In 2010, Howick Baptist Church (where I serve as Associate Pastor) held the first Stand for the Gospel Conference. This conference was started with a vision to serve the church in New Zealand, across denominations around the unity of the Gospel; its life transforming power and the call to proclaim it to all people, calling all people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
The conference is purposely simple. We host one keynote speaker from overseas who expounds the Scriptures challenging us with the Word of God. There are also a small number of seminars given by men and women serving the church in New Zealand on topics which unfold implications of the Gospel applying them to our lives as believers and the ministry of the church.
We are scheduled to host Don Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) in 2014 and Albert Mohler (President of The Southern Baptist Seminary) in 2015.
This year our keynote speaker is Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands. He was previously an assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC) and served as an elder at Church on the Rock (Raleigh, NC). Thabiti has a strong professional and academic background in community psychology, with special interests in the history and development of the African American church and reaching out to Muslim peoples. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. Thabiti’s five keynote messages will be from 1 John on “Finding Assurance.”
Once again we will offer several practical seminars on the Saturday: Dave Clancey (More Than the Sermon: Using the Whole Church Service to Proclaim the Gospel); Gareth Jones (Community Evangelism); James de Costabadie (God’s Guidance Today); Kristie Anyabwile (God’s Good Design: Women’s Ministry in Complementarian Contexts); Rob Morton (The Gospel Gone Wrong: Sexual Abuse and the Church); Thabiti Anyabwile (Evangelism and Reaching Those From Different Religions); William Chong (Hymns: Roots and Wings for the Next Generation).
Conferences can be a drain on time and resources. They can also be a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and spiritual feeding. We pray Stand for the Gospel falls into the second category. Why not come along this year and see for yourself?
The dates for this year’s conference are 16-18 August. See the website to register and for more details: http://www.standforthegospel.org/conference/stand-2013/