Monday, October 20, 2014

Preaching Conference

Last Saturday, I (Nate) had the privilege of taking part in the 1st Predigertag at the Quellenstrasse Church. This was a one-day preaching conference at our field leader's church in the 10th district hosted by Langham Preaching, which is a part of All Souls Church in England.
The goal of the conference was to teach the whole process of preaching an expository sermon. (Don't be scared off by the word "expository"! It just means going through a single passage and explaining its meaning and application.) This contrasts with "topical" sermons, which use many different bible texts and seek to address a single topic (eg. marriage, fear, or redemption). If you are curious what this looks like, this book by Brian Chapel called Christ-Centered Preaching is one of the main books used to teach this process.

If you are thinking, "wow that is a lot of content to cover in a single day!" you would be right. This became even more difficult because the speaker presented in English and then another pastor translated into German. The translator did an amazing job, and I am continually impressed at those that are able to do that well. Now that I speak German, though, I find it distracting to basically listen to a message twice. It is also hard to not start thinking about how I would translate something into German. I think it is mentally easier for me to be in one language than switching between two. This is why often at a German speaking event or a church service, I will speak with other English speakers in German. It is less work to switch gears and remember English words than it is to just speak German.

I was very excited by a few specific things at this conference. First, it was great to see a lot of younger guys at this conference. It is easy sometimes to forget that God is moving among the younger generation here in Austria, but Saturday was a good reminder to me that there God is at work here. It was also exciting to see so many different churches and areas of Austria represented. We had leaders from many of the provinces of Austria, included a contingent from Tirol, which is way on the western side!

This conference was also a great chance for me to see Bobby Harnist and Pastor Jeff from Grace Community Bible Church. Bobby and his wife, Danielle, will soon be missionaries here and Danielle and I grew up together. Bobby and his pastor are in Austria for a week visiting with church leaders and prepping for the Harnists to come here. 

Based on all this, we ask for your prayer. Please pray for the leaders of the churches in Austria, that they would be close to God and lead wisely and faithfully, as well as faithfully teach God's word in their churches.