The Conference-Driven Life

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Had a few strange communications this week. One gentleman said that the Christian life should be lived by going to 3 or 4 conferences a week, rather than going to church consistently.  That’s someone who is remarkably immature.  Yes, the discipline of going to church every weekend can be laborious – but anything worth doing is worth doing consistently.  Can you imagine someone taking that attitude to diet or exercise, their career, tidying their house? It’s just laziness gone to seed.

Another lady told me she wasn’t going to her church this week because she was too mature spirituality to have another person feed her every week.  She wasn’t mature in the slightest. She thought she was an adult, but she was a petulant teen skipping family dinner because Uncle Joe and Auntie Jean are so-o-o uncool. A true adult would have come and turned up early and helped cook, helped prepare, helped tidy.

This is Christianity at a very basic level, and yet still the onslaught of Christians who think a TV channel is their church, a Bible College is their church, an annual conference is their church. It’s a level of insanity and immaturity so far removed from the Bible it’s unbelievable.  Remember – every single epistle in the New Testament is written to a church or a pastor! The Bible presumes that you are in church, meeting in the temple regularly, meeting in house groups regularly, that you have a pastor and that you do not forsake the assembling together.

Now, whenever I write like this someone will say – you just have a problem with TV ministers. Nope, you are wrong. I am one, I am on TV three times a week reaching hundreds of thousands of people. It’s just not church! You think TV ministers are your church – no you can turn them off, you cannot be sharpened by them the way a real life pastor and elders and church can sharpen you!

Do I have a problem with Bible College? No – I went to one, I run two of them, it’s a great supplement to local church, and I love learning Word. But Bible College students who don’t go to church are absolute baby Christians who have no consistency, no true understanding of the book they have taken time out of life to study! They will end up with a superiority complex, no ability to serve, and when college finishes they will wander lonely as a cloud never knowing what to do with themselves.

Do I have a problem with conferences? No – I run several and speak at several. I love conferences. I love people who take a week off from work and feed themselves the Word until their mind shifts gear and shape. But don’t think that a week’s boot camp is the same as exercising on a regular basis.  Don’t think stuffing your face for a week can make up for 51 weeks of starvation?

Church is the body of Jesus Christ on earth, and if you are born again you are a member of the body of Christ.  It’s not rocket science to suggest to act like a member you need to be there, be part of it and be involved.

I once asked Pastor Duane Sheriff how to grow big churches.  He said that’s easy “grow big people”.  I then asked him the next question: “How to grow big people?”. His answer: “Christians only grow when they attend church regularly, are part of a small group associated with that church regularly, and they serve regularly at that local church”.

Food for thought.  Food you should be eating regularly.


Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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