Are you a church planter, pastor, a pastor who desires to see your church plant churches, or desire to be a part of planting a church some day?? Then this conference is for you.

Date:?March 24-26, 2011
Location:??Covenant Fellowship Church, Glen Mills, PA

What’s unique about this conference is that Sovereign Grace Ministries is gathering church planting thinkers and doers from different denominations and church planting movements for three days of teaching and dialogue about planting and building churches on the gospel.

It’s an opportunity to learn from a group of men from Acts 29, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the PCA, 9Marks and SBC, who have planted, replanted and are in the midst of leading planting movements.? Men like Darrin Patrick and Daniel Montgomery from Acts 29, Mark Dever and Mike McKinley from 9Marks and the SBC, Tim Whitmer from the PCA, and CJ Mahaney and Dave Harvey from SGM.

I’m planning to be there.? Hope you can come too.

Interested?? Find out more at

Are You Going to NEXT?

I really think that you should go to the Next Conference. Seriously, I really think you should consider going.


So you can learn how to follow Christ in a world that thinks Christ is irrelevant. So you can learn how to honor God at in the workplace, and the university, and the political arena. So you can see why Jesus matters, I mean really matters, in a world that isn’t very impressed with Jesus.

Plus, if you go to Next you’ll get to hear some of the most articulate, passionate, smart speakers in the church today. Guys like Jeff Purswell, Kevin DeYoung, and D.A. Carson.

You really should consider going to Next. It’s worth the sacrifice.

Next 2011 Promotional Video from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Lessons I Learned At NEXT


The cool thing to do these days is to share the “lessons” you learned from an experience, and no experience is too small. Do a Google search and you’ll find “7 Lessons I Learned While Running A Marathon”, “4 Lessons Learned From Changing the Oil On My Car”, “Lessons From a Colgate Toothbrush”, “A Lesson Learned About Eating At a Buffet Just Before Going to Bed”, etc.

I recently attended the NEXT Conference, and because I’m bleeding edge cool, I want to share the lessons I learned.

NEXT Is Not For the Fainthearted

It turns out that the old proverb “Late to bed, early to rise, makes you feel like scum”, is actually true. By the end of the conference I was totally tanked. But it was a good tanked. The kind of tanked that comes from hours of passionate singing and listening to one incredible sermon after another. Next year I’ll be in better shape. Or bring a Sherpa to carry me around.

D.A. Carson Is Da Bomb

If you don’t understand street talk like I do, that’s okay. ‘Da bomb’ simply means ‘the bomb’ which in turn means ‘awesome’. D.A. Carson’s message on the character of God was simply unbelievable. Even though Dr. Carson is smarter than a homeschool convention, his message was very easy to listen to. I came away from his message with the following conclusion: God is God and I am not. You can download his message here.

The Local Church Really Matters

NEXT is a wonderful conference, and I’m so grateful for it. But the more I go to conferences, the more I’m aware that the local church is far more important than any conference. True, lasting change doesn’t happen over a three day period. It can start there, but it must be worked out in the local church. Change happens as we live out our lives in the company of other believers.

Clapping In Sermons Must Be Timed Very Carefully

There’s something known as the ‘lone ranger clapper’ syndrome that everyone should be aware of. A sermon reaches a high point and you feel an irresistible urge to clap your hands. You begin banging your hands together, confident that everyone else feels the same passion and will follow your bold lead. But they don’t, and suddenly you’re in no man’s land, and everyone in the auditorium feels mildly embarrassed for you. Sometimes the speaker will try to encourage you by saying something like, “Yes, that is worthy of applause,” but that doesn’t usually happen. So time your claps carefully.

If you are between the ages of 18-29, I highly commend the NEXT Conference to you. You can find more info here, and you can download all the sermons here.

What lessons have you learned at conferences?

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Do You Live In Toronto?

If so, you may want to check out what looks like an excellent conference:

The Toronto Pastors Conference
Featuring Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker of 9Marks Ministries
June 1,2,3
Cost: $115
Includes conference registration, books, several meals, and more.
Register online at

Conference Tip #3

While I?m at the New Attitude conference I thought I would pass along some conference tricks and tips that I?ve learned over the years.? Here’s one of the more practical ones:

Conference Rule #3: Bring Your Own Coffee

What happens when 150 people, all of whom are ordering a double-frap, half-caf, triple-shot, partial-soy, medium-well latte, decide to go to Starbuck’s at the same time? You get a line that stretches three full blocks. So do yourself a favor and bring your own coffee.

Imagine what would happen if everyone brought their own coffee. Could we change the world? Maybe. Could we singlehandedly bring down the Starbuck’s empire? Probably not (nor would I want to).

So here’s to changing the world, one cup of home-brewed coffee at a time.

Conference Rule #2

While I’m at the New Attitude conference I thought I would pass along some conference tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years.? Today’s tip:

Conference Rule #2: Don’t be the only guy applauding

At different points throughout the conference, the audience will spontaneously break into applause. This is usually in response to a particularly profound point in a sermon, and it’s the appropriate way to respond. However, nothing is worse than starting to clap and realizing that no one else is joining in. You look like a gigantic moron who has the social skills of a golden retriever.

When you start to clap, make sure others will follow suit.

The Ultimate Conference Guide

While I’m here at the New Attitude conference I thought I would pass along a few conference tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully these help you when you attend a conference.

Conference Rule #1: Don’t bluff when you can’t remember somebody’s name.

At conferences you run into a lot of people that you sort of know, but can’t remember their name. Don’t try and poker bluff your way out of it with a bunch of generic phrases like:

“Heeeeyyy [long pause] buddy.”

“How is your [pause] your family?”

Everybody knows what you’re trying to pull, so don’t bother. Also, it’s not a good idea to throw out random name guesses (“Is it Barb, or is it Bambie?”). You just look dumb. So just admit that you can’t remember their name and move on.