I often hear from pastors from across the Synod about how disappointing their pastoral conferences are (or more often, professional church workers conferences). I have a confession: ours used to be pretty bad too. BUT...
A few years ago, though, a number of men simply said that the silly season was over. The pastoral conference committee became extremely proactive in guarding the conference. The District President and District business was allotted a limited amount of time, but the focus was put upon providing excellent speakers AND making sure that we our worship was simply out of the hymnal. No high church vs. low church shenanigans allowed. Just do what's in the book. As a certain famous Lutheran is wont to say: "Just say the black and do the red."
Pr. Fritz Baue set us off in this direction as chairman of the conference. We met together, we prayed and sang, we listened and pondered, we ate and drank and talked. It was good and very good. From being something I dreaded, the pastoral conference suddenly became something I absolutely enjoyed and looked forward to.
If you've had it up to here with rotten conferences, my brothers, see what you can do to reclaim the conference. Take them back over from the District office and make them truly be the blessing they were intended! It happened here. It can happen there.