Have you been watching the countdown on the TOGETHER FOR THE GOSPEL blog with great anticipation? http://www.t4g.org/blog/ The long awaited T$G Conference is next week.  Hooray!!!  (OOPS! I was typing capital letters and forgot to take my finger off the shift button when I typed the "4" in "T4G"… Why is the dollar sign located just above the number 4 on the computer keyboard?  Hmmm……)  In honor of this important occasion on the New Calvinists' calendar, here's a re-post of our June 11, 2009 article.  We will have more commentary on "Together for the Gospel" tomorrow…




As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, we’d like to say that we have attended many conferences over the years, and we have often found them beneficial.  Therefore, we are not slamming all Christian conferences per se.  However, in recent years it appears that the Christian community is becoming addicted to conferences.  Why would that be a problem if these conferences are promoting Christian principles?


Here are our specific concerns about this trend.   


Conferences are expensive!


We gave you an idea of what some Christian conferences cost in the previous post.  Here’s another example.  If you choose to attend the Together for the Gospel Conference next April, here’s what a ticket will cost you (link is provided):



  • Early Bird Registration – $199
    Ends October 31, 2009
  • Student Registration* – $99
    Ends March 28, 2010
  • General Registration – $249
    Ends March 28, 2010


Remember: the cost does not include food, lodging, and transportation.  Because this 2-1/2 day conference is geared toward pastors, we wonder who will be paying the expenses related to attending this event — the pastor or the church?  It’s a legitimate question.  Secondly, how are the conference proceeds allocated? How much are the speakers earning and how much of the profit will go to missions?  The sale of books is also a BIG DEAL at Together for the Gospel.  It’s very convenient that the authors of these books have a captive audience at the conference.  The same questions could be asked of other types of conferences.      


Conferences elicit a personality cult


Have you noticed that certain Christian leaders are achieving rock star status, often through these conferences?  It’s incredible that an attendee would walk up to a “Reformed Big Dog” and ask him to sign his ESV Bible.  Does anyone find that odd besides us? 


There’s a sense of idolatry at these conferences with attendees hanging onto every word of their icons.  Paul warned against this in 1 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV) when he wrote:  “For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere men?  What after all, is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”  We should ALL be followers of Jesus, not followers of a particular Christian leader.  Those who are “of Calvin” need to be very extremely careful! 


When a personality cult develops, the icon begins to believe he is who his devotees say he is.  They begin to believe their own press, which leads to pride.  Dr. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently addressed the students with some powerful words.  He said, “Few things contribute to ministerial demise as much as personal ambition.  If you’re lifting yourself up from the pulpit, week after week, you’re inevitably putting Jesus down. . . . Being content with what God gives is vital to avoiding the sin of unbridled greed, another snare for ministers.  Just as Paul warned against the love of money in the passage, it is important for ministers of the Gospel to not love anything more than the Lord, and to not serve anything but God.”  Here’s the link if you want to read more:





Conferences can lead to authoritarianism


When these Christians leaders are heralded as almost being Christ-like, they often develop an authoritarian nature.  They begin to believe they should be in authority over their subjects.  How sad when this occurs because it marginalizes the priesthood of the believers. 


Recently, on SGM Refuge the question was asked about whether Sovereign Grace churches allow Bible studies.  Quite a few former members of SGM responded, along with a few current members, and the consensus was that organized Bible studies are NOT allowed in SGM churches.  Some confessed that they would secretly enroll in Bible studies at other churches or participate in non-denominational Bible studies in order to study God’s Word because it wasn’t offered in SGM.  How sad that church members with the gift of teaching are not allowed to exercise those gifts to benefit the fellowship of believers and to bring glory to God.  Apparently, only SGM pastors and Care Group Leaders are allowed to teach, and from what we understand they are teaching primarily from the books that are sold in the SGM bookstore.  The pursuit of God’s truth is our primary aim in operating this blog, so if anyone has personal knowledge about this matter, please let us know. 


One week ago today, Mark Driscoll spoke on “What is the Church?” at the Desiring God Advance ’09 Conference.  Toward the end of his message, he made the following remarks with regard to reaching out to those who do not know Jesus Christ:


“Hospitality is welcoming strangers . . . If people (church members) aren’t bringing people to church, there’s probably one of two reasons.  (1) You have Sunday school or (2) You don’t talk about Jesus every Sunday.”


Mark labeled Sunday school as “koinonitis” which means “a condition where the church gets so enamored with being together it forgets its mission.” 


He had much more to say about this matter, and he concluded with these comments:


“Get rid of Sunday school to increase the attractional nature of your ministry. . . .  Look, I’m sure the seven people who go to it (Sunday school) at your church love it.”


Tsk,tsk, Mark.  Read your whole Bible.  In fact, exactly what did Jesus say before He ascended into heaven?  First, we are to go into all of the earth telling His story and making disciples.  Secondly, we are to teach them everything He had commanded.  Not just a few things, Mark.  Everything!


Mark Noll wrote a book a decade ago called The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.  His basic premise is that Christians have become stupid.  They can quote the Bible but do not know how to apply it to the arts, business, and medicine.  In fact, nothing much has changed in the last decade.  Even Bill Hybels said he made a mistake with the wildly “successful” Willow Creek.  He had a church full of Christians who know “squat” about the faith.  They were an inch deep and a mile wide!

Why would Mark Driscoll want churches to eliminate Sunday school?  His reasons are spurious and stupid.  I have taken lots of people to church with me.  On those days I either skip the Sunday school or church.  (Mark may find it incredulous, but there are actually Sunday school classes that are often far more interesting than boring worship services!)   Also, classes that are intriguing attract far more than “seven” people.  I know because I led such a class.


Could there be a hidden agenda?  How about keeping the masses ignorant so the Calvinistas can tell them what the Bible “really says….according to their own narrow interpretation.  ”A stupid crowd is an easily led crowd.”  It’s kind of like the racists of old.  “Don’t want to give ‘em no education, you know.  They’ll jus’ get uppity.”


Without the availability of Sunday school classes, people will have more time to read all of those wonderful books written by Mark Driscoll and the Calvinistas (of course, they have to buy them first!) and listen to all those messages proclaimed by the leaders “of Calvin”.  We acknowledge that many messages they provide via the internet are free of charge, but in our view those are the bait to reel ‘em into the Calvinista movement. 


Here’s our prediction…  After Sunday school has been abolished in churches, Mark Driscoll will suggest the establishment of “Care Groups” or “Community Groups” like they have at Mars Hill Church and in Sovereign Grace Ministry churches.  Then the “Care Group Leaders” can lead a book study when they meet, and each participant will need his/her own personal copy.  Seems like a great marketing strategy to us – only problem is it sounds more like a business than a ministry, which leads us back to the Bible verse we shared at the end of yesterday’s post.  Jesus warned that you cannot serve both God and money. 


Conferences and everything that goes with them create a DEPENDENCY, which results in lots of dough!  We can’t help but ask:  “What would Jesus do?”



  1. It really is ironic, isn’t it? I literally recommend folks leave church to learn the Word. I recommend they get 3-4 translations, download the interlinear and link to some Lexicons….lock themselves away for about a year and read read read.

    They can even use the NLT or something similar to read the OT. I recommend they read through the Gospels and Acts over and over making notes. If they do that, then they can better understand the Epistles.

    A friend sent me these questions to help others in interpreting what they read:

    Who is talking?
    Who is he talking to?
    What is the occasion?

    There IS a famine in the land of the Word. Not because it is unavailable but because folks rely on a special class of professional Christians to teach them. This thinking negates one of the reasons for the Cross: No more earthly priests. No more earthly mediators.

    How else is such vast error and idolatry to be dealt with? The only way is to get folks to study on their own. The Holy Spirit is the BEST teacher.

  2. Lydia, I’m sure you are a fine lady but you have lost total perspective and are truly moving away from Scripture.

  3. John, That really helps? Why not try some actual “content” with your vague but overarching rebuke?

  4. John, did you read the same comment I did?

    Lydia was talking about really reading the Bible–several different translations and lexicons and digging deep for at least a year. If you’re not sure, Bible is another word for Scripture.

    Were you busting on the translation used? I know some folks who swear by the ESV or the RSV or KJV, but I’m pretty sure the NLT (New Living Translation, maybe?) is a translation of the Bible, aka Scripture.

  5. Thanks Acme. You seem to get it. We can only speculate at John’s drive by rebuke. Perhaps he is upset about my saying they might need to leave church to study. That is simply a safety measure. There is so much false or extra biblical teaching out there the noise is deafening. I submit that folks need to meet with their Savior alone in the Word as protection. I seem to recall that Paul commended the Bereans for doing the same thing. (I suppose they were using the Sept and not the ESV? :o)

    Include the model Paul suggested in 1 Corinthians for the assembly which would have the same effect as I suggested.

    BTW: one can download the interlinear for free at Scripture4all

  6. Lydia,

    I think I understand the point John was surely trying to make which gets at the role of the community. We are not Christians living in isolation. We may read the Bible and interpret it. But we’re also responsible to our community of faith, our local church and the universal church.

    So, what’s the relationship between your community of faith and your private interpretations of the Bible. Your comment certainly came across as promoting a Roger Williams-esque form of rugged individualism which most Christians see as unbiblical. We err when we overemphasize the individual and neglect the community. It both individual and community not one or the other.

    We might be on the same page here though. I’ll allow you to elaborate.

  7. Ephesians 4: 11-12 clearly states that God has given pastor-teachers to equip the body for maturity and the work of the ministry. Most certainly people can and should at the same time study on their own and make use of the many excellent resources for self study. At my church, I am currently doing a series on Wednesday nights to equip my people in this very thing including understanding hermenutics and properly handling the word.No need to speculate on my alleged drive by rebuke. I thought the forum was open to all comments as long as they are tasteful, even if they disagree with what someone has stated.

  8. Cliff

    There are a number of ministries that are now emphasizing certain books for sale over the Bible. According to sgmsurvivors.com, SGM actually discourage its members from joining “Bible” studies. Instead, they read CJ’s books, Puritan tracts, etc.

    Lydia is onto something here. So few people study Scripture anymore.I am often surprised by the level of knowledge of Scripture by members in evangelical churches. In fact, I am so concerned, I am considering starting a women’s Bible study during the day that will emphasize reading through Scripture in a year.

    After all, as the Reformers said, “Sola Scriptura.

  9. Cliff, community denotes some interaction ala 1 Corin 14. Not listening to one guy week after week. And what if the guy is seriously wrong? Shouldn’t we always be Bereans?

  10. John

    The problem is that there are some pastors who emphasize their own brand of Scripture and use subtle nuances to control their flock. It is vital that we find good pastors. However, God is gracious and will meet us as we study His word. Perhaps this study will even open ones eyes to problems in the church one is attending.Remember the Reformers believed that Scripture was understandable to even the simplest ploughboy?

  11. Cliff
    Didn’t Roger Williams bring the Word to the Indians. Didn’t he offer refuge for the Baptists who were persecuted by the Puritans?

    Wasn’t the first First Baptist started in Rhode Island because of Williams? Didn’t Williams actually demonstrate the belief of freedom of religion to those who sought refuge in Rhode Island?

    Sometimes rugged individualism is necessary to break the back of religionism which exhibits itself in pharisaical rules and practices. Give me a Roger Williams instead of sheeple who follow lock step and never question the status quo.

    I am a member of a wonderful Bible church and love to listen to the pastors. They also love us to question them and seek input from the believers.However, these types of churches are far and few between and I feel for those who do not have access to such pastors. In fact, in my area, there are not too many such churches.

  12. I have no disagreement Dee with what you are saying. But not all pastors out there are guilty of these charges of being promoting their own brand of Scripture or trying to control their flock.

  13. John, As a pastor, you should know that a general rebuke is meaningless. How could I possibly know what you were correcting? How does one learn from such a general rebuke? You did not even say what you disagreed with!

    In any event, I am assuming your church has all of these who are actively exercising these gifts to edify the Body as spelled out in Eph:

    apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

    After all, the hand cannot say to the eye, i have no need of you. Or, do you use the Constantine pagan method of one guy orating to the pew sitters week after week?

    In the 4th chapter of 1 Corin, Paul uses an interesting word to describe guys like him and Apollos. Huperetes (from hupo, under, and eretes, a rower) This refers to the lowest rung on the slave ship of rowers.

    Is that the function you were thinking of when you describe yourself?

    Let’s be logical for a moment. How is a new believer to know the pastor is not twisting the Word to fit his preconceived premise of a favorite doctrine if they are not themselves immersed in the Word? Are they told they need an interpreter besides the Holy Spirit? That they simply cannot understand unless you teach them how to ‘handle’ the Word?

    The bottomline is that I have nothing to gain here personally. I do not make my living from having followers or being in a minstry.

    I simply encourage folks to read, read, read. Pray, pray, pray. We would have a lot less spiritual abuse, wolves and false teaching if people would do this. And perhaps more would be forced to make tents. :o)

  14. Lydia,
    I certainly believe these gifts are functional although apostle is obsolete unless it means to refer to missionaries and /or church planters. I am a Constantine pagan who preaches without interaction on Sunday mornings and follow in the footsteps of many wonderful pagans before me. I do use interaction in teaching on Wednesday nights. We do often allow for input from the people on Sunday mornings in the service in accordance with I Corinthians, chapter 14. Yes, In my recent sermons and teaching at our Deacon’s retreat I taught the people that I was an “underoer” and a galley slave. I am sorry for the general rebuke and offending you. It seems you can really lay it out there Lydia but recoil at any comment to the contrary. How does anyone know what they are being taught is true? Therefore I am teaching my people to be Bereans as I stated in an ealier post. I am not a wolf and abhor such abusive techniques as many are using today.

  15. John
    In my response, I showed you that I knew that not all pastors were doing so. My own pastors are an example.But, there are problems out there which could be confronted by those who have a clear view of Scripture.

  16. John, you did not offend me at all. That would be petty. You are a name on a blog and I most certainly do not know you well enough to be offended. Perhaps you are too used to dealing with sheeple? What you refer to as recoiling…I think of as digging deeper. I can understand why you would have that perception, though.

    And I am thrilled to hear from you that you are not one of the wolves and abhor the tyrannical techniques used today!

  17. Dee,

    I think you somehow were left with the impression that I used “community” as a synonym for “pastor”

    I believe in the priesthood of all believers and not some pastor-rule, staff-rule authoritarian set-up. There is much to appreciate in Roger Williams’ views on religious freedom, freedom of conscience and the proper relationship between the institutions of church and state. However, Roger Williams’ rugged individualism which left him isolated from a community of faith for the latter years of his life is not something we should model. The individual needs community as the Gospel has both individual and social implications.

  18. Cliff

    What would an individual like Roger Williams do in his circumstances? He vehemently disagreed with the Puritan status quo. He was offended that they were financially ripping off the Indians.He reached out to the Native Americans who loved him. If he did that, why wasn’t he in community? Aren’t missionaries in community?Should he have just stayed in Massachusetts and butt heads with the Puritan intelligentsia?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I live a traditional life. I go to church, Sunday school, help teach said Sunday school and occasionally teach the Bible study, volunteer in Christian related endeavors, and witness vigorously. But, there are seasons to life and sometimes one must leave a fellowship like my family did and seek out new supports.

    I see no problem with people being temporarily “between churches.” Martin Luther hid out in Wartburg and probably didn’t have a Bible study group meeting with him. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two.But those who change the world are usually “different.”

  19. This whole conversation about community and what it really means made me think of this by Tozer:

    The Saint Must Walk Alone

    In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man’s creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.

    Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.

    Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man “whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart”? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.

    Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.

    The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children,” cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.

    Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross. His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.

    He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw. There are some things too sacred for any eye but God’s to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.

    Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, “Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ and `Lo, I am with you alway.’ How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?”

    Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. “They all forsook Him, and fled.”

    The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

    The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul – and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord’s house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, “He has seen a vision.”

    The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

    It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd – that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life’s summum bonum.

    Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.

    The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. “God will not suffer you to lose anything by it,” he told them. “You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.” This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

    The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful “adjustment” to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

  20. Dee and Deb- I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs – it gives me much to think about. I’m just so weary at the moment which is part of the reason I don’t comment. I’m weary for exactly the reason Lydia has described in her last post-we’ve felt such loneliness and disillusionment in the past few months. I am reassured that we are following God, because oftentimes I’m wondering if God even exists or if we are completely misguided with decisions we’ve made that have alienated us from our church (disagreeing with reformed theology, etc.)

  21. C,

    Please know that I am praying for you and others in your difficult situation. You are definitely not alone in your predicament. I fear that as Neo-Calvinism takes root in congregations there will be many more displaced Christians.

    May you soon find a loving fellowship of believers who are like-minded.

    God bless you!

  22. C
    The church is not one set of people in one building. The church is the world wide gathering of believers not a peculiar set of doctrine defined “reformed”or or whatever.

    It is defined by the death and resurrection of our Lord.And it is the fellowship of those who serve HIm whenever and wherever. You are not nor have you ever been alienated from the One who has called you friend.And any church that makes you feel that way is NOT following their Lord.

    I am praying for you and hope to see you soon. I have been away visiting my daughter.

  23. Lydia
    I have been wanting to reply to this but it has taken me some time because it so well expresses some parts of my life. Perhaps best, it reminds me of the times when my little girl was swallowed up in an MRI machine which was looking for more cancer. I used to call these times “the dark night of my soul.” It was just God and me and a very loud banging machine with my daughter being very still. yet, it was in those times that I sensed the presence of God.

    One night, when she was so very sick, I had cried myself to sleep at home. I woke up, suddenly, in the middle of the night and felt this warm light presence in the room and an overwhelming sense of peace.This was the Lord. Peace in the midst of this pain, in the middle of the night, is not something one can manufacture.

    Then came the time I had to stand up against an injustice that I perceived in a church.Although my husband and friends backed me up, it was still a lonely time as I watched some people I used to think were friends, turn their backs.

    Yet, it is these times that, in the ned, caused my relationship to God and my faith to deepen far more than any manufactured Bible study. Maybe this is why I now think I understand Roger Williams and others a little bit better.

    Thank you for blessing my life with this story, Lydia. You are truly awesome!

  24. C
    Praying for you. I have had some personal things to attend to but want you to know that we are still thinking about starting a fellowship as discussed this fall.

  25. If you want to talk about the dollars with this conference don’t forget about the money spent on hotels. I don’t know what the arrangement is for this conference but with some conferences the person setting up the conference gets some type of “kickback” on what people pay for rooms. That is when someone attends the conference and books a room using the rate code they set up the hotel pays the people running the conference a certain amount.

    Thus even more dollars could be made and generated with this conference.

  26. A question for T4G in light of Steve’s comments: Who got that kickback and how was it used? Steve, you are correct. I have planned two major conferences in my life; neither for a Christian group. Rooms are generally given to the organizers to use gratis.Good question.

  27. Dee

    If the hotel(s)gave rebates then it would usually go back into the conference’s general fund and mean more profit from the event.

    If the hotel is also providing the meeting room, they will not charge the conference for the meeting rooms if so many hotel rooms are booked. Thus minimizing the expenses and thus increasing the profits from the conference.

    They also many times will give a number of free rooms to a conference that the conference can give to people expecting free rooms such as speakers and again minimize expenses and increase profits.

    Just showing that there may be even more money in a conference like this than what one calculates using the estimated number of attendees and the conference fee.

  28. Steve
    I agree that there is a lot of money floating around. That is why ll the young guys want to get onto the conference bandwagon.

    Amway kingpins earn their money, not through selling soap, but through conferences, DVDs and books. It appears to me that this might be the case with these conferences. Could it be that they have learned their tactics through multi level marketing groups?