Conferences are strange animals. From one perspective, they’re filled with wonderful content delivered by excellent teachers. From another perspective, they’re great times to connect with people you rarely see in person. From another still, there is always so much to hear at these conferences that it’s hard to process it all. And at every event I go to, I see people wrestling with which of these to prioritize. Should they make sure they hit every session? Should they skip one or two for a longer lunch, or get some coffee with a friend? Or should they head back to the hotel room for a while and process what’s already been heard—or maybe take a nap?
Chances are, a bunch of you reading this are going to be heading off to TGC in Indianapolis today. I’m heading there today, too. I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of you, hanging out at The Gospel Project booth, and generally having a great time.
But maybe you’re wondering what to do about these things, especially if it’s your first time there. For what it’s worth, here’s my advice: Don’t worry too much about the sessions. Choose a few that you really want to attend, and go to them. But give yourself lots of space for processing. Take the time to pray about what you hear, and consider how it affects your ministry. Allow yourself space to be ministered to. That’s what these events are for, believe it or not.
Despite what you might read on a blog, conferences like TGC don’t exist to perpetuate a celebrity culture. They’re intended to be a service to the local church by ministering to you, the attendee. The person who—if you’re a pastor or leader in the church—probably isn’t being ministered to all that frequently because you’re too busy serving others. If that’s you, I truly hope this event is a blessing to you. (And if it is, come by the Gospel Project booth; I’d love to know how my team and I might be able to serve you during the event as well.) Enjoy the rest that this event (I hope) offers. Let it be an opportunity to recharge and replenish you for the days ahead.