Conference Reflections


Over 350 people were there for the second annual Doctrine and Devotion Conference, and now that I've had a few days to think over it all I wanted to share some of my thoughts about "the best conference of 2018." (as quoted by JoFo). To illustrate I'll pull from various Instagram posts tagged with #docanddevo18.

The Culture

Every conference has its own culture, and it's that cuture (the combination of the people, teaching, schedule, volunteers, attitudes, purpose, etc.) that makes for a good or bad experience. This was a diverse, united, and gospel-hungry group of people, and the vibe throughout our time together was warm, exciting, and fun. 

The Preaching

The speakers' aim in this conference was not to simply teach on pneumatology, but to pastorally address the people in our understanding and experience of The Holy Spirit. Doug and Jimmy gave powerful messages that informed, challenged, convicted, and encouraged us all. It was an honor to preach along side them. The audio will be available for free here on the website in the near future.

The People

People came in from California, New York, Texas, Florida, Utah, Minnesota, and everywhere around and in-between. I was overwhelmed with the time people set aside to travel to gather with us this year. And these are amazing Christian men and women. We really do have the best listeners, and it is an honor to call so many of them friends. In fact, friendship was one of the things we heard a lot about during the conference. People that have come to Doctrine and Devotion conferences have made lasting friendships here that continue throughout the year. Thank you, all of you, who came out last weekend.

The Volunteers

We had over 20 volunteers from Redeemer Fellowship whose hard work and sacrificial service made the conference flow seamlessly. They represented Redeemer Fellowship, Doctrine and Devotion, and the Kingdom of God beautifully. Big thanks to Brian Malcolm and Krista McDunn for leading the teams and working overtime to make this year a real success. I would also like to thank Steve McCoy for handling the Q&A time and blasting Fofo with a nuclear assault of jokes that left him radioactively burned.

The Sponsors

We had amazing Sponsors for this year's conference. Big thanks to Logos Bible Software, Crosssway, Moody Publishers, B&H Publishers, IRBS Seminary, Legacy Dads, and Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries.

The After Parties

Listeners know that Jimmy and I occasionally enjoy a good cigar. So, we let everyone know that after the final session Jimmy and I will be at the local cigar shop hanging out, and they are welcome to join us. Plus, there's a good discount for everyone who shows their Spirit and The Church program. Over 80 people showed up for a few hours of fun and fellowship.

There was also an impromptu gathering of many of the ladies (who might not be interested in a cigar) at a local joint. We hadn't planned that, but will be on the ball next year.

In fact, we are already working on next year's conference, so stay tuned for details.


Joe Thorn

Joe is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL. He and his wife have been married for 20 years and have four children. Joe has written a few books that you may find helpful. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.