Pictured Left to Right: Ava of CECF, Sherry Jacowitz of CBC, Brian Luzny (FLM), Jared Bailey of SGBC, Tim Oliver (FLM), Ben Walden (FLM), Joe Jacowitz (Director), Jacob Gonzalez (FLM).
Conference Duration: January 18-20th, 2018
The 2018 G3 Conference was held at the Georgia International Convention Center located in Atlanta, Georgia. With around 2,000 people in attendance, it was a rather sizeable event. Various speakers such as Justin Peters, Voddie Bachaum, Steve Lawson, and many others addressed great issues related to the “subject of knowing God biblically and making healthy disciples of Jesus Christ”. Due to a strong recommendation by Chris Arnzen that our ministry be attending and represented, FirstLove made its first appearance as an Exhibitor alongside many of the other ministries that normally attend events such as these. Although we were certainly the brash newcomers intruding within a sphere outside of our normal mode of operation, The Lord seemed to extend to us a tremendous favor. Apparently, since our ministry would be giving away such a substantial amount of literature, the G3 leadership permitted us a discounted rate as a Premium Exhibitor. This also allowed us a perk and an opportunity to fill the role of a Presenter in the actual conference area. Since it was our first time, we chose to take advantage of this six-minute spot with a short two-minute video highlighting the general point and goal of the ministry. Afterward, the remaining four minutes or so was spent with Pastor Joe the Founder and Director providing the spirit and the testimony of the ministry to the audience.
NOTE: The preliminary portion of the conference actually began the day prior to the Presentation. The Spanish speaking version of G3 occurred Wednesday with fewer ministries represented in the exhibitor booths. During this early portion of the conference, FirstLove’s booth was allowed to be set up in the immediate hall in front of the entrance to the conference area. This was also the location that was acting as the registration foyer. FirstLove was one of only a handful of exhibitors present and operating in this location during the Spanish conference. In preparation for the main conference that began Thursday however, the booth was disassembled and relocated into the Exhibitor Hall alongside many dozen other large ministries that would be represented during the main portion of the conference beginning Thursday.
The response was incredible. Even while the various speakers were delivering their sermons, it was normal to have a consistent trickle of visitors come see us and ask questions. During break sessions, however, FirstLove’s Booth was immediately flooded with large numbers of people. Most of the time there was not enough room in the booth area to fit everyone and the lines to get in would inevitably encroach into the surrounding exhibitor booths. As you can imagine, this elicited the stares and attention of the other exhibitors who were obviously wondering what all the commotion was about. Built into the daily G3 schedule were “Bookstore/ Exhibit Hall Breaks”. Along with these times, the booth was also swamped during meal breaks, Q& A Sessions when there was not an official sermon being delivered, and the late evening after the last speaker had finished. This meant that the FirstLove team would be up manning the booth and receiving visitors until at least 10pm Thursday and Friday night
NOTE: Throughout the duration of G3, FirstLove was able to make personal contact and build relations with over 600 individual believers who were interested in getting to know more about the ministry. These were people interested in how they could help, ways they could support, and who wanted to know how they might join in on the work!
Attendees were very excited about the variety of books they had to choose from and were eager to hear more about FirstLove’s various ministries.
Left: Joe and the team would explain the ministry of FirstLove to hundreds of attendees.
Right: FLM Missionary Tim Oliver networking with other ministries (Justin Peters).
Above: Voddie Baucham stopped by for a chat with Joe to talk about FirstLove Publications and the great commission.
NOTE: During the progression of events, FirstLove was able to establish new relationships with various other ministries. Chris Arnzen of Iron Sharpens Iron Radio has agreed to move over and come onboard with FirstLove Radio (which only just recently launched earlier this month!) Along with this excitement, FirstLove also began conversations with the ministry of CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry). CARM represents an extremely large internet presence that registers several hundreds of thousands of unique visitors daily. As their name suggests, they capitalize in providing solid apologetic arguments for the biblical doctrine and worldview, and is used by much of the public domain of personal Christian evangelism today. We are now exploring ways in which we may operate and partner together for the benefit of the body locally and abroad.
Overall, the results of the event were a tremendous surprise. FirstLove is now looking at partnerships and ministry fellowships with Chris Arnzen, Justin Peters, CARM, and potentially others. FirstLove Missions, specifically, now has doors opening up into new mission fields such as Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Albania, and more. We have over 600 new brothers and sisters who want to continue in conversation with us, find out more about us, and potentially labor with us in various capacities. Over 16,000 quality Christian books and pamphlets were distributed free of charge to the body of Christ here in America in a matter of a few days. The ministries of FirstLove are truly blessed and are praising The Lord for His good favor and providence!
Left: It was clear in the second day of the conference we would be giving out over 10,000 books. Right: Our leader was focused and made sure to share his vision every chance he had.
“For who hath despised the day of small things?...” -Zechariah 4:10a
Thank you for your continued prayers and support,
T. Austin Huggins
Pastor, Missionary, & Asst. Director of