I came into the G3 conference without much excitement in all honesty. I was looking forward to hearing great preaching from great preachers, and I was expecting the Lord to speak to me through them. One thing that I wished they did differently is had the speakers spread out to where the last day would be on Sunday rather than Saturday. However, the speakers made it clear that there needs to be a reformation in people’s ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church—how church ought to be done). In today’s age, there is a revolution in technology, and millions of people have access to the internet where they can hear preaching without being present under the voice of the preacher. It is a phenomenon that church leaders need to handle rightly. They need not to preach for the internet but for their flock. People tend to think in terms of the universal church and not the local church. They make the wrong deductions from what scripture teaches.
I admit that I have fallen in the trap of relying on internet sermons, bible studies, and sermon jams more than what pastor has to say. In the past, I trusted and took heed to other pastors instead of my pastor. There is a place for that if I am under a leader who preaches heresy and dangerous error. However, many people mistakenly die on the wrong hills. They argue over ridiculous subjects. Martin Luther was dealing with a unique situation where he was up against the whole Roman Catholic Church, not just a local one. Therefore, people today cannot apply that situation to theirs when they are having an issue with their local church.
There were not always preaching during the conference. It was clear that not all of the speakers were preachers. I was very exhausted from my work, so it was difficult to stay fully awake for some of the speakers. I knew a lot of what was being taught and preached, but I wanted to come into the conference hungry. Proverbs 27:7 says, “a satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” The preaching from Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Steve Lawson, and Conrad Mbewe were very stirring. I absolutely enjoyed their preaching, and I praise God for giving me the privilege to be there live.
I spoke with Paul Washer very briefly as many people circled around him; the conference has around 2,500 people! I was very close to requesting a picture with him, but the Lord led me not to ask for it. Instead my mind was swiftly focused on the reason I wanted to talk to him, and that is Vietnam. I was very excited when I found out HeartCry began working with Vietnamese pastors there. I also talked to Anthony Mathenia, and I was told by both of those men to contact a particular brother, who co-pastors Anthony at Christ Church in Radford, Virginia. I came out of that conference with a lead to finally talking to someone who can update me with the work that is being done in Vietnam. Unfortunately, I could not find his personal email after brother Paul and brother Anthony informed where it may be located in the website. I emailed HeartCry again hoping that they will respond this time. If not, I may need to contact Christ Church.
I trust that the Lord will provide people in my life who will help me do what I believe the Lord wants me to do—reach out to family and more Vietnamese people.