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This year’s theme is, “Friendship: A Lost Theology for One-Another Care.”
IBCD originally planned to launch this conference in the summer of 2020; however, due to COVID, we opted to delay. In the Lord’s providence, He has provided us with the ability to host this year in a time when–perhaps more than ever–churches need guidance in their theology of relationships.
Friendships can become some of the closest and most important relationships we develop in our lives. Throughout the Scriptures we see friends who “love at all times” (Prov. 17:9) and recognize the help of “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). Old Testament narratives feature key friendships, good and bad, from powerful stories of trust to agonizing betrayal. “Jesus wept” over the death of Lazarus, His friend (Jn. 11:11, 35) and movingly describes His disciples as friends (John 15:15). Particularly in the transition to the new covenant, the Bible places an incredibly high emphasis and primacy of one’s spiritual family above the biological family.
Churches looking to better foster a culture of one-another care must cherish and invest in their church families. These relationships are critical for the kind of long-term counseling that everyone should be engaged in as part of the Body (Prov. 27:6-10, Eph. 5:19-21, Col. 3:16). Friendship is also one of the most important images of the Gospel, where Jesus is scandalously “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Lk. 7:34) and we see how “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:12-15).
The IBCD Summer Institute is a premier conference for strengthening churches in one-another care.
We believe it is the Church who is commanded to stand on biblical truth.
We believe it is the Church who is responsible for the care of souls.
And we therefore believe it is the Church who must strive to foster this culture of one-another care, so that the people of God may be better equipped to serve and love Him (Prov. 27:6-10).
With these goals in mind, will you join us in recovering a theology of friendship so that the Church can be all the more effective for the Kingdom?2022-Conference-Schedule-1