“Conference sometimes may do as much good as preaching.”
What is conference? Conference is a spiritual discipline that involves two to ten people getting together to discuss a variety of spiritual topics. These might include: the nature and characteristics of God, the faithful activity of God toward them personally, the promises of God found in Scripture, especially those that they are currently applying in their walk with the Lord, the preciousness of Jesus Christ, the confession of sin and desire for accountability, discussion of the operation of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the evil and terrible consequences of sin, and that is just a few of the possible topics. To engage in conference with other believers is to magnify the greatness of God and to examine together the state of our souls. It goes well beyond the sincere “how are you?” One of the goals of conference is to step back and carefully scrutinize the condition of your soul before God. It requires honesty and vulnerability. Effective conference greatly strengthens the believer’s spiritual life.
One of my favorite Puritan pastors, Thomas Watson, described the powerful results of conference: “You that are the people of God, do you often associate together, Mal. 3:16, ‘They that feared the Lord, spoke often one to another.’ Christ’s doves should flock together; one Christian will help to heat another: a single coal of juniper will soon die, but many coals put together will keep life in one another. Conference sometimes may do as much good as preaching, one Christian by good discourse drops holy oil upon another; that makes the lamp of his grace to shine the brighter.” [Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture, 239. (italics mine)] When Christians participate in conference together the results are incredible.
This spiritual discipline of conference often occurs in the small group ministry environment so, of course, I want to urge you to participate in one of The Road’s small groups. However, it must be stressed that the blessing of conference can occur any time two or more believers gather together and engage in God-honoring and soul-searching reflection. Are you having moments of conference with other believers? If not, ask the Lord to send you such moments that “the lamp of his grace” would shine brighter in your life. Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.
Love in Christ,