SCHAUMBURG, Ill.—Messengers to the 2010 GARBC Conference began the opening service with a unison exclamation: “I will extol you, my God, O King!”

Ken Pyne, conference  worship leader, led the reading from Psalm 145, followed by congregational singing and music by a Faith Baptist Bible College vocal ensemble. Guests had arrived in Schaumburg throughout the day, gathering at the Hyatt Regency conference center and meeting old friends. The centerpiece of the weeklong conference is a series of 12 expository sermons from Daniel.

“Tonight we embark on a preaching journey through the book of Daniel,” said John Greening, national representative of the GARBC. In his opening sermon, Greening called the structure of Daniel “like a 12 round prize fight,” with each chapter a vignette in an extended historical outline.

“On one side of the fight card is God and those He has chosen to represent him,” Greening said. “On the other side of the fight card are those who oppose Him.”

Aaron Blumer, publisher of SharperIron.org and pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Boyceville, Wis., will blog at www.SharperIron.org during the conference, with updates posted at www.garbcconference.org. Brian McCrorie, pastor of Heather Hills Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Ind., is posting updates on Twitter (#GARBC2010).

While the adults gathered at the Hyatt for the evening session, the teens were shuttled to the GARBC Resource Center, a mile west of the conference hotel. Lance Augsburger, director of Students Alive!, greeted teens when they arrived. As they waited for more shuttles to arrive, Lance and his friend Chris Lightfoot were taught geography lessons by teens who explained the locations of their hometowns. While some teens have come from the Midwest, Abigail Frey traveled from Anchorage, Alaska, to attend her first national conference. Like Abigail, the majority of the teens are experiencing the conference for the first time. But when asked to share random facts about themselves, the teens eagerly revealed their quirks: visiting 20 countries, having a pig collection, and eating ranch Doritos dipped in melted peanut butter.

After activities and snacks, Pastor Mike Meyers used Isaiah 45 to remind the teens that God is sovereign, that He is in control.

To Lance, the speaker’s message is more relevant than ever. “There’s so much going on in the world right now, and as a teen, you look at those things and don’t understand the full picture,” Lance explained. “But even if you did, there’s a big question mark surrounding all of it.” Understanding that God controls everything is foundational, and Lance hopes the week of  activities will help the teens take responsibility for their walks with the Lord as well as developing a richer relationship with their sovereign God.