H. B. Charles Lays Out Vision for 2018 Pastors' Conference

This article was originally published at SBC Voices.
Last week the news broke that H. B. Charles would be nominated for President of the 2018 SBC Pastors' Conference. It was big news and widely welcomed in news and social media. Brad Graves, who had previously been announced as a nominee withdrew his name from consideration in support of Charles' nomination, which made a noteworthy announcement even more significant.

Today H. B. Charles posted at his blog an article titled "My Nomination for SBC Pastors’ Conference President" where he gives some personal reflections about his nomination. The post is well worth reading for several reasons - two of which I want to highlight here that I find hugely encouraging.

First is that Charles lays out his vision for what the 2018 Pastors' Conference will look like. Here are his words:
If elected, I will give my best effort to plan a conference that will encourage pastors, model biblical preaching, and promote the Great Commission.

We know that H. B. Charles is highly regarded for his biblical preaching - and that's exactly what we want to see at the 2018 Pastors' Conference. You might remember the 2017 PC President got the ball rolling on his nomination by asking the question "Why Not Focus on Biblical Preaching at the Pastors Conference?" This is a theme that resonates deeply with me and with the team who has been involved with the 2017 PC. We would love to see it become an expectation that future SBC Pastors' Conferences will feature expository, text-driven preaching as the norm.

Second, it is hugely encouraging to see Charles' consideration of what Dave Miller has brought to the Pastors' Conference. Again, his words:
As I contemplate this opportunity, I cast my eyes toward the work for this year’s conference. Before coming to Jacksonville eight years ago, it was my joy to serve a smaller congregation in Los Angeles for almost eighteen years. I pray this year’s conference will be uplifting for one and all. And I pray the Lord will grant me wisdom to consider the spirit of this year’s conference, as he leads me regarding next year’s theme, program, and speakers.

When Dave set out to implement his vision for 2017, we planned that it would be a one-time event. None of our group is interested in running or being as involved as we have been this year. It's a lot of time and work. We've loved doing it, but at this point it feels like we're nearing the end of a marathon – the finish line is ahead and it means what its title implies. We didn't expect another conference to be exclusively preachers from average-sized churches. We didn't expect that every PC in the future would preach through a book (though we hope this years' will show the value and possibility and that we will see the approach again).

But we did hope that some of the themes that we've desired and promoted would be given heavy consideration in the future. Dave's vision resonated with enough people in St. Louis to win that election, which surprised many at the time. But it showed there is a desire for a Pastors' Conference that aims for biblical expository preaching and values SBC churches of all sizes. So it's a joy for H. B. Charles to say he plans to "consider the spirit" of the 2017 PC as he plans for Dallas.

It's not customary for the current Pastors' Conference to comment on an upcoming nomination and probably isn't appropriate for it  to do so. So I don't speak for the Pastors' Conference or leadership team in any official capacity. But personally, I'm glad to tell you I plan to enthusiastically support H. B. Charles for Pastors' Conference President. I'd be glad for you to join me and many others who are already planning to do the same.
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