RTC Preaching Conference 2021 | Stand Firm: Lessons From 1 Peter

Stand Firm 16-9

The ground has moved under our feet. As followers of Jesus, what we believe is no longer seen as good news, but really bad news, even dangerous news. And because we are viewed as unloving and divisive, bigoted and intolerant, we are increasingly feeling the pressure. We’re being marginalised, ostracised, and stigmatised—which actually puts us in a very similar situation to that of the original recipients of 1 Peter. Peter’s first letter is incredibly timely as he trains “elect exiles” and “sojourners” to live for Christ in a hostile culture.

The question for Christians is: How do we meet these challenges? RTC’s 2021 Preaching Conference will not only equip preachers to proclaim the message of this letter; it will help them think deeply about how to prepare believers to live well, witness well, and suffer well in a post-Christian world.

Join us as we explore to book of 1 Peter together to learn, and teach our churches to learn, how to preach the gospel in a confronting culture.

Preaching Conference Hubs

Our annual Preaching Conference, normally hosted on the RTC campus, has been equipping preachers across Australia and New Zealand for almost two decades. However, holding an entirely face-to-face conference during 2021 was always going to be a challenge. So, this year we’ll be running a hybrid conference—meaning you can participate wherever you are, on your own, as part of a local church group or at one of our hubs in two locations around the country.


If you’re registering for one of the Australia-based Hub locations, please select the appropriate option on the Registration Form below and we’ll be in touch when the exact location is confirmed.

Conference Schedule

Day One — Wednesday, September 22

9:30AM | Welcome, Prayer, Announcements

9:40AM | Session 1 – Opening Sermon (Murray Capill)

10:30AM | Morning Tea

10:40AM | Session 2 – Attractively Distinct: The Church in a Hostile World (Martin Williams)

12:00AM | Lunch

1:00PM | Session 3 – Preaching the Gospel in a Hostile Culture (Stephen McAlpine)

2:30PM | Session 4 – Interview with Stephen McAlpine

3:00PM | Afternoon Tea

3:30PM | Session 5 – Proclaiming His Praises: The Relevance of the Roots of 1 Peter (Stephen Lewis)

5:00PM | Day One Finish

Day Two — Thursday, September 23

9:00AM | Welcome, Prayer, Announcements

9:15AM | Session 6 – Preparing Christians to Suffer for the Gospel (Stephen McAlpine)

10:15AM | Morning Tea

10:45AM | Session 7 – Peter’s Theology of the Cross: 1 Peter 3:18-4:6 (Martin Williams)

12:00PM | Session 8 – Q&A Panel: Stephen McAlpine, Martin Williams, Stephen Lewis

12:40PM | Lunch

1:30PM | Session 9 – Being the Church in Hostile Times (Stephen McAlpine)

3:00PM | Session 10 – Closing Sermon (Stephen McAlpine)

4:00PM | Day Two Finish

Conference Speakers

Stephen McAlpine

Steve lives in Perth with his family and has been involved in pastoring and church planting for nearly three decades. He has a background in journalism and writing and blogs about culture, theology, and the state of play for churches in an increasingly secular—and hostile to the gospel—West. He also works for City Bible Forum as a national communicator and enjoys being able to share the gospel with a variety of groups including city workers. His recent book Being the Bad Guys, deals with how to live joyfully for Jesus in these increasingly complex times.

Murray Capill

Murray is originally from New Zealand where he pastored a church in Auckland for 10 years. He came to Australia in 2001 to teach part-time at RTC and continue in pastoral ministry in the CRCA. Since 2006 he has taught practical theology full-time and for 12 years he served as the Principal of the College. He is the author of Preaching with Spiritual Vigour (2004) and The Heart is the Target (2014). Murray is Dean of Ministry Development and the Lecturer in Pastoral Ministry at the College.

Martin Williams

Martin joined RTC in 2012. He has lecturing experience and has been engaged in mission in Cameroon, West Africa, under the auspices of a Korean Presbyterian Church. He has years of pastoral experience in the Presbyterian Church. Martin’s doctoral dissertation, ‘The Doctrine of Salvation in the First Letter of Peter,’ was published by Cambridge University Press. Martin is the Lecturer in New Testament and Greek at the College.

Stephen Lewis

Dr. Lewis comes to RTC from Knowlton Presbyterian Church in New Jersey where he recently pastored for six years. Stephen has extensive ministry experience and has also taught in the online program at Westminster Theological Seminary. He holds three degrees, including a PhD in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation (Old Testament), awarded by Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia in 2018. Stephen is the new Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at the College.