Now having some time to reflect on the White Unto Harvest Conference I attended last weekend, I thought a few written thoughts were in order. But let me say that it was one of the best, most God-honoring and motivating conferences I’ve ever attended. My friend Elder Scott Brown and the whole NCFIC team (www.ncfic.org) really outdid themselves to the glory of God. My family and those with me all felt very welcomed. And that is maybe an understatement; it felt like family! There was such a kindred spirit, a tender, holy, passionate feel to the whole thing…it was awesome!
Anywho…here are some random thoughts and reflections on the Conference in no particular order….
1. The desire to be God-honoring.
Although it’s hard to explain, from the moment we arrived, Christ was King. It was not about the speakers, the logistics, or anything else. It was very obvious that we were gathered to honor Christ and be encouraged to fulfill His Great Commission. Again, it is hard to explain…but there was something flowing out of the speakers, the attendees, the children, and even the modes and forms used that said, “this is for Christ...He reigns!” Maybe it was done is such a quiet way that it struck me differently than usual. I’m not sure. It wasn’t “better” than anyone else necessarily; just a heartfelt dignity that proclaimed His Lordship along with a consistent willingness to acknowledge our own sin. I’ll have to give this more thought to put in better words.
2. The deep appreciation for the Sufficiency of Scripture.
It was both comforting and convicting to be around folks that take the Sufficiency of Scripture this seriously. These are people that work very hard to line up with the principles, precepts, and patterns of Scripture. In fact, if there is a “thou shall not” in Scripture, it was obvious that that line wasn’t to be approached….nowhere near it. No fluff, no showy displays, etc…just a deep love and reverence for the Word of God. Not legalistic…just love…a passionate love for God’s Word in family life, church, worship, and evangelism and discipleship.
3. The overwhelming hospitality.
Everyone was so nice! There was such fellowship at meals, in prayer, and in-between times of teaching that it blew us away. Again, it wasn’t flashy. It was for lack of a better term, organic. Similar to how Titus 2 “feels” or how Acts 2 “feels” when you read it, this conference had that “feeling.”
4. The lack of passivity in the men.
I said in my teaching there that “family discipleship turns passive men into razors.” I don’t need any more proof of that than to be in the company of 600ish men who see it as a privilege to disciple their wives and children. There wasn’t a passive man in the bunch. They all seemed to love hard, lead hard, but they maintained their humility and tenderness. There is something about seeing a strong man walk into a service with a child strapped on in his front, his back, and holding hands with one, while pushing a stroller. LOL!!!
5. The quiet but obviously powerful strength of the women.
Where did they get these ladies? These wives and mothers absolutely exuded a quiet, dignified strength. Many had several children (most very well behaved mind you) that they managed very well and seemed to enjoy doing so. They were modest, enthusiastic, and very comfortable “being women” if that makes any sense. It was beautiful to see biblical femininity modeled so well with such power. Motherhood was on full display; and so was their desire to shake the nations with a brood of well discipled, well trained warriors deployed with Christ’s Gospel and for Christ’s Kingdom!
6. The love of life! It was everywhere!
Children! Babies! Teens! Some of the sharpest teen boys and girls! All being exposed to the Gospel over and over! Oh friends, the desire to protect, train, disciple, educate, raise up, and deploy these precious young ones for God’s glory was like a thumping heartbeat there. You could literally feel it!
7. The beauty of modesty.
Ok…take this one in the right spirit (this comment is Donna-approved!)…but the young ladies (and men) were beautiful. There was an innocent, holy, biblical, pure, respectful beauty that seemed to flow not from legalism but from their own hearts. No short shorts, tight pants, “cracks” (LOL), or hoochiness. (Is that a word?). It was wonderful, and as a man with daughters, I’m glad they saw it.
8. The simplicity of worship.
A simple piano. Deep, reflective hymns. And I felt no lack of anointing. Amazing. The excellence was in its simplicity, and the form they used added to the reverence of God that was palpable in the event. There was no performance aspect at all. It was simple, heartfelt congregational singing. I was deeply touched by it.
9. The humility of the speakers.
Men like Scott Brown, Doug Phillips, Paul Washer, Kevin Swanson, Joel Beake, and so many others, are very humble men. I saw them on their knees crying out to God for help and forgiveness. I was blessed by their knowledge, but also by their transparency and accountability and admissions of their own failures.
10. The beauty of the area.
The Asheville area was just beautiful. What a perfect place to consider the glory and wonder of God and the role He has ordained for His people in the Great Commission. Somehow, the area added to the urgency to preach the Gospel to every Nation and make disciples.
So friends, I learned a lot, was convicted quite a bit as well, and left fired up to share the Gospel! Thanks again to everyone who made this event possible, and thank you Lord for the honor of sharing YOU with every creature.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mat 28:18-20 ESV)