The committee set the dates of the Ridley preaching conference well ahead of time. We did consider moving our date after hearing about the John Piper conference in the same week. But we decided not to.
My thoughts on what is good about the Oxygen/John Piper conference:
- John Piper is one of the great evangelical preachers and theologians of our time. His wisdom especially in the area of experiencing and enjoying God is wonderful. We could learn heaps from him.
- It will be a great big conference for networking with gospel ministers from all over the nation.
But, here is why I think you should consider coming to the Ridley Preaching Conference (RPC) instead:
- The RPC is residential and intimate. It actually allows you time as a preacher to get some good fellowship, some spiritual refreshment in a beautiful location, and space with God and other preachers to spur you on personally.
- The RPC has two excellent Aussie speakers. It is a good thing to learn preaching from veteran preachers who both know our context and have honed the preaching craft in an Australian way. They will share examples of their preaching and open up for questions about how they do this work in the trenches of normal pastoral life.
- The RPC has a special emphasis on application. This can be a common weak area in expository preaching. We want to help train pastors to not just wield the sword of the Spirit but strike it into souls skilfully. This is more needed than picking up the ‘vibe’ of a great O/S preacher. The power is in the Word of God. (Murray Capill has written a great book on application in preaching)
- The RPC is a practical conference with a large component of skill building and seminar strands.
I wish I could go to both conferences, but even if they were on at different times it would be hard to justify going to both in one year. I pray both conferences increase the quality and quantity of Christ-exalting expository preaching across the pulpits of our nation and beyond.