Thursday, February 09, 2006

Closing Comments on Jax

Let me be brief because, let's face it, this really isn't all that interesting.
  • A word-centered ministry must mean a church that hears the word preached from the pulpit. Given the topic of most break-out sessions, I would venture that most of the ministries at Jax are program driven. The pulpit certainly has been a powerful force for the word of God, but does it really have to stop there?
  • Associations at Jax say something. Big talk about expository preaching at the conference - but only three or four that model it. Bailey Smith should not be asked back to the conference.
  • Emphasis on the dramatic. Even one of the preachers used multiple personal testimony videos during his sermon. I'm all for personal testimony, but using it as the substance of your sermon is a little sad. The music ministry majors on wowing the audience with over-the-top theatrics and special effects. An interesting juxtaposition with the message of "verbal" power from the word. I would rather just hear them sing. I would imagine that no one was really "listening" to the words when the big "Jesus" banner dropped from the ceiling, or when Jesus went into it.
  • Marketing over giving. I've been to another conference where you get so many books for free that you have trouble getting them all home. Nothing of substance given for free at this conference.
  • Overall, the preaching was the strongest point of this conference. I found little fuel for everyday ministry in the break-out sessions, but I imagine that most pastors thought it was incredible. I find things very anemic if they do not begin and end with the word, even the music. I gleaned some very practical tips on keeping people interested, but you can go to any business seminar for that kind of stuff. Lots of lip-service, very little substance.
Sounds like it really was a cross-section of Southern Baptist ministry after all, huh?

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