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.