Friday, 11 July 2008

Brighton Rock(s)


I'm back from the New Frontiers' Leadership International 08 conference in Brighton and I have to say... it was so profoundly resourcing in many ways, so much fun and so ground-breaking as an event. Where on earth do I start?

" profoundly resourcing": the wealth of equipping tools provided from the likes of Dave Holden, John Groves, Matt Hosier and others was phenomenal (those named being the particular guys I heard on my training track: between them, they spoke on building counter-cultural churches; on how the post-modern world - which is basically the world coming back full-circle to the multi-faith, multi-culture, multi-idol, multi-sexual, multi-truth world of the Apostle Paul's day - thinks, and how Christ IS relevant to every area; on how the church should be fearless in speaking out on what good Biblical sex really is, on porn and many Christian men's proclivity to it - let's not pretend they/we're not). Practical and profound... And the main session speakers? Terry Virgo himself, Steve Van Rhyn, David Devenish, David Stroud, PJ Smythe, and the phenomenon that is Mark Driscoll. He da man... All these godly men spoke deeply into where we are at as a movement, and prophetically, more importantly: God used these mighty men to lead us ever-stronger into the next phase of New Frontiers history. And speaking of the prophetic, Julian Adams and Keith Hazell (love him - had the privilege of getting to know him recently, great guy) brought powerful prophetic words to us all about radical changes in New Frontiers and, more significantly, in our nation at a political level. Hold on tight, guys... [listen to the downloads if you missed it: TOAM 08 ]

" much fun": I caught up with so many of my old and new friends - Dave Watt and Tom HC from ChristChurch London; Dave Pask from my Vietnam jaunts; Jennie White, Sarah Fergie, Kev & Lydia Jones and Bill & Margaret Law (all ex-City); and of course my buddies still at City - Tom G, Oli & Hazel, Dodge and George, Rob, Ashley, Bill Hayes (loved your dancing, man), Olly, Ben & Jo, Tom & Josie Shaw and the girls, and not forgetting the unforgettable Joey Natali... the list goes on... oh, and I got to know Darren Blaney from the local Baptist Church a whole lot more. And I couldn't get enough of the dancing in the worship times. Oh, and I saw Wanted at the cinema (3.5/5)

" ground-breaking": well... that Mark Driscoll (I love him in a non-gay way - here's an intro if you don't know the guy: MarsHillChurch) is fearless. He spoke to us gently and humbly but also boldly. What he shared with us allows us to speak openly about the future of New Frontiers: life after Terry... it was to be one of those moments when you say "I was there..." History was made. Mark basically warned us against dishonouring the future of NF by only honouring its founder. We need to honour both simultaneously, or risk becoming an institution and a museum, dead within 2 generations, rather than a pioneering movement ever-continuing forward, making progress for the magnificent good news of Jesus Christ, seeing lives, communities and cultures transformed into HIS people for HIS glory... Hoo-ha...

I think I'll shut up now; does it sound like I'm buzzing? Jennie's had it in the ear-hole since I got home... I'd best leave it to my good buddy Tom "Absolutely" Shaw to summarise:

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