DAVIS—Pastors and church leaders met at Falls Creek Conference Center for the Oklahoma Bible Conference (OBC), Sept. 28-30. The theme of the conference was “Connect, Renew, Prepare,” as Brett Selby describes the event was “an awesome time of preaching, training, excellent Bible study, as well as personal renewal.

“I never cease to be amazed – although I don’t know why that’s true after doing this event for 10 years – at how the pastors and other staff who come absolutely soak up all the instruction and encouragement that is offered at the Oklahoma Bible Conference,” said Selby who serves as pastoral leadership specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “I see such a great hunger in the hearts and lives of pastors to dig into the Word of God.”

Oklahoma Baptist University professors Bobby Kelly and Scott Pace led the conference attendees through a study of II Corinthians. Kelly opened his teaching of the Pauline epistle describing it as an “unknown letter” that “has a great deal of hidden treasure.”

“Dr. Kelly did a magnificent job of guiding us to encounter a dynamic message of II Corinthians,” said Selby. “He helped us to see the dominant exegetical themes contained in this letter of Paul such as reconciliation, grace and strength made perfect in weakness. These are ancient gospel truths yet so relevant for what it means to be a minister and ambassador of Jesus Christ in these days we live.”

Pace addressed II Corinthians from a preaching aspect, walking through the book with pastors and pointing out key preaching themes, truths and text.

“Rather than simply pass out sermon outlines and messages to be mimicked,” Selby said. “(Pace) equipped and resourced us to memorize some of the key texts in II Corinthians. What an impact that will have on our churches when their pastors are giving themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures this way!”

The conference began Monday evening and featured four teaching sessions throughout the three-day event. The two evening sessions each were two hours long, and the two morning sessions each covered approximately three hours. Those who attended also enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship and free time on Tuesday.

“Here is the real significance of the Oklahoma Bible Conference: it is a laboratory of spiritual development by those who lead our churches,” said Selby. “When a pastor pulls away from activity and busyness to devote himself to study of the Word, to prayer and spiritual renewal, he is modeling what he hopes his congregation will do.

“To see OBC as simply a group of pastors getting away from the office for a couple of days is shortsighted. It is actually an example of the first step in the revitalization of churches. We must step back from ‘business as usual’ and seek an encounter with God in His Word. Nothing short of that will suffice for the need of this hour.”