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FOCUS Conference 2011

FOCUS ConferenceThe Italian Theological Academy held its 2011 FOCUS Conference for pastors and church leaders October 10-14 in Perugia, central Italy. The Italian church greatly benefited from the teaching of keynote speakers John MacArthur and Steve Lawson. This conference marked an important transition in the life of the church in Italy. In the past, the main expository sermons had always been given in English with translation into Italian, but this year, there were also messages in Italian from Lucio Stanisci and Johnny Gravino. Stanisci and Gravino, both graduates of The Masters’ Seminary, proved to be capable expositors of God’s word. The conference was hosted in part by local Perugian church Centro Evangelico Battista, where Lucion Stanisci is pastor and fellow TMS alumnus Massimo Mollica also ministers. By God’s grace, these Italian expositors will serve as examples for younger Italian pastors to follow.

John MacArthur and TMS graduates

The Italian Theological Academy was well promoted at the FOCUS Conference. Lucio Stanisci and Johnny Gravino gave the first ever seminars made available at a FOCUS Conference—Gravino on Biblical Counseling and Stanisci on Expository Preaching. These are the two courses for which ITA is best known among the Italian church. These seminars serve as “antipasti,” to encourage conference attendees with an appetite for more to enroll at ITA for further training.

John MacArthur was very enthusiastic about this year’s FOCUS conference, especially to see the three Master’s Seminary grads preaching and working together. A copy in Italian of MacArthur’s commentary on Colossians & Philemon was given to each of the conference’s more than 200 attendees. ITA is grateful that funding has also been received for the upcoming translation and publication of MacArthur’s Ephesians commentary.

This year’s FOCUS Conference also served as a springboard to launch ITA’s first ever youth conference, to be held July 31 – August 4, 2012. The purpose is to reach the next generation of young Italian believers who are so in need of sound doctrine and expositional preaching. Via video (also available on the youth conference website) Carey Hardy invited Italian young people to the conference and challenged them undergo a “Transformation” to begin living a life for the glory of Jesus Christ: http://www.trasformare.org/

Praise God with us for His work at this year’s FOCUS Conference. We are grateful to each of you who work with us through your prayers and gifts to see His church in Italy built up.