“It’s the gospel, brothers,” John Greening said in his keynote message that began the GARBC Conference on June 23. Greening, national representative of the GARBC, gave focus to the week with that spiritual maxim. The apostle Paul, he says, understood that it’s the gospel that’s important and wrote to the church at Corinth, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

Representatives from GARBC churches across the nation are gathered in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the GARBC Conference June 23–27. In his message John called the attendees to self-assessment to realign themselves with “the essential gospel,” the theme for the week. “Which description most accurately describes your church?” he asked, then presented three descriptions from Paul’s ministry in Corinth:

1. Starting with a single focus (Acts 18). Paul purposefully engaged people in Corinth with the gospel. He determined to know nothing among the Corinthians but the gospel. John declared, “Woe is me if I am not doing this passionately in my ministry.”

2. Getting off task due to distraction (1 Corinthians 1—3). The Corinthians started playing favorites. Ministry became about “I” instead of the gospel, “the missional purpose for which the church was born.”

3. Returning to the essential objective (1 Corinthians 8; 9). Ministry is about setting aside our rights so others might hear Christ. John emphasized, “The church is not about me and my rights. The church is about Christ and His gospel.”

Regular Baptist Press’s latest adult curriculum, Living in the Real: Biblical Realities for Life, holds the same focus as this year’s conference. The course calls believers back to the essential doctrines of the Bible.