There’s always a good buzz when the lead elders and their wives from our UK Newfrontiers churches get together at this biannual conference - about 370 of us met together at Milton Keynes last weekend. Apart from the opportunity to renew old friendships and catch up with news from here and there, there is so much going on in the churches – God continues to bless our movement, for which we are very thankful! This particular event provides a venue for our church leaders to focus again on God and His call on their lives as well as receiving fresh vision for future developments. All this springs from our devotion to Christ – at one of the sessions, Stef Liston spoke from Joshua 1 and exhorted us all not to neglect this vital relationship.
Vision is a crucial component in the armoury of a church leader – first it motivates us as leaders, then it is part of our task to cast a vision for those we lead. On Saturday afternoon Dave Stroud shared his vision for 400 Newfrontiers churches in the UK! This is a challenge that spoke to many of us - a focus for the future that is worth spending time, money and energy to achieve, while relying on God who provides all the resources necessary to do His work, His way! Go and look at the new church planting website (http://www.ukchurchplanting.org/) and be encouraged and inspired!
My contribution to the weekend was a session on ‘Rest’, which from feedback given was well received. With so much going on in church life and so much being demanded from our leaders, this conference was a good opportunity to remind everyone that we can be too busy. If we rest appropriately then we will serve God, our families and the church more effectively – to neglect our rest is short-sighted at best and can prove catastrophic. We need balance in this - the old Mars bar advert that talks about ‘work, rest and play’ comes to mind! And rest is more than a good idea – it’s a God-ordained part of normal life.
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