Are Christians in Australia being persecuted? Where are the challenges to our faith most pressing? How do we navigate through a cultural climate that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous? One thing is clear — it is becoming harder in Australia to live as a Christian.
Yet, we are not alone. Today, we have brothers and sisters around the world who face much worse. And we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Those who faithfully followed Christ throughout the difficult times in which they lived.
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we recall how the Reformers faced trials when they sought to reclaim the purity of God’s Word, free from the chains of tradition that had beset the Medieval church. Despite the difficulties, they held to God’s Word.
Likewise, the Puritans sought to preach what they believed God’s Word taught, and attempted to faithfully minister the Word to their congregations. For doing so, they faced explusion, imprisonment, and other tribulations. Yet, despite the difficulties, they held to God’s Word.
At TOGCON IV, our plenary speakers Mark Thompson and Martin Foord will focus on the theme ‘Pure Freedom’. Their focus will be how we can live and minister faithfully in the challenges of 21st century life and society. Join us for a day to be equipped by rich Biblical teaching, relevant ministry workshops, and the warm fellowship of other Christians in conversation and prayer and singing, as we reclaim the past to prepare for the future.
What is TOGCON?
TOGCON is the annual ministry conference of Thinking of God. It is a conference designed to bring together pastors and church leaders who identify as reformed evangelicals from across denominational lines with the purpose of sharpening and challenging them both theologically and pastorally.
TOGCON shares the same vision of Thinking of God. It sees that scriptural truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ are constantly being eroded within and without Christendom. It sees the promotion and idolatry of materialism and consumerism within the Church with the view that God wants us to be “comfortable and prosperous, healthy and wealthy” rather than sacrificial preachers of the Gospel. It sees an increasing amount of individuals are twisting or challenging the sufficiency of both scripture and the atoning death of Christ. Therefore, it is TOGCON’s earnest hope and desire to reaffirm the core tenents of the Christian faith and to motivate, by extension, local churches to do the same.
TOGCON is interdenominational like Thinking of God. It is a conference where, whilst we may differ on baptism, ecclesiology, eschatology, and spiritual gifts — we are all theologically like-minded and hold to beliefs which are tied to the reformed tradition.
TOGCON is a conference designed by ministry leaders for ministry leaders. As such, we do our best to ensure that talks and panels are as relevant as possible to people in ministry.
Strand 1 Set (10:55AM):
- A Reformed Approach to Missiology – Kamal Weerakoon
When people talk about mission and evangelism, it usually sounds like theological rigour and historical faithfulness are opposed to contemporary relevance. Kamal is going to argue the exact opposite: theological rigour and historical faithfulness help us avoid fads which merely reflect contemporary anti-God ways of life, and help us present Christ to the world in ways that, precisely because they are Godly, are counter-culturally good and healthy.
- Rehabilitating Singleness – Dani Treweek
Before prescribing a remedy, the doctor must first come to a diagnosis. If we are to consider how the Church might better minister to singles, we must first of all come to grips with how evangelical Christianity currently perceives and pastors those followers of Christ who are unmarried. In this seminar we’ll seek to diagnose singleness within the contemporary evangelical culture in order to then consider how we might promote an authentic place of belonging within the Church for single Christians.
Strand 2 Set (2:00PM):
- Religious Freedom Today – Michael Kellahan (Freedom for Faith)
Freedom for Faith passionately advocates for freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom to associate. When we have these freedoms, all Australians will be able to flourish. These freedoms are inherently essential if we are to have a civil debate around issues that can potentially divide us. Increasingly, however, we are seeing threats to these freedoms in our society. Come and hear about the critical role of religious freedom in Australia’s liberal democracy, and how Christians can live faithfully in these times.
- Christian Transformation and Pastoral Care – Kurt Peters (Biblical Counseling Australia)
Sociologists have suggested we live in a ‘transformation’ economy. Every day we are offered new opportunities to have our lives changed for the better. With so many options out there, what makes Christian transformation different? This workshop will explore the difference Jesus makes to people’s lives and the impact on our practice of Pastoral care.
- Understanding Pope Francis: a man who speaks our language or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? – Mark Gilbert (Certainty4Eternity)
Compared to previous Popes, Francis was the least published and least well known in the West. Some prominent evangelicals have lauded him as a brother and sought a closer relationship with Rome, others are not so sure. One thing you can be sure about is that he is an agent for change. Come and hear about Francis’ agenda and the way he is going about achieving his goals.
Sharing a common desire to see pastors and ministry leaders better equipped, our partners, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Banner of Truth, Crossway, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing and the Wandering Bookseller are giving the first 120 delegates over $100 worth of books and resources. Get in fast, because stocks certainly won’t last!
(1 August to 30 September)
(1 October to 20 November)
Pricing at the Door
* Availability of book packs are whilst stocks last.
How Do I Get There?
Christ College is located in the suburb of Burwood, which is approximately 15 minutes from the Sydney CBD by Train.
The college itself is about 10 minutes away on foot from the station, and can also be accessed by Bus. Please check Transport NSW for the best way to get to Christ College on the day.
Unrestricted all-day parking can also be found at:
- Murray St
- Southern part of Tahlee St
- Devonshire St
- David St
- Appin Way
All of which are within 10 to 15 minutes walking distance from the college.
Do I Need to Be in Ministry to Attend?
Not necessarily. If you’re actively involved at your church, or are studying with the perspective of going into ministry, then we would love to have you with us!
Is There Food Provided?
Lunch as well as Morning and afternoon tea and drinks will be provided with all registrations purchased online. We cannot guarantee that there will be enough lunch for people who purchase tickets at the door. However, Christ College is situated near dozens of eateries, serving a range of cuisine from fast food, Chinese, Vietnamese and Middle-Eastern.
Is There a Bookshop?
Our sponsor, the Wandering Bookseller, will be ensuring that an excellent assortment of books will be available for purchase.
We will be gathering together books which help understand what it means to be ‘Reformed’, as well as how we can best incorporate our beliefs into our ministry practices. Books recommended by our speakers, including their own titles, will also be available.
TOGCON will be held at Christ College. Located at 1 Clarence St, Burwood NSW 2134.