Banner of Truth UK Ministers’ Conference 2015
Almost four days of ‘warm weather and even warmer fellowship, delicious food, and rich ministry.’ This is one man’s way of describing this year’s Leicester Banner of Truth Conference held at the University of Leicester, 13-16 April.
Approximately three hundred and fifty men were in attendance. There were delegates from the USA, South Africa, Nigeria, Burma, and other Asian countries. The theme for the conference this year centred on ‘The Sufferings of this Present Time’.
In the opening sermon Gary Brady spoke experientially on ‘the preciousness of Christ’. The keynote overseas preacher was Kevin DeYoung. Some men found his two addresses on the injustice Christ suffered, and Christ praying in pain, very helpful. His final address was on the theme of ‘The Impassibility of God’.
There was no panel discussion this year. Instead, Alan Davey, a Welsh missionary in Bordeaux, France, spoke on Paul’s sufferings and its application to mission. Stuart O1yott gave two sermons on ‘Yes it is hard very hard but …’ The second sermon had three very simple memorable points revolving around the words Wow! Ow! Now!
Mike Reeves gave two helpful addresses on ‘A Puritan theology of suffering’ and ‘Faith amid suffering in the life of Charles Spurgeon’. They were quite practical in helping ministers deal with personal affliction, and the suffering of members of their congregations. The second address focused on Spurgeon’s depression, its causes and manifestations, which many found quite poignant.
Jeff Kingswood from Canada preached on ‘The Bruised Bride’ – suffering in the local church. This was underpinned with personal applications from examples of his family’s suffering, and from his own congregation.
Finally, Geoff Thomas preached a profoundly challenging and convicting closing sermon, ‘The plight of man and the power of God’. It was a timely reminder of the heinousness and odiousness of sin, and the preciousness and sufficiency of our salvation in Christ. Some of the illustrations were graphically described, and the doctrine powerfully and closely applied. Some ministers said, hearing that sermon was worth the conference fee alone. Many felt it was a crowning point for the whole conference.
On reflection, some shared their concern regarding what the Lord was preparing his ministers and his people for in the future. Overall, it was a helpful conference in reminding us of the all-sufficiency of the gospel of Christ in supplying comfort and solace to ministers and dear believers who are suffering.
From Protestant Truth, July-August 2015.
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