For most people, going to lunch and paying $15 for your meal would sound like a little pricey.  For others who received $175 worth of books and two hours of gospel fellowshiping, that $15 is put in a whole new perspective.  Of course, I am talking about the 2009 Band of Bloggers meeting which was held today in conjunction with The Gospel Coalition National Conference.

When I was first approached by guys from TGC about doing a Band of Bloggers this year, I was rather opposed to doing it simply because of the work involved in putting it together.  BoB has not budget or staff and given my new ministry at Grace, I figured that it was a near impossibility.  Through the encouragement and support of TGC, however, I had a change of heart and moved forward last summer with the plans on putting this meeting together.  Today’s meeting would have never been possible had TGC not been so supportive and willing to partner so that it could be administered from a distance.

Shortly after the planning began, I found out we were having a baby whose due date was going to be close to the time of this year’s meeting.  However, I continued to make plans to attend, knowing that there was a possibility that changes could happen.  And, well, changes did happen.  Without going into too much detail, I was providentially hindered from attending this year, and for that I was really saddened.

From what I could tell by the tweets and correspondence of friends, today’s meeting went rather well, largely in part due to two great brothers: Owen Strachan and Ben Peays.  These brothers stepped in to invest time and energy for this cause that was beyond what I could have ever asked and embodied a kind of “togetherness” that animates the vision of Band of Bloggers.  I also want to thank Justin Taylor, Tullian Tchividjian, Tim Challies, Mike Anderson, Eric Johnson, Steve McCoy, and Tony Reinke for their presentations and participation in the panel discussion, and I look forward to benefiting myself from all that was discussed.  The crowded room and the generous support from the sponsors who donated 2,000+ books are a reflection of the continued success of BoB to fuel a gospel-centered vision in the blogosphere and network together for the spread of Jesus’ fame in both worlds–real and virtual.

People are already asking about Band of Bloggers for 2010.  More information and plans will be announced on the BoB website, but for now, if you would like to join this gospel-centered fellowship, be sure to join the BoB Directory where you will find a great list of gospel-centered bloggers.

Thanks to all of you who attended and was a part of the 2009 Band of Bloggers meeting.  While it was something held at a distance during this past year, my prayer is that it will cause us all to embrace the gospel and call to be Servants and Stewards.