Basics is our annual conference for pastors and Christian workers at Parkside Church. Each year, pastors, church leaders, and seminarians are invited to join Alistair Begg & a number of guest speakers for 3 days as we reflect together on the challenges, responsibilities, and privileges that face the modern church. Basics is for men: pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and Christian workers or those training for such roles.
Click on the links below to view audio or video from the 2014 Conference. Links updated as media becomes available.
How does one do Gospel ministry in a culture that is undergoing a serious moral crisis? In the opening session of the 2014 Basics Conference, Alistair Begg answers this question with a surprising reply: preach through Ecclesiastes! With a message as equally relevant and timely today as it was then, Ecclesiastes demands a fresh look.
Christopher Ash goes to the book of Psalms and helps the pastor see rich truths ready to be preached. Encouraging pastors to help their audience get it, feel it and want it, Ash does exactly this as he navigates Psalm 74. Moving through deep grief to intense confidence, Ash explains how this Psalm shows God’s sovereignty over all evil.
God can use the most unusual people to accomplish his purposes. In this message from 1 Kings 18, Gary Millar contrasts a little known person, Obadiah, with the famous prophet Elijah and encourages us to see past the exceptional and unusual person to an exceptional God who is working all things for His glory. In a stunning display of God’s power, God showed the false gods of Baal for what they really were: nothing. In displaying His judgment and mercy, God leaves us with a question: will we listen to God as He has spoken in the Lord Jesus?
The Psalmists' exhortations to praise can be discouraging if not viewed in light of the Gospel. In this message, Christopher Ash turns to the book of Psalms to lead us into a deeper of understanding of who God is. Psalm 146 demonstrates how the typical introduction of asking, “How’s your praise life?” is inadequate. Instead, the Psalms invite us to see how Jesus rightfully and perfectly fulfilled these exhortations to praise, enabling us to live a life of praise to God as well.
In 1 Kings 19, we see the postscript to Elijah’s famous confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Gary Millar, through Elijah, helpfully shows us that God does care about his depressed, weak and confused servants, reminding us of our daily need to be sustained by a covenant-keeping God.
The final chapter of Ecclesiastes calls us to fear God and commit ourselves to Him. As Alistair Begg demonstrates, this chapter details for the audience the opportunity of youth, the frailty of life, the reality of death, and the certainty of judgment. Into a culture of abject meaninglessness that is not unlike our own, Ecclesiastes also gives us something to live for.
Most pastors experience a tension between zeal and survival. On the one hand, we are surrounded by need - sinful believers like us struggling against the world, the flesh, and the devil, impenitent unbelievers suffering in a world under the curse. There is no end to the work waiting to be done - preaching, teaching, small groups, one to one work, visiting, personal evangelism, to say nothing of leading a church. On the other hand, we want to hang in there for the long haul, if the Lord does not return sooner. But how to hang in there while maintaining zeal? With the experience of watching some of the 500 or so past students from Cornhill, and from my own painful recent experience of nervous exhaustion, I have been led to reflect on this.
Preaching is hard. Very hard. And when we have to do it week after week to the same group of people over many years, it doesn’t seem to get any easier - so what are we supposed to do about it? In this session, we’ll tackle three key challenges:
Hopefully we’ll discover that the key to doing this is deceptively straightforward, and deeply satisfying both for the preacher and his listeners!
Many pastors desire to increase the prayer level in their congregations but few have received the equipping and tools to do so. One primary factor for success is in knowing the dynamics of developing a powerful prayer culture rather than simply sponsoring a variety of prayer activities. This session is designed to help church leaders understand and lead a transformational prayer effort that influences and fuels the entire church ministry.
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