Friday, October 11, 2013

IFCA Fall Regional - Update # 2

The Conference theme was, "A Heart for Ministry." Our featured speaker was Dr. Rick Gregory from the Grace Bible Church in California.

The theme was divided up into four sessions:

  1. Maintaining Integrity
  2. Shepherding the Congregation
  3. Developing Spiritual Leadership
  4. Working with Spiritual Leadership

Because of my time frame and expenses I was only able to attend the second session, Shepherding the Congregation. I have to admit that I enjoyed that session.

I did find presentation rather basic and elementary. You would think that as the majority of pastors (shepherds) attending the conference have been pastors for quite some time that it wouldn't have bee so basic. However, I will be the first to say that basic refresher courses are valuable at times.

Dr. Gregory's main points were,  Pastors...

Remember it is not our flock - it is God's flock.

God purchased the flock with His own blood. Therefore shepherding the flock of God is both a  privilege and a stewardship. A stewardship which I shall one day give an account before God.

Realize the value of the flock - it is God's figure

God deposited His truth in the church. The church is the most valuable entity on earth. The church is God's means for evangelization and edification of sinners and saints. It is God's plan and design to fulfill His eternal decree.

Remember to engage every believer - it is God's family

Not one sheep is worthy of neglect. All of God's children are to be valued. There is no place for favortism in the body of Christ. Some sheep are cute, warm, fuzzy and cuddly and some sheep are not so cute, cold, rough, and not cuddly. But they are to be engaged and benefited by the shepherd.

Resolve to feed the flock - it is God's food 

Dr. Gregory gave a very interesting and appropriate illustration under this point. He shared with us the opportunity he had to observe Border Collies working a flock of sheep in (I think he said) Scotland. He was amazed at how well the border collies took direction from the shepherd and how well they carried out those instructions. As a result he told us two things:

Be a border collie for Christ!

We are to take direction solely from the Christ of the Bible and not from ourselves or any other source. We are to faithful and respond to every signal that God gives us as shepherds.

Don't be a stupid shepherd

He gave us a number of scriptures (Jere 10:21, 23:2; Isaiah 56:4; Ezekiel 34:1 (?) to warn us against being stupid shepherds.

Ripen leadership (the "R word" is mine, Dr. Gregory used invest in leadership) - it is God's future

He rushed through this point, barely touching on it as he was running out of time. He basically suggested that we need to develop leadership within the body in order to carry out all the neccesary functions of the body and to ensure it carries on in the future.

Rear the spirit of shepherding (the "R" word is mine,[as in rear up or rear children] he used cultivate) - it is God's foster-plan

Dr. Gregory told us to:

  • recognize the privilege of ministry - it is God-given
  • rely on the provision of ministry - the Word of God
  • relinquish the perogatives of ministry - take nothing
  • resort to the power of ministry - Prayer
So, we should always through the word, prayer, reliance on the Holy Spirit, seminars, good books, and other God-given resources develop the spirit of true shepherding of God's people. Regardless of being basic I thought it was a good reminder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pleased you managed to get there for some of the time.