We want to hear from God. We believe we can hear from him. We believe we do hear from him. God speaks to us through the Scriptures. And so we hear his voice Sunday after Sunday as pastors devote themselves to faithful expository preaching.
1. The Very Attainable Goal
We don’t gather to become perfect preachers, but to make progress. The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to devote himself to teaching God’s word, “so that all may see your progress” (1 Tim. 4:15). Progress—not perfection. We meet together to take one more step forward in growing as faithful teachers of the Bible.
2. The Interactive Feedback
The heart of the workshop is a series of small group gatherings. Eight fellow teachers help each other grow in faithful interpretation for faithful exposition. The small group time gives a place for offering encouraging and critical feedback. With Bibles open, we hear a brother present his work on a text, and then we offer two kinds of responses: 1) we affirm what was done well, and 2) we ask questions to help one another take a step forward in our handling of the Bible. We step out of those conversations encouraged, humbled, and hopeful.
3. The Unity In Diversity
The room was filled with men of different generations, different ethnicities, and different ministry roles. What unites us is this: We believe God speaks through his word, and our great privilege is to give our lives to understanding what he said so that he may speak it through us.
4. I Love the Forging of Friendships
Through two and half days of conversations and learning, we each walk away refreshed. Some of us have been to the workshop for four years; other came for the first time. And the relationships that form often continue throughout the rest of the year. Every city should be filled with pastors who know, love, and trust one another. I’m grateful to be a part of this growing company of pastors here in Indianapolis.
At this most recent workshop we studied Old Testament Poetry and, in particular, the book of Lamentations. There is much to lament in our lives and world today. But I'm grateful that there is also much to celebrate, and the time with these brothers is one of them.
Drew Hunter is the Teaching Pastor at Zionsville Fellowship, and an ITS board member.