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Midwestern Seminary at The Gospel Coalition 2023 National Conference

Posted September 29, 2023 by Lucas Hahn

Watch the video recap of our time at TGC23 here.

INIANAPOLIS, In—During The Gospel Coalition 2023 National Conference, Midwestern Seminary hosted several opportunities to connect with seminary leadership and staff, including two breakout sessions, a custom giveaway, keynote sermon by H.B. Charles, Jr., and time at the seminary’s booth.

“It was a privilege to be able to partner with The Gospel Coalition in numerous ways at this year’s national conference,” said President Jason Allen. “From the seminary booth to H.B. preaching a keynote sermon, our time at TGC was encouraging and edifying. I am grateful for the students we met and look forward to the fruit that this time will bear in the lives of all who attended.”

Keynote Session by H.B. Charles, Jr.

This year’s conference included eight keynote sessions led by a variety of pastors and ministry leaders. The second keynote of the conference featured Midwestern Seminary Senior Preaching Fellow and Instructional Faculty Member H.B. Charles, Jr, who serves as the pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Charles’ session on Exodus 12 was titled, “God’s Sacrifice in the Wilderness.” During his sermon, he prompted attendees to consider how the Passover in Egypt reveals God’s holiness, His greatness, and the sinfulness of humanity.

He stated, “Pharaoh and the Egyptians thought their gods were greater than the God of Israel. The Passover refuted their theological errors.”

“The Passover passage confronts us with the sinfulness of sin. At our best, we all fall short. Our righteous deeds are as polluted garments before the Lord. The Passover is not only a statement about the sinfulness of sin but also a statement about God’s power to save sinners.”

In conclusion, Charles said, “This passage is not just a word of salvation but a word of sanctification. The blood of the Lamb covers our sin. But the blood of the Lamb also cleanses us from sin. That is our hope in Christ. That one of these days we will be saved to sin no more.”

Turnaround Breakout

Allen led the seminary’s first breakout session on Monday on the topic of ministry leadership from his book, Turnaround: The Remarkable Story of an Institutional Transformation and the 10 Essential Principles and Practices that Made It Happen. The session was attended by more than 500 conference attendees.

During the session, he shared 10 leadership principles and practices that helped turnaround and transform Midwestern Seminary. Allen discussed the following leadership principles during his talk:

  1. Know your context.
  2. Hold your convictions.
  3. Define your mission.
  4. Pursue the vision.
  5. Cultivate trustworthiness.
  6. Cherish your team.
  7. Insist on accountability.
  8. Steward your money
  9. Communicate clearly.
  10. Foster the right culture.

As he concluded his session, Allen focused on the importance of culture, “You can’t manufacture culture. You can cultivate it. If you hire the right people, and hold the right convictions, and establish the right priorities, then before you know it, you’ll have a great culture.”

Knowing Faith Live Recording

As a part of Midwestern Seminary’s ongoing partnership with the Knowing Faith podcast, professors Matthew Barrett and Jared C. Wilson joined the Knowing Faith cohosts for a live episode recording during another breakout session on Wednesday.

Hosted by Jen Wilkin, Kyle Worley, and JT English, the live recording drew more than 500 attendees and addressed the topic, “Sinai, Salvation, and the Law” from the book of Exodus.

During the live recording, the hosts began the podcast discussing their progress so far through the book of Exodus on the show. English set up the conversation and said, “The theme of exile is seen throughout the Bible. So much of the story of the Bible is, ‘will God be faithful to His promise?’”

Wilkin added, “It’s a picture of our story. The Exodus story is our story. We’re saved into the kingdom of light, but we are still battling the darkness of sin and unbelief that has to be dealt with.”

After introducing the episode and topic, co-host Kyle Worley invited Matthew Barrett and Jared C. Wilson on stage to continue the discussion. Throughout the remainder of the podcast, the group covered topics such as how Christians should consider the law in light of the rest of Scripture and how the law impacts our gospel-centrality.

On the first topic, Barrett said, “There is a moral DNA to the law. The law is not ‘out of nowhere.’ The moral law of God is written on the heart of every human. God creates us in His image so that the moral law is written on our heart. The fall is a rebellion not just against God but our own human nature.”

Wilson, speaking on the importance of the law and being gospel-centered, said, “To be gospel-centered is not to cast out the law but to put it in its proper place. The law is not bad. The law is good. God gives us the power, enabled by His Spirit, to obey the law.”

Worley added, “The gospel is the good news that makes dead people alive (something you could never do on your own) … and makes us able to pursue holy living.”

In closing the conversation, Wilkin summarized why the law matters and how Christ fulfills the law in His redemptive work on the cross, “We are saved from the penalty, the power, and someday the presence of sin. We are gradually being delivered from the power of sin.”

You can listen to the live recording when it releases by subscribing to the Knowing Faith podcast here.

MBTS Booth

Throughout the conference, the seminary also connected with more than 1,000 conference attendees at their booth. A highlight of this year’s conference, the seminary’s admissions team gave away newly released custom For the Church patch sweatshirts.

The sweatshirts, created in partnership with Left Hand Promotions, featured a custom patch designed by Midwestern Seminary Graphic Designer Logan Wade. The patch represents Midwestern Seminary’s for the Church mission in an engaging way.

The booth also offered attendees the opportunity to connect with President Allen and faculty including Jared Bumpers, Matthew Barrett, Jared Wilson, and others.

You can look back on the conference and all our events at TGC23 here.

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