The Gospel Coalition 2013 National Conference has come and gone, and we continue to give thanks to God for an event that far exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed fellowship in a beautiful Orlando setting with some 5,000 like-minded Christians from 49 states and 41 countries. For two full days we asked God for the nations as we committed to fulfilling the Great Commission. For three more days we heard from Gospel of Luke and worshiped the Jesus who taught, lived, died, rose, and ascended that we might have peace with God. We sang our praises to him in concerts, talked about him during the long meal breaks, and learned to apply this gospel to various life and ministry contexts through dozens of workshops and focus gatherings. Finally, we devoted an afternoon to putting our faith to work in several talks and panels on vocation and the gospel.
But we’re especially excited about this year’s event because of the work that God only began in Orlando. We know the conference livestream—broadcast in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Farsi, and French—reached about 35,000 unique visitors in around 130 countries. How thrilling to think about the long-lasting effect of these messages on churches in Brazil, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, and so many other nations that sent large groups to Orlando and tuned in from home. We praise God that our TGC International Outreach team engaged in nearly 100 meetings with missionaries, publishers, supporters, and nationals from all over the world. We also sent out 75 cases of theological famine relief resources to 15 countries through conference attendees. At the same time, our editorial team enjoyed meetings with writers we have so far known only virtually, and already we’ve seen the growth of vital relationships that will help us serve the church in years to come.
So thank you to everyone who joined us in Orlando or watched online. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, exhibited, and taught us to worship through Word and song. And thank you especially to God who made this our most successful event to date—not because of what we could immediately see in Orlando, but because of how we know he has begun to use this landmark conference to build his church and spread the gospel around the world.
As our Council contends in The Gospel Coalition’s Theological Vision for Ministry, we hope that God will, for his own glory, send revival in response to the fervent, extraordinary, prevailing prayer of his people. Conferences help us unite on the nature of truth, learn to read the Bible, relate to the culture, articulate the gospel, and build a growing movement of gospel-centered churches. “We are ashamed of our sins and failures,” our Council confesses, “grateful beyond measure for forgiveness, and eager to see afresh the glory of God and embody conformity to his Son.” We hope your churches have enjoyed a greater measure of this divine blessing since we gathered in Orlando.
Find more resources at http://thegospelcoalition.org/2013