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I’m back in Cayman and back in the routine of prayer, teaching, shepherding, and study at FBC.  There’s no place like home.  I can completely identify with this pastor’s feelings about being away and coming back to the church he loves.  I feel the same way.

But going away sometimes stirs the pastor’s soul as he sees the work of the Lord in other places and among other people.  That’s how I felt at The Legacy Conference–stirred.  Actually, I felt as if I were standing on two thin, cracking plates of earth with molten lava bubbling and threatening to erupt beneath me!  My heart was made glad and hopeful for reformation and revival among so-called “urban” young people.  Here are just a few reflections from the time at The Legacy.

1.  Marriage

I was totally delighted at the celebration of marriage and family at The Legacy.  Given the conference name, such celebration was completely appropriate.  From the planned workshops on “Safeguarding Your Marriage from Divorce,” “Relationship Matters,” and “Igniting the Passion for a Radical Revival of Purity” to young married couples honoring their spouses before they spoke/performed and cruising the halls with babies in strollers, it was an awesome display of biblical love and commitment.  I never saw this growing up.  Now to see young people so committed to marriage and family just floors me with joy.

2.  Truth

This generation of folks were hungry for truth.  There was nothing light or fluffy or goofy about the teaching and conversation at the conference.  That doesn’t mean the place was cold or academic or weird.  It was very warm and loose and happy, but the attendees all cared deeply about the truth and looked to feed on the truth.  The lyrics in the music, the themes in the spoken word performances, the content of the workshop–everything–communicated the big truths of God, the gospel, and discipleship.  The conference focuses on disciple-making and that was evident in the emphasis upon sound teaching.

3.  Diversity

When I was growing up, “urban” was code for inner-city African American and a few Latinos.  If this group is the measuring stick, “urban” now means African American, Latino, Asian, White, young, old, dread, shaven, tattooed, dockers and everything in between.  I was “geeked” sitting in a workshop with 14-year olds feeding on the same meat.  It was awesome to interact with a father in his 30s, shaved and tattooed head, attending the conference with his daughters and a couple of their friends.  Man, it was a taste of glory.

4.  Gifted

This coming generation of young people must be among one of the most gifted of any generation.  If you can, get a cd of the performances.  Visit some of the artists’ websites and meditate on the lyrics of their songs and poetry.  Those coming behind us are more thoroughly informed theologically and spiritually serious than most of us ol’ heads were at that age, and they’re combining that with significant artistic ability that spreads the truth into corners of the world we never reach.  God has a generation and a remnant that has not bowed the knee to the baals of the world, and they’re gifted.

5.  The Church

It was incredible to see the emphasis that the conference placed on the centrality of the local church.  Teaching about the church permeated the conference, and many of the attendees seemed to genuinely love the church.  You could see that in the positive comments about the church, but also in the longing and hunger for their churches back home to be healthy and strong, to be gospel-driven places of deep community.  And they weren’t talking about your grandmother’s church; they were talking about biblical assemblies duly organized and focused on making disciples.  Awesome.

6.  Humility

Nobody sought praise for themselves.  The conference theme was Solus Christus (Christ Alone) and everyone modeled the humility that that theme requires.  No one pointed to themselves.  Everyone pointed to Jesus.  No egos, no competition, no glory-seeking.  Just deep humility born of the conviction that all we have is Christ.

I come from The Legacy Disciple-Making Conference hungry to be in continuing fellowship with these brethren from all over the States, Canada, and a couple countries over seas.  These are God’s people and I’m thrilled to be one of them.  And the fact that it’s hip hop makes it all good… fa rizzle!

I pray that thin crust of earth gets shattered into a million fragments from the erupting lava of revival that this movement can be!  Please pray with me.

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7 thoughts on “Random Reflections on The Legacy Conference”

  1. eve says:

    It was FANTASTIC seeing you there and hearing what God communicated through you in Galatians! Brian Dye and the organizers have been improving an already-bangin conference since it was called “Heavyweights” back in 2006. The idea behind it caught me from the very beginning: they knew that there were loads of people around the USA and world who loved biblically solid hip hop artists such as Flame, shai linne, thi’sl, and stephen the levite … but it would be even better if such fans could benefit from their teaching and personal interaction. They really wanted us to go beyond what was communicated to us from the stage, and actually work toward applying the message of growth in personal discipleship as well as walking according to the great commission. So what was the first year called “Heavyweights” started and its grown and improved ever since.

    Another thing that’s remarkable, though, is that the likes of you, Paul Washer, Eric Mason, and other guys known for sound teaching have been willing to benefit the Gen Xers and Gen Yers at the conference with great teaching and investment. Paul Washer has come back year after year and even admitted to us during his workshop that in addition to the hate he’s received for his general ministry he’s been blasted for appearing at a conference associated with hip hop! (We know, of course, that it’s really about Christ and that hip hop [and any musical genre for that matter] is just a vehicle that in of itself is morally neutral, but clearly some don’t agree). So anyway, thanks for coming. I’m glad to hear you had a great time.

    Please continue to pray for the hip hop generations … we, as you said, just want truth. This desire, of course, comes only from the Spirit of God without Whom we wouldn’t want God at all. More and more of us are coming out of false teaching (or all-out ignorance) and embracing biblical Christianity, more and more want the “community” and biblical leadership element of “church” found in Scripture instead of the CEO-led twice-a-week ceremonies, and above all we want to live out the Gospel in lives that are consumed with Christ. But there are a lot of roadblocks from standing strong in a Christian worldview to confusion with the many opinions of what it means to be a believer in Jesus Christ.

    Sorry for the textbook … suffice it to say we were delighted you were there and encouraged in our faith!

  2. “But going away sometimes stirs the pastor’s soul as he sees the work of the Lord in other places and among other people.” I have come to understand that through my own experience.

  3. Cole Brown says:

    We are so grateful for the ways you served us in Chicago, brother. Since returning home to Portland several days ago I have shared several of your insights with co-laborers and we have all been equally encouraged as we fight to see the gospel take root in urban Portland.

    Thank you also for taking the time to talk with me about my book (Lies My Pastor Told Me). If you ever happen to read it I’d love to hear your feedback.

  4. Paul C says:

    Is the conference posted online anywhere for viewing?

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Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

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