in every gathering; more committed believers choose to attend conferences cautiously and focus more on their own growth in ordinary days.

There is a great crisis in the obsession with participating in all types of gatherings or too many conferences: believers are disconnected from the church, regarding themselves as picky students rather than committed members. Real revival can't be attained through a certain conference or person because God doesn't speak to lazy people who take a shortcut.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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