Desiring God Conference for Pastors – Day Two

Day Two at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors was an extremely full day, and my brain is a bit on overload right now.   But, I’ll try to give you a recap of the main points from each speakers. It was a full, but very good day! One more day tomorrow. You can watch the live-stream of Wednesday’s activities here.



Crawford Loritts

“Lessons on Biblical Manhood Learned From His Father” by Crawford Loritts

This was such a good session on fatherhood! It made me want to just go home and hug my kids!  Crawford Loritts is an excellent speaker, and really did a great job!  He started with a short biography of his father, who he said was the greatest man he’d ever known; and by great he doesn’t mean famous or well-known, but  staying power, integrity, nobility, never walking away.  He told a bit of his history, how his great grandfather was a slave, and how through the generations this idea of responsibility, pressing in, courageousness had been passed down.   In his talk, he described four stages of any man’s life, four big lessons from his father, and then a bit from Galatians 5 on how the Holy Spirit transforms us.

4 Stages of Any Man’s Life

  1. Childhood
    • Father’s need to teach their kid’s discipline, delayed gratification and parameters
  2. Adolescence
    • In this conflicting time, they define manhood often by thinking it’s being able to do whatever they want.
    • The father has to be persistent, pulling them through impulsive behavior, and teaching them to prioritize
  3. Manhood
    • Gladly embracing obligation and responsibility
    • Time to make their mark in the world
  4. Patriarch
    • These are essence people, having lived longer than others, made the mistakes, and now living for a time they cannot see

4 Big lessons learned from his Father

  1. Out of struggle comes strength
    • His father struggled and made sacrifices for what was important for his family
  2. Out of strength comes discipline
    • His father was firm and taught him to discipline himself
  3. Out of discipline comes integrity
    • Arguing with parents just wasn’t allowed.
    • Did not tolerate the three D’s of Dishonesty, Disobedience and Disrespect
  4. Out of integrity comes our inheritance
    • How people treat you should never define you
    • Don’t let people tell you who your friends should be
    • Always do the right thing

Galatians 5

  • We downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in transformation; he creates Christ-like character in us
  • 5 key words
    1. Walk (vs. 16)
      • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in how I live my life
    2. Led (vs. 18)
      • The freedom to be led by the Spirit to be whatever God wants us to be
    3. Fruit (vs. 22)
      • We don’t produce the fruit; it is the fruit “of” God that He produces in us
    4. Live (vs. 25)
      • Our lives should be typified, bathed in the Spirit of God
    5. Walk (vs. 25)
      • Different work for “walk”
      • We need to walk like in the military – boldly and confidently
  • How can we be filled with the Spirit?
    • Repent, Yield Believe
Darrin Patrick

“Being and Building Men for the Local Church” by Darrin Patrick

 I had not heard of Darrin Patrick either, but he gave another powerful message from Galatians 5 and the fruit of the Spirit.  He reminded us about the power of the Holy Spirit to change and transform lives.  Specifically at this conference, how He can change men into men that honor Him in everything we do. He wants to produce fruit in us, but he does it in counterintuitive ways.
How the fruit of the Spirit grows
  1. Fruit grows painfully
    • There is always going to be a struggle in you between wanting to do the right thing, then fall short, then repent and forgiveness. It’s actually a good sign that the Holy Spirit is as work in you – you are a Christian!
  2. Fruit grows inter-connectedly
    • All the fruit of the spirit grow in  you together at the same time, they are inter-dependent
    • When the Spirit is in charge, all of the fruit comes through in your life
    • If you have some but not all, it’s probably your human personality coming through
    • We don’t measure how we’re doing by comparing ourselves to others, but to Christ
    • We’re only as spiritual as our weakest fruit
    • To see the fruit grow in someone, you can’t legislate it, or make laws to force someone to be more that way
    • Laws may change the outward appearance, but only the Spirit can change the heart
    • To know if the change is because of behavior modification or the Spirit, just ask – who am I impressing?  Those who know you the least or the most? The ones who know you best will know.
  3. Fruit grows gradually
    • Change doesn’t just happen overnight.
    • We need to celebrate small changes that show Holy Spirit growth, even though we are not perfect
    • Remember – we are as loved and accepted by the Father as Jesus is. We benefit from His sacrifice. We are treated as righteous as Christ.
    • But, we need to crucify our flesh. He equates flesh with being under the law, which is works based on our spiritual performance. So our flesh is anything besides Jesus we use to get God’s approval – our work, our performance, working out, our family
  4. Fruit grows communally
    • We need other people who are just as concerned with crucifying their flesh around me to help challenge me to grow
    • Men who will help surgically cut out the areas of flesh left, not a butcher who will do it carelessly
    • If we are trying to do this alone it’s no wonder we get so discouraged
    • God did not make me the Savior of my ministry
    • If no one is around you who can, pray that God would bring people to you
John Piper

 “Biographical Sketch of J.C. Ryle” by John Piper

 Each year, John Piper highlights the life of a person from history, and challenges us from his life. This year, he highlighted English preacher J.C. Ryle, best know for his book “Holiness”.  It was an interesting look at this man, and the eight characteristics of a masculine ministry that he pulled from his life. I won’t take the time to go through because he said his entire manuscript would be available on the Desiring God website, so you can read the entire talk for yourself, if you’d like.
Doug Wilson

“Father Hunger” in Leading the Church by Doug Wilson

This was the last session tonight, and maybe it was just because I was tired, and my mind was already full from a day of learning, but I had a hard time following Mr. Wilson tonight.  I’m sure what he had to say was right on, but I had a hard time pulling out the main points.  I’ll try to give you an overview of what he said, however.
The overall message was how the church needs fathers in the church to be leaders and teachers in the church.  But, we can’t let the teachers get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. They should be windows we look through to see Jesus, not murals we stare at.
Other main points included:
  • He talked about how we’ve neglected the role of the Father in the Trinity in our worship and in the church, focusing more on the Son (Evangelical) and Holy Spirit (Charismatic).  But we need all three. Children imitate their fathers;it’s part of God’s design. The church needs fathers who imitate God the Father.
  • Fathers have the authority by virtue of office and of blessing. All fathers have the authority of office, but not all have the authority of blessing.  He equated it to a checkbook. The authority of office having your name on the check and owning the checkbook. It is your checkbook. But, the authority of blessing is like having money in the bank.  You make deposits before you  demand withdrawals
  • He stressed the importance of returning to the worship of the Father as a vital part of restoring fathers in the church
    • We become like what we worship
    • Those who are worshipping the things of this evolutionary, everything changes culture become like that and fall away from the firm foundation of the gospel
    • When God’s people worship the Father, he transforms us into being like the Father

Published by

Barry Westman

Barry Westman is the Worship Pastor at Bethel Church in Janesville, WI. He is also the Editor In Chief and Event Manager at Worship Team Training and Worship Team Training University. He is married to Tina, and has 3 rapidly growing children. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s