I will probably get in trouble for this one.
I remember years ago when TD Jakes started running his “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” conferences and I was mildly interested, but never attended because I never bought into paying for God’s Word. That’s just me, no offense to others who believe otherwise. I have heard and read women’s shared experiences of how they had been changed by attending those seminars. Then seminar mania began, from Juanita Bynum’s “No More Sheets”, to Benny Hinn’s healing sessions, people became manic to be amongst the “anointed” and in the “flow of the spirit”. Well….sometimes we have to watch the spirits that we allow to flow around us. Again, nothing against the conference runners, but be careful about becoming idolaters. We will sometimes run to a conference because of the names attached to them, hoping for a “Word from da lawd!” Because surely if Pastor MegaAnointed is preaching there then the “Lawd” will show up lol. Now I am not against all conferences, some of them are fine but discernment should be used before running after the next big show. We need to have a conversation with God and ourselves about why we need to attend these meeting; is our Pastor not feeding us enough? Is it fellowship with a new congregation that we desire? Is it because one of our favorite preachers is going to be speaking? Is it because it’s an outing with our “girls” (or boys)? Finally, what do I hope to gain or lose by the end of this thing? The problems that *I* personally have with conferences are these:
- You normally have to pay for the conference. I have seen them run from $99 up to $300 and that does not include lodging and food. An upcoming seminar with a famous Bishop is being offered on Pay Per View for $30 (discounted from $70) for 4 days so that’s not too bad, if that’s what you’re looking for.
- The crowds. I am one who enjoys a personal relationship with Jesus, so I don’t need a crowd to hype up the “spirit” for me. The Holy Ghost does not behave himself in an unseemly way, and I truly do not have patience for foolishness.
- In my opinion they become cult like affairs. They are targeted towards the believer and not the unbeliever. The same people are running from conference to conference and are lives being changed? Where are the testimonies other than the, “It was awesome” or “God really moved” or “That man/woman can preach” testimony? Remember 1 Cor. 3:4-5, follow Christ not these “preachers”.
- Where is the outreach? We have left behind the tent revivals which were FREE and have moved into stadiums which have to be paid for. So, let’s shake down the poor churchgoers for $99 (minimum) who really wants a word from the Lord.
- Tables that sell paraphernalia. Just so that everyone knows that you’ve been to MegaMess or “God’s Guys are Good” or some such, make sure that you stop by and purchase your $20 tee-shirt, $30 pre-autographed book, or at least a bumper sticker. Are you kidding me?
Ok I’d better get off my soapbox now. Please friends, READ your bible. Really read it, and get yourself a concordance so that you can study scripture on your own and not have it dictated to you like many of these charlatans will try to. God is not willing that ANY should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Stop chasing a word and start chasing the True and Living God.