April 13-16 we are hosting the second Bethlehem Conference for Pastors with the theme "The Achievement of the Cross". Last year we held the first Conference with J. I. Packer and Ralph Winter and John Armstrong. There were over a hundred in attendance.
This year the main speaker is Roger Nicole, former professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Divinity School. He has thought and taught about the achievement of the cross as much as anyone over the last three or four decades. I am very excited that he is coming to help us understand more fully and love more deeply and share more effectively what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Kent Hughes, the pastor of College Church, Wheaton, IL, will address the pastors on the topic “Pastoral Success and the Cross of Christ: A Contemporary Crisis.” Kent has written a very helpful book called Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome (Tyndale, 1987). His ministry here will comfort and encourage many who come.
John DeVries, President of Bibles for India, will bring the conference to a missions climax with a message entitled “The Glory of Missions is Death: Reflections on Galatians 6:14.” Tom Steller was with John in India and was very enthusiastic about his holding up the missions dimension of our conference.
My part will be to give a biographical study of the Anglican Charles Simeon who pastored one church for 54 years, and has taught me much about patience and suffering that I want to share.
Of special interest to all of the members of Bethlehem is the fact that Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service will be setting up their huge book display in the fireside room not only for the pastors but for you as well. This will be a great opportunity to get good discounted Christian books.
This conference is not possible without your support. It is a ministry of our church. I want you to be glad that we can reach out in this way to other pastors. At this point prayer is utterly essential. Please pray that those pastors who can be most helped will want to come. And that those who want to come will have funds to come and schedules that let them come. Pray for the health and truthfulness and spiritual anointing of the speakers. Pray that all the local arrangements will fall into place. Pray that God’s Word would be honored and that his kingdom would advance and that preaching would be ignited and that the downcast would be revived.
If you would like to help in other practical ways as the time draws near let Shelley know in the church office.
Spreading the vision with you,