This week I am in Reno with a couple of Grace Church elders attending the Acts 29 West Multiply Conference. The first day was good and encouraging and I expect the second day will be much of the same.
Often in attending meetings there is a conviction that we must gift the time spent a value to gauge if it was worthwhile. Without a doubt there are times wasted that are to be avoided but on the other side we may not find an immediate application or result of things gained. This can be a big deal for attending a Christian conference.
I have served in environments that were so ingrown that attending a conference was practically prohibited and if you went to one the leadership had to be convinced it was worthwhile and you would make the church bigger and shinier upon return. There was little value placed on enrichment.
But for a pastor in my circumstance, being enriched and encouraged by gospel preaching and equipping is a significant value. Relational connection with others laboring for the same types of churches and kingdom expansion is worthwhile. And the church I serve benefits from having elders challenged by new ideas whether there is immediate implementation or not.
Don’t let the strangeness of culture be your bar for setting value on time spent. In Christ our time spent looks vastly different and pays abundant dividends.