Category Archives: conference
Well it’s nearly a week since I’m back from the Youth Ministry Summer School, lots to take in, think and pray through and ponder. It’s good to step back from the “doing” of ministry, and think through the why and how. Was reminded again that our ministry comes out of the depth of our own relationship with God, and the necessity amidst the busy-ness to maintain sabbath, resting in Him and seeking his guidance and strength. It’s not our ministry, or what we do, but that God invites us to join him in what he’s already doing in redeeming his church, and reaching a generation with his timeless life-changing Good News. What a priviledge that he chooses to invite a fallen sinner like me to be a part of his world-changing mission.
Further thoughts will follow………………
Just getting round to penning a few thoughts on the MAD weekend, organised by PCI hosted in Coleraine university. This was the ninth year that MAD has ran, but the first year our church has taken a group of young people to it. Things take a while to filter out to the sticks obviously, but it was worth the wait, weekends are tremendous relationship builders and memory makers, and our young people loved it. Worship was by Andy Flannaghan, and speaking led by Mark Oestriecher, both gifted at communicating gospel truth in culturally relevant, biblically based methods.
Definately a beneficial weekend, something that God willing will be built on, not alot of sleep, but plenty of conversations, memories and challenges that will last a lifetime.
Back a couple of days from the Youth Ministry Summer School, still pondering alot of what was said and thought throughout the course of the weekend in the teaching, conversations, devotions and times of solace. A big thing that spoke to me throughout all that was said was the way in which we communicate the gospel: if we are not communicating in a manner in which they can hear and understand the gospel, then it’s impact will be limited. We need to find culturally relevant, creative ways to communicate the “Old but ever New” Good News of the gospel, looking to the great cross cultural communicators like the missionaries, Paul and Christ himself for guidance.
Another point that spoke to me was a warning against busyness, a trap I am prone to falling into, somehow thinking that the more I do, the more effective I can be. The reality is God can do it all without me, he simply in his grace invites me to be a part of what he is already doing, and enjoy that privilege and blessing of serving.
He calls us not to busyness, but simply to BE, to dwell in his presence, to be still and know he is God. And from the health of our relationship primarily with Him, our family and loved ones, and others comes the health of our ministry.
Kingdom Come……..more than words Conference
Challenging, refreshing, inspiring, educational, rewarding: these are all words I would use as I reflect on the few days I spent at the above conference. Sometimes you get bogged down doing “stuff” in church related activities, and you loose focus on who your serving and why your serving Him. And this week was just what I needed to challenge my own relationship with my Heavenly Father, and how this in turn affected the youth ministry in which I am engaged and also my mission-field of the wrkplace. It also helped to re-ignite my passion for serving the one who brought me into relationship with the Father, and by whose grace I am free to live and serve daily.
Some greatly gifted communicators led us from Gods word challenging us in our relationship with God, the gospel we proclaim and how we proclaim it in todays society. Brothers and sisters in Christ from every branch of the evangelical church in Ireland joined together to learn, discuss, worship and enjoy fellowship together.
I thank God for giving me the opportunity to learn more of him at this conference, for challenging areas of my life that needed dealt with, for re-igniting my passion to serve him, and for broadening my vision and seeing my role as a follower of Christ to see his KINGDOM COME
I’m taking a couple of days leave this week that I have to use up, and am going to the Kingdom Come conference. Really looking forward to it, insightful speakers, thought provoking topics and hopefully some good contacts will be made and interesting conversations had. Will post some thoughts along the way hopefully. Until then i’ll shoot on here…. Adios!!!
Well in my last post I was heading off to the Christian resources exhibition at the Kings Hall, and overall I would say it was a beneficial experience. Came home from it laden down with information and sample resources from a number of organisations involved in a wide range of fields. Some people doing really cool stuff, some of it not my thing, but amazing to see how God is working through so many people and reaching so many lives in a number of different ways.
Having returned from the final evening celebration at the Get a Life conference I suppose these are a few notes on reflection
- First and foremost, what a priviledge it was to be a delegate at this event, to receive the expert teaching, experience the uplifting worship and partake in the group discussions
- What a breath of fresh air and time of excitement when our Church at Presbytery level is indeed considering such issues and seeking guidance from Gods word in doing so
- The thing that has come through most is that God must be central. Its only in the strangth and vision of His Holy Spirit that we can even attempt to reach out in Christian love to the communities in which we are placed.
- The big question is where do we go from here. How do we get others onboard and release this vision and desire for change in our home congregations. What are the practical issues, considerations, outworkings and implications of all this?
- At the conference today we were looking at “Meaningful Worship”. Don Carson walked us through John 4 looking at how we should worship in Spirit and truth, taking the example of Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well as our focus. We looked at how Jesus broke down the barriers of division to address her spiritual needs. The main emphasis was on how God seeks TRUE WORSHIPPERS NOT WORSHIP.
- God centered, authentic and focussed worship is what we must seek to develop. Its who we are worshiping and our attitude, not how we worship and in what form.
- The evening session by Martin Allen looked as the parallels between the Church in Revelation and todays church (Revelation 4+5). Our necessary vision must be the throne of God. The central truth of the bible is that “The Lord Reigns”. Therefore we are to worship in reverance and awe, because when we worship we enter into the very presence of the most Holy God.
- Christian worship should be an echo of whats going on in heaven
- Usual mixed emotions experienced before this evening began : apprehension, un-certainty, excitement, anticipation
- Reflecting on it now my feelings are that of joy and excitrment. Joy in that I am fortionate to be at the event and in this position as the church considers its future. Excitement about how God will use this conference to revive a fresh urgency and passion in His church. And on a personal note, excitement and joy for the teaching and experience I will gain from it.
- The main points from this evenings teaching (Exodus 33 vs.12-22) was the revelation of Gods glory in a time of social and moral decay when Moses relentlessly intercedes before God. The challenge for today being the need for intercessors before God.
- Gods glory should be our central focus, not what we do of how we are doing it.
- Gods presence must be what we long for in our lives, not the temporal things that consume so much of our time and energy. Our desire should be to experience His glory more and more
You may remember I posted about this event that I will be attending a few months back
Well the event begins next monday night, and having just received the conference material at church yesterday, I can now say I am quite excited about the prospect of what this could become. The conference, run by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, is an attempt to look at meaningful worship, authentic fellowship and effective witness in the society we live in today. In realising that church attendances are falling lower, and people are becoming largely apathetic to church life, this conference seeks to address these issues, and bring about fresh revival for church communities throughout this land.
Further details are available on the PCI website http://www.presbyterianireland.org/getalife/index.html.
I pray that God will use this event to spearhead a fresh revival on these shores again, giving fresh insight and inspiration to those who seek to further His Kingdom through the work of the local churches throughout Ireland.