Today begins the 2011 Desiring God Conference for Pastors. I love this gathering of faithful leaders.
This is my sixth Pastors Conference, and my fourth as a member of the staff of Desiring God. If things progress like in years past, these things will happen:
- I will meet men dealing with such extraordinarily hard things in their churches, they live with constant discouragement and temptation to quit.
- I will meet men who are experiencing spiritual change in their own lives they never would have predicted – and this change is frequently coming years after they first began pastoring.
- I will meet some young man who makes the decision to pursue seminary based on what God is doing in his life through this conference.
- God will bring some man dealing with disability, either in his own family or in his church, directly to me without either of us knowing it until we meet. In other words, he didn’t know about Bethlehem’s disability ministry or me or The Works of God, and I didn’t know anything about him.
Conferences like these are really important to those of us dealing with disability, and it is one reason I come back to our supporting our pastors in prayer and encouragement so often. Not only does their being grounded in the truth of God’s word help us in our own lives, but leaders with that kind of affection for God and his word also tend to be more supportive of initiatives like disability ministry.
In fact, I can point to one church with a thriving disability ministry that had, at best, lukewarm support from their pastor. All of the rest had clear, vocal, personal support from the lead pastor and usually the elders as well.
So, please pray for your pastor – especially if he is lukewarm to disability ministry – that he may be gripped by a big view of God and his sovereignty over all things. And please pray for the gathering of pastors these next three days as well.