Saturday, July 11, 2009

Together on a Mission round-up!!

I've been so busy with my new job at the hospital and the swine flu pandemic sweeping the West Midlands quite badly that it actually slipped my mind that this years "Together on a Mission" has been and gone. How horrendously shocking! The Brighton conference formed such a key part of my life for a number of years and I experienced God there in power like I have in very few other places. I'm not saying we'll never go back - it just didn't happen again this year.

Together On a Mission Conference, Brighton Highlights from Newfrontiers on Vimeo.

But that's not to say I'm fascinated to see and read what happened. And I truly rejoice especially to read the re-statement of the awesome Newfrontiers vision that is doing so much to change so many nations. The sessions will be made available here over the next few weeks. Here's a few bloggers that were there and were covering it;

Dave Bish wrote up an excellent summary post of what sounds like three outstanding messages from Terry Virgo. "Past, Present and Future". I will be doing my best to get hold of the DVD's of these sessions! I was especially encouraged by this statement;

"When we speak of being charismatic we say we are people who want to experience the Presence of God, knowing God actually is among us, who want our affections effected by Him and who eagerly desire the gifts that Christ and the Holy Spirit give to the church for her upbuilding. We are a charismatic people".

What better definition than that? It's not quite fashionable for many former charismatics to sneer at this term and speak of their "child-ish" days but now they have "grown up" and are into doctrine and theology. What utter rubbish. If anything it's more childish to reckon that there is something more spiritual about sitting with theology books than the very Presence of God! "Charismatic" needs a re-statement and it sounds like Terry has done an excellent job - as always. I'm sure there are many who would love to see Terry Virgo join the ranks of the "former charismatics" and begin courting him as a trophy for the cessationists. I'm glad that's not happening!

Phil Whittall - an elder from Shrewsbury Community Church wrote his posts here;

TOAM: Day 3 (the rest)

TOAM: Day 3 (so far)

TOAM: Day 2 (the rest)

TOAM: Day 2 (so far)

TOAM: Day 1

TOAM: Session 1

Off to Brighton

The Mobilise blog also followed the events from their side;

Together on a Mission day 1

Together on a Mission day 2

Together on a Mission day 3

Together on a Mission day 4

I was most excited to see that the CCK Life blog was also following the conference;

Together On A Mission - Day 1

Together On A Mission - Day 2

Together On A Mission - Day 3

Together On A Mission - Day 4

It seems clear to me that Terry Virgo's three sessions were one of the key points of the conference. I listened to his first session - "The Past" driving down to Bristol and it was truly amazing. Here's a couple of key quotes that stood out to me;

"The gospels promise the Holy Spirit is coming, the epistles write as though the Holy Spirit has come but Acts says how it happened.

This sounds so familiar to some excellent teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit that I learned at my home church in Dunstable. One of the common arguments often heard is that the baptism of the Spirit was limited to some promises in the Gospels and then the events in Acts. Stanley Jebb once wrote an article called "The Quiet Shout" documenting how the epistles are full of teaching about the baptism/sealing of the Spirit. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones taught the same - the epistles write to a people who have received this down-payment from on high!

Back to Terry:

We will never understand how the New Testament church grew without having the dynamic of the Presence of the Holy Spirit - it is absolutely vital.

It is not whether you are worthy - it is whether He is glorified".

One final but rather unique perspective on the Brighton conference. Nigel Ring is well-known and well-loved in Newfrontiers circles as the administrator of their conferences and often faces the unenviable task of choosing when to interupt the flow of heavenly worship to bring those much-hated essential part of all services - the notices. He writes here about a breakfast meeting to keep the conference running smoothly - something not seen but much appreciated;

"Administration helps God-encounters".


dave bish said...

All three of Terry's sessions were excellent. It felt like this year was a more charismatic conference, and yet still culture-engaging (esp David Stroud on the importance of the work place) and with some fresh nuance (like Joel Virgo on the value of being a team member instead of presuming that the goal is to be a team leader).

A refreshing and empowering week.

Shawna said...

Hey Dan - I kind of forgot about Brighton too! Thanks for all the links and summaries. Saw a girl from our church in the summary video you posted, that was fun. Will have to look for any messages that Julian Adams gave, I saw him in the video too and I enjoy what he shares.