Last week, the Banner of Truth held its annual pastor’s conference in Pennsylvania. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to go. Twenty years ago, I wanted to go because Daddy and Uncle Matt were going, and going fishing and eating ice cream with them for three days sounded like a blast. Not to mention, the Banner had an amazing book table. I told Dad I didn’t care if I would be the only girl.
I still want to go. Not only has more of my family ended up going (Dad, Uncle Matt, my husband, two brothers-in-law), but in addition to the ice cream there is wonderful preaching. And despite having some of the best known men in the Reformed world preach (Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke, Iain Murray, etc.), there is apparently none of the celebrity/groupie issue that plagues so many other conferences these days. The men who go are there to be fed, not impressed. And fed they are. My husband brings home recordings of the sessions, and now I understand why Dad came home so encouraged every single May, year after year.
Even though I still want to go, I’m glad it’s just Reformed, evangelical pastors and elders there. They need that feeding and fellowship, uninterrupted by domestic or congregational concerns for once. So if you are married to a ruling or teaching elder, encourage him to go next year. And if your pastor and elders don’t go, it would be healthy for the congregation to encourage them to do so.
Spending a week without your husband or pastor and elders is a small thing compared to the refresher they will get: the fellowship and encouragement of other undershepherds and increased knowledge of and love for Christ.