You blew it...

Error message

We had our largest attendance at a pastors conference yet, this year. Over a hundred and it was a joy to be together, although the work was hard. So this post doesn't come out of disappointment in our numbers.

Sometimes a pastor needs to say to his people, "you blew it."

So, permit me to say to those of you who should have been here for the conference on child abuse and incest, you blew it. And I'll go further than that: it's my conviction that some of you didn't attend, not because you thought the conference wouldn't be helpful, but because you knew it would be. You're a pastor, elder, elder's wife, or women's ministry director and you simply didn't want to spend time thinking about how best to discover and minister to those children in your congregation who are being raped by their father, uncle, brother, or molested by their sister. 

It's easier not to know, isn't it?

Well, you can take a mulligan...

Recordings from the conference are now available and you can get some of the conference's benefits by listening to them. "Some" because much of the help of the conference came from talking with other pastors and elders and Titus 2 women over the table as we ate the stupendous food served up by the ladies of Clearnote. So do listen to the recordings. Your own congregation likely has children right now who are suffering abuse and have no safe place to turn and no one digging to find out about their need.

About now, you think I'm done, but not quite.

Concerning blogs and conferences, one of the most destructive things about them is that they're almost always anonymous, so no one has to think that the speaker or writer is actually speaking to her or him. But the church?

It's precisely the opposite. Aside from those horrid video venues some hucksters call "churches," most of the souls attending worship each week have real pastors and they sit under their own pastor's preaching of God's Word each Lord's Day morning in a local congregation. One of the privileges of having a pastor preach to us is being absolutely convinced the pastor is speaking right to us. Being convinced that he knows our weaknesses and sins and is turning us from our sin to Jesus and His Word. Many times after worship souls have come up to me and told me I was speaking right to them. Some were happy, some were mad. Sometimes they were right, but usually not. Yet this is the church working as the household of faith God made her.

And this is the reason we prefer blogs and conferences. We never have to take them personally because the blogger and conference speaker don't know us.

So let me tell you to take this post personally. Would you please?

If you are going to hear God's commendation, "well done, good and faithful servant," you are going to have to grow in your ability to care for your flock. Maybe you tell yourself you didn't come because you don't need it, but permit me to say that I think it's more likely you didn't come because you do need it, but don't want it.

The conference was very hard. Both speaking and listening were very hard. The fellowship was at times soul-wearying. This is true pastoral ministry.

So again, please listen to the conference audio.

But also, would you please make plans now to attend our shepherds conference next year? There are many sell-outs to the homosexualist movement shooting through the most conservative Reformed churches and their celebrities right now and we'll be working hard to expose those sell-outs by showing what the Word of God does and does not say about homosexual temptations.

Next year's conference will also teach us how to minister to gays, lesbians, Bruce Jenners, and bisexuals who are in our congregations.

No, we're not holding the conference down in warm Orlando. We don't have the money, but we will feed and fellowship you very, very well.

Not Ashamed: Gospel ministry in a post-Obergefell world

February, 15-17, 2017

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!