Nearly 2,000 pastors and ministry workers convened in San Diego Tuesday for the opening day of the National Pastors Convention (NPC).
The four-day event is designed to be a Christ-centered vacation spot for pastors and ministry leaders each year to re-energize them physically and spiritually while offering opportunities for leaders to grow.
"This year marks the 8th annual National Pastor Convention and we're excited to welcome returning attendees from previous years as well as new people experiencing the NPC for the first time," says Joe Sherman, vice president of pastor and church engagement for Zondervan, in a statement. "These next few days are designed to meet the unique needs of those in ministry through nourishment, engagement, and connection."
NPC is presented by Christian publisher Zondervan in partnership with InterVarsity Press.
During the convention, attendees can participate in critical concern courses, an educational track on Hispanic ministry, and over 60 seminars featuring more than 50 speakers on a variety of relevant topics. Seminar speakers include Chuck Colson, Krista Tippett and John Ortberg.
Musical and comedic entertainment, including The House of Blues Gospel Choir, Ken Medema, and Sylvia St. James, will also be featured.
"This may have saved my life," testified an attendee last year identified as Darrin H. from Pennsylvania. "I reflected, wept, was convicted, refreshed, encouraged, broken, filled, appreciated, entertained, and motivated to pursue Jesus in a new way."
Pastors are encouraged to unwind during the convention for a week without a "hectic ministry schedule."
"No meetings. No late-night phone calls. No sermon preparation," the NPC 2008 brochure enticed.
"A week where you can nourish your soul, engage your mind, and connect in meaningful conversation," it offered. "Or, if you prefer, you can just kick back in the warmth of the sun, relax by the pool, and appreciate the wonders of God's creation in sunny San Diego."
The National Pastors Convention will conclude Friday.