Raising a Child in the Lord: The Art of ‘Conferencing’

Kyle Strobel | September 15, 2015

It wasn’t until I was working on my book Formed for the Glory of God: The Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards(InterVarsity, 2013) [review] that I started digging into the Puritan practice of conferencing. I had heard of it before, but my section on conferencing gave me the space to think with more depth and clarity. I was captivated. I was on the leadership team of my church and had a nine-month-old little girl whose presence kept my mind on my family’s spiritual life. I wanted to start thinking early about family devotions, and my book project was a great excuse.

Conferencing, in a nutshell, is something of a mix between accountability partners and small groups. You would conference with your pastor, your friend(s), and your family at least once a week. While the format was fluid, conferencing was guided by two fundamental questions: 

  1. Was the pastor right on Sunday?  
  2. What did your heart do when you heard that sermon?

Notice the balance. First, Christians were expected to have a deep and growing knowledge of Scripture, forcing congregants, families, and friends to search the Scriptures together. Even if you did believe the pastor was right, you had to use your own means to prove it. Second, you…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/raising-a-child-in-the-lord-art-of-conferencing.