The Foundations Conference 2023 in New York City has finished.
It was an honor to host our sixth conference assembling a unique blend of some of our generation's finest speakers in New York City. Our focus was on prayer and preaching—what we believe to be the foundations of ministry (Acts 6:4).
With over 2.5M sermons in our library, it is no secret that we love preaching. Even in the 21st century, we believe it is still the God-ordained method of saving them that believe according to 1 Cor 1:21. It has been our distinct privilege to form friendships with some of God's choicest pulpit servants from a variety of circles. And so whether Reformed or non-Reformed, well-known or lesser known, we believe in making every effort to exhibit Christian unity within the bounds of orthodox Christianity.
A big part of the focus for all our conferences is prayer. That's why we begin each day with a congregation-wide prayer meeting. We also take the opportunity to invite attendees to our United Prayer Meeting which occurs day by day at 12pm noon (ET). But this year, in God's providence, a very famous statue of Jeremiah Lanphier was brought before us as an object reminder of the importance of persistence in prayer.
For this year, we did something new by singing exclusively the psalms from our newly-published Foundations Psalter -- preceded with a brief 5-min explanation of the psalm by Ian Macleod. This publication, we trust, will appeal to churches far outside any single denomination. God has given us a divinely-inspired songbook that is meant to be sung through the ages, so it seems unfortunate to me that many churches have no place for the Psalms in their worship at all. This is simply our attempt to reintroduce this treasure of Scripture-based praise back into the worship of God among His people.
I wasn't sure what to expect since this was our first time singing the Psalms, without any instrumentation to boot. But to my delight, it was a wonderful success!
Protesting the conference.
This year there was an organized protest against the conference that took place outside the church building. It was an unpleasant but helpful experience to remind us of the fact that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph 6:12).
It also underscores the importance of building out our own technical infrastructure for broadcasting sermons online in light of cancel culture. To learn more about our efforts to preserve sound preaching, simply visit our page on THE VAULT.
The death of Clarence Sexton.
To top it all off, I got word of the death of Dr. Clarence Sexton that first day of the conference -- a great personal friend and mentor. He was our conference speaker just two years prior and this news created an additional spirit of heaviness for an already-challenging conference. I made mention of Dr. Sexton's death the next morning and produced a tribute video a week later.
Below is the list of all conference messages that were recorded. We encourage you to take the time to download them freely and especially enjoy the brief testimonies that each speaker gave of their conversion and call to ministry:We were blessed to have some volunteer photographers taking some great candid pictures throughout the conference. Enjoy the photos!
A call to action going forward: united prayer.
Conferences come and go, but what shall come of it? What do we hope will be the lasting fruit? In a word, united prayer. We need to see a revival of prayer, specifically corporate prayer, and that is the call to action.
Three years ago, we set forward a proposal to gather with God's people to pray earnestly for the revival of the church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom on earth.
We began with WEEK #1 in January 2020 with just a handful of individuals but are now a group of 60+ saints from all over the world that meet together to pray each day over Zoom at noon. We call it UNITED PRAYER. Many of these saints travelled a great distance to attend this conference so we could at long last meet in-person face to face. It is truly one of the highlights of such a conference to fellowship with those that you have only known over Zoom.
This resolution is based on An Humble Attempt, originally put forward by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every day or every week to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world. We would ask that you prayerfully consider joining us in this resolution.
On December 12-13, 2023 we did our best to communicate a burden. A burden for united prayer. A burden for passionate preaching. And a burden for Scripture-based praise. We look to the Lord to command the blessing on this effort in the days, months, and years to come. Thank you for being a part.
“We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4