I love the new technology video conferencing provides. It’s great to have a meeting with several pastors without wasting five hours of travel for a one hour meeting.
Oleg and Daniel, (yes, real names) attended the Workshop on Biblical Exposition (WBE) on Galatians a year ago. This year, both were sitting in the foyer waiting for our arrival and each greeted me independently and identically, “I was hoping you would come.” That had been my exact thoughts and prayers for the last year and it was certainly foremost in my mind as I passed through the “trinitarian door” of the Vyshneve House of the Gospel.*
Last year by the mercy of God these two men, more than any of others, adopted me. Daniel the Messianic Jew claimed me his rabbi and he asked if He could follow me learn more as I interacted with others.
Oleg came as a bit of an outsider to the group and he found a resonant connection with my teaching style. These two men sought me out at every break. They tried to sit at the same table for each meal. The beauty of the story is not exclusive to these to men or to me. This merely illustrates the pattern each instructor provided outside the formal teaching periods. Each one had men who intentionally and purposefully wanted to be discipled!
How humbling to see the Lord working nonstop through the specific connections and relationships outside of the formal teaching. This is the work “in the shadows” that a video link cannot provide. Or to use the popular idiom, it puts, “skin in the game.”
But still more, God graciously permits discipleship to grow out of the setting designed to promote preaching.
* The “trinitarian door” is my name for the three doors at the main entrance. The internet in the church is too slow to upload pictures so I will have to share that later along with the photos of conference activity.