The Foundations Conference 2017 NYC is now over and we are back again.
It was once again our distinct privilege to host our second conference assembling some of our generation's finest speakers in one of the world's greatest cities to focus our attention for two full days around a most important subject. A subject that can often be overlooked in our Martha-like busy times. That is, giving ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4).
Our generation is drowning in a sea of digital noise. Just take a look aroundâon the street, in the subway, in an airplane, in a restaurant, in an elevator, in the homeâit doesnât matter where you go, youâll find the eyes and ears of people assaulted with every imaginable distraction, upon every available waking moment. The church is not immune to this phenomenon and, as a result, we are losing something vital, something powerful.
We read in A.W. Tozerâs The Pursuit of God the following words, âThanks to our splendid Bible societies and to other effective agencies for the dissemination of the Word, there are today many millions of people who hold âright opinions,â probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb.â
His argument is that we have more resources, more money, more tools, more knowledge, more opportunities, more translations, more technology than ever before in the history of the worldâbut despite all that, there is a distinct lack of spiritual power.
Here at SermonAudio we feel the weight of Tozerâs statement. We broadcast over one million sermons worldwide, and see over 3 million sermons downloaded each month, yet we still appear to be living in a time of great famine. Not a famine of bread or water, as Amos puts it, but of hearing the words of the Lord. Tozer refers to this as âno small scandal in the Kingdom, to see Godâs children starving while actually seated at the Fatherâs table.â
When the early church faced its own encroaching distractions, we read that the Apostles gave themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). The purpose of the Foundations Conference is to call the church away from the programs and methods of the latest trends, and back to the foundations in ministryânamely, prayer and preaching.
And not just the form of prayer or the form of preaching eitherâbut the pursuit of God Himself through these humble means. I refer to Tozer yet again where he says, âThe Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God.â The altar, the rituals, the Tabernacle itself are all pointless, without the Shekinah glory in the midst. Likewise, all of our praying, preaching, and mere outward form is utterly powerless unless God is in these necessary means.
This is what the Foundations Conference is all about.
As a concluding tribute to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Dr. Steven Lawson delivered the final conference address on The Preachers of the Reformation. At the end of the message, he was presented with a special surprise gift in appreciation for his ministry and for his participation in the conference.
"500 Years of the Reformation" features the four great Reformers that he just finished preaching upon (Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Knox) set against the backdrop of a cityscape depicting architecture spanning from the 16th century to the 21st century. The frame itself was handcrafted by missionary Marcus Reyes in Orizaba, Mexico using Black Walnut from the surrounding mountainous regions. The rough lumber is harvested by the indigenous descendants of the Aztec among whom he ministers the Gospel.
Also, be sure not to miss Armen's powerful address regarding the need to follow good men, Todd Friel's convicting address encouraging the church to regain its evangelistic focus, Joel Beeke's address regarding the Puritans and preaching, Alan Dunlop's heart-felt address dealing with God's "peripherals," and Phil Johnson's stirring address regarding the remedy for a backslidden church.
Below is the complete list of all conference messages. We encourage you to take the time to download them freely and enjoy a concentration of preaching session that will enrich your soul and touch your heart:One of the highlights from the conference for our staff was to sit down with the various speakers and enjoy some light fellowship over a meal after a long day.
On the summer of June 22-23, 2017 we did our best to communicate a burden to return to the foundations of prayer + powerful preaching. We pray and look for God's blessing to be brought forth in greater measure in the days to come.
View high-resolution version of all photos by clicking here..
âA generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relationship with God. It will require a determined heart and more than a little courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to Biblical ways. But it can be done.â â Tozer