Matthew 25:14 states, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” We know this to be the introductory words of Christ as He shared the Parable of the Talents with the disciples. The premise was simply this: the master expected a return, or a dividend, from that which had been given to his own servants. Thankfully, two of the servants took the master at his word and with great diligence they both gave back to the master more than that which was supplied. However, the master also discovered that one servant was highly unprofitable. He had done absolutely nothing with the talent of the master.
Some of you reading this article may have preached or taught a lesson from this exact passage of Scripture. The immediate application is given in the first verse as Christ told this story in reference to the kingdom of heaven. Further still could be gleaned the biblical principle of giving the Lord a return on that which He has given us. “To whom much is given, much shall be required.”
“What does that have to do with the Loving and Leading Conference?” you may ask. I believe application could be made in this fashion. Your church or school has scheduled this time in travel and three days of instruction, away from your immediate ministry. Your ministry has invested in delegates by purchasing registration, making accommodations at area hotels, and allotting funds to take care of staff. Greater yet would be the fact that there are hosts of volunteers who take off time from work, use vacation pay, and arrange for childcare while they travel to Milford, Ohio, and take part in the conference. The Lord has led hundreds to make a great investment in this endeavor called the Loving and Leading Conference. Long before I ever arrived on staff here at Master Ministries, I can attest to the investments that people and ministries make to participate in just such a meeting. I highly doubt anyone who is familiar with these details would have any disagreement with my assessment. All of us, including us at Master Ministries and First Baptist Church, make serious investments in this conference.
Ministries stand to gain much improvement from the LLC. What will happen to God’s work in you if you leave it here at Milford?
How do we receive a return? Listed below are some ideas we have for your ministry to help you prepare. Take some time to consider these necessary plans of actions before you begin traveling. These will be a tremendous help to you, I am sure.
- Pray for the Conference. Pray specifically for the Holy Spirit to fill each preacher, speaker, delegate, and worker. Pray for safety as folks travel from all across the country. Pray for God to perform a lasting, eternal work in each ministry that participates.
- Examine the Schedule. For anyone that is registered, we urge you to visit the workshop page of the website and review a complete list of what is being offered during the conference. Read the titles, descriptions, and the biographies of the speakers if you are unfamiliar with them. Prepare yourself with knowledge.
- Choose Your Schedule. Some delegates should consult with a pastor or a school administrator concerning which workshops to attend. I encourage each ministry leader to sit down privately with employees of the ministry or even the volunteers so that help in making these choices could be given. Use the downloadable file on the workshop page of the website for assistance.
- Plan to Split Up. Meet as a group before you even arrive on property to discuss workshop choices and who will attend which sessions. There is much to offer during the conference, and there are a few workshops where all ministries would greatly benefit from at least one person attending.
- Arrive on Time. We start check-in at 11:30 am in the main church foyer (just look for the very large “Welcome” sign on the property). New this year is a wonderful hospitality room with free coffee and refreshments as your groups awaits the first general session. Of course, there will be a variety of ministry displays as well.
- Make a Plan for Post-Conference. Ministries stand to gain much improvement from the LLC. What will happen to God’s work in you if you leave it here at Milford? What if nothing is implemented upon return to your ministry? Make a post-conference plan now to determine when you will meet, what you will plan to enact or begin, and what schedule you need to implement over the course of the year.
I believe we are wise stewards when we give the Lord a return on His investment in us. May you be encouraged, edified, and exhorted during the conference, and may the cause of Christ to reach the next generation be improved because of a supernatural work in us that only God can do.