Well, it’s that time of year again.
People are flying and driving to Los Angeles for the 2016 Shepherd’s Conference.
There will be hordes of pastors/elders/Bible geeks doing all the things they can never get away with in their own home towns:
- Eating Chic-Fil-A…some woodland creatures more than the rest.
- Wearing dress clothes, on a weekday in 85 degree weather, for no real reason.
- Talking about fountain pens with people who are genuinely interested.
- Praying with strangers in public who aren’t dumping all their problems on you and expecting you to fix things in 10 minutes or less.
- Discussing great books with people who understand why some books are great.
- Laughing about the kind of lobotomy-induced stuff currently being published by Zondervan with people who don’t think you’re laughing at them.
- Telling “I was there” stories about previous Shepherd’s Conference kerfuffles to people who weren’t.
- Enjoying smart folks talk at length about topics that don’t interest anyone else at church.
- Telling stories about church meltdowns/crazy other local pastors/whatever that include the real details, understanding that pastor story telling has the same rules as Fight Club.
Sadly, I’m just guessing as to what happens at a Shepherd’s Conference.
I’ve never been to one, and I won’t be going to the conference this year. I’ve worked at several, slaving behind the scenes for 16-18 hours a day, but I’ve never gone as an attender. I probably won’t be going next year either. Such is the “working for a living, being incredibly broke and never getting time off” life I’m living right now. But, for all my jet-setting and glamorous pastor/seminarian/celebrity friends who are heading to the city of Angels for chicken sandwiches, endless fruit, bags of books, sun and surf, here’s a little reminder for you.
You’re coming home to regular old evangelicalism. This is (basically) the state of regular old evangelicalism:
Once you come down from the cocaine-like buzz of spending hours in a great bookstore, spending your life savings on books and taking selfies with the guys who wrote those books (not to mention having to endure the pain of 10+ hours of fantastic preaching and teaching from great and godly men), remember what you’re coming back to.
This kick to the groin has been brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Mennoknight.
I wish I was there, and y’all stink.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “Eat one for me Gene!” Unger
P.S. – If I listed your topic in the “topics that don’t interest anyone else at church,” know that I’m a colossal Bible geek and likely downloaded and listened to your talk multiple times. It’s just that other people at church didn’t share my giddiness.
P.P.S. – The final modesty post is still a’coming. One more week.
P.P.S.S. – I’m getting fairly decent at photo editing with MS Paint…okay, not really.