Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Together on a Mission" website available.

As has been promised for some time, Newfrontiers has finally made available the "Together on a Mission" website - offering a bit more detail into the upcoming conference in Brighton in July. Some of my friends have teased me in saying they have never seen me more interested in a conference that I am probably not going to this year. I would say that's pretty accurate! I'm not going because of lack of interest. I'm certainly not going because I can't be bothered! Surely anyone who has followed this blog for the last couple of years will remember that both Luke and I started building up to "Together on a Mission" as soon as booking opened and the details became clear! I'm not going because I can't afford it - God has been awesomely gracious in "miracle finances" since I moved back to Birmingham and I am more blessed now than I ever was in Bristol.

I'm not going to Brighton because I just can't give a good reason why I should be there.

I promised in my blog post looking at the main speaker, Mark Driscoll - (Humour vs Holy Spirit) that I would reserve judgement until more was known about the seminars and the other speakers. (Scott didn't feel so led as shown by his post here). Well that information is now available. Probably if Mark Driscoll was absent, the list of "home-grown" Newfrontiers speakers would have attracted me. There is;

Terry Virgo - UK

Stephen Van Rhyn - South Africa

Dave Stroud - UK

David Devenish - UK

P-J Smyth - South Africa

Dave Holden - UK

Guy Miller - UK

Wendy Virgo - UK

Mick Taylor - UK

Roger Smith - UK

Steve Oliver - South Africa

Jeremy Simpkins - UK

John Groves - UK

Greg Haslam - UK

John Hosier - UK

Ray Lowe - UK

Seminar subjects? Well other than "Developing Prophetic Gifts", there's no real explicit topics focusing on the Holy Spirit, His Presence and power, other gifts - and obviously a more recent passion of mine - the glory and manifest Presence of God Himself. The various topics are more cultural - certainly fitting in with the main speaker.

The worship? Ah the one thing both Scott and I agreed we will most definately miss if last years was anything to go by. Once again the wonderful Kate Simmonds assisted by Phatfish and Simon Brading are leading. I'll look forward to the CD next October though.

And of course Terry Virgo's invitation. That usually settles it for me. I still remember reading his glorious invitation to "Together on a Mission 2007" when Rob Rufus was returning. This year? Well there's a lot about Mark Driscoll (and not so much about the Presence of God this year - although hopefully that is assumed. Mind you, can you assume the Presence of God?);

"It's a special joy to be able to announce that our main visiting speaker this year is Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill, Seattle, USA. Mark has built a strong church of several thousands from a small nucleus in a short period of time. He is a man of great passion and remarkable gifting. The values that shape his ministry strongly reflect our own, and he expresses them with a passion and zeal that will inflame your own heart and help you to stir up the gift that's in you".

There may be still some arguments as to why I should be in Brighton next July that I haven't thought about. For example maybe I should expose myself to Mark Driscoll live and open myself to the fact he's not all bad. Well I never said he was all bad. I am sure that he has unique giftings and it's certainly not intially a bad thing that he upsets people. Upsetting people is better than apathy as long as there is a reason for them being upset. I was told recently that Mark Driscoll was actually attacked by a knife-wielding man in his church in Seattle. That's pretty shocking if he was simply expounding the Gospel and you have to admire him for his courage and bravery. If he was simply saying rude and abrasive things ...

I am certainly going to miss Brighton. It has been a conference that has probably contributed more to my spiritual life and walk with God than any other I've been to (and that maybe even includes Stoneleigh Bible Week). But I am more than ready to rejoice with those who do go with what I am sure God will do this year and will look forward to hearing the sessions on MP3. My path is just leading me a bit more abroad than Brighton in 2008.


diane said...

Ooh pooey Mark Driscoll coming along and ruining everything :( ... lol!

Nancy Drew said...

The sad thing? I can see Driscoll making his comments and his jokes in Brighton and the whole place in more uproar than when C J Mahaney was making HIS comments and HIS jokes. :( I don't like to think of that.

theUnknownProphet said...

The balancing factor would be to bring Rob Bell to the conference?

Dan Bowen said...

Hi Unknown Prophet - I haven't heard Rob Bell preach before. My older sister is a huge fan though. A balance to Driscoll sounds good though!