Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Newfrontiers Borderlands

Well then, a weekend away with our newfrontiers region has come and gone.

I'm tired - really tired.

It was a good weekend though, these being some of my highlights:

1) David Fellingham, author of many songs, and pioneer of early newfrontiers worship, coming and joining our worship team, playing the trumpet in the band. It is that kind of humility that makes me love these people. This is a guy with his own albums, with songs that are used in thousands of churches, people like Stuart Townend and Paul Oakley view him in such high esteem, being willing to stand at the back and serve. The seminars he and Rosie led on the family were very well received.

2) Angela Kemm - a female, a social activist and a prophet. Those who like to throw stones at newfrontiers imply the first two don't really exist! Her work amongst the townships in Cape Town was revolutionary at the time and her passion to see God's people be good news to those around through serving the poor in the power of the Spirit is just infectious. She is a prophet not just in her words, but in her actions as well. She is the real deal.

3) Hanging out with guys from Church - I was on site-watch from midnight until 2am the first night and had a wonderful chat with a friend about life. That kind of fellowship is difficult to have when life gets busy - so to just be away, in the quiet of the night, to talk, encourage, think. It was wonderful.

4) Doing the stuff - I shared a prophetic word in one of the main meetings which several people were encouraged by. Then I was asked to join the ministry team on the Sunday evening and prayed for a couple of guys. It is so humbling when the Lord gives you an encouragement or challenge for someone you have never met before and you're so out of your comfort zone sharing it. Then they open their eyes, smile and say "That is absolutely spot on. God has been speaking to me about this for years". To think God can use an "average Joe" like you or I to speak to His people - it still moves me to tears. Angela Kemm kept saying that in the gifts of the Spirit, on the foundation of the word of God, God has given us the "toolkit" for the part of His mission he is calling us too. It is so true, and yet so often we leave the tools in the box and crack on in our own strength.

5) On a Mission - I have known Martin Charlesworth since I was five years old and have seen his ministry develop and grow and to now see how God is shaping a whole region of Churches in a common mission together is really exciting. I can see his apostolic gifting grow as more and more churches seem to look to Martin to take the lead and help them develop. But the whole beauty of it is that it is so voluntary - people want this - they ask for it. There is no pressure, no outside "authority", no meddling - these are freestanding, independent, local churches desiring to partner together and receive encouragement from each other, and looking to Martin to help shape it.

6) The Future - We have only just begun. It is like being at the birth of something. We have a heart for North Wales, parts of Mid Wales and people have started to lift the lid on the Black Country as a possible future Church plant, as well as the smaller towns of Staffordshire and Shropshire. None of our Churches are all that big - only one gathers more the 100 regularly on Sundays, but together we are taking responsibility for our region and wanting to see active mission through the planting of churches based on new testament principles. It is not the "size" or "success" that makes my heart burn - it is the potential. We are a bunch of nobodies from places no-one has heard of, in Churches no-one has heard of, and we are going to work together to make Jesus known to those who as yet do not know Him.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you had as good a time down there as we had up in North08.

Except ours was better of course as it was northern people ;-)

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

We are all northern compared to the rest of newfrontiers! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thats true but then I think we are a mix of

1. Northerners (Line drawn at the Tees and goes up to the border)

2. Midlanders (Yorkshire and lancastrians)

3. weird hill folk (Cumbrians)

4. Lovers of the deep fried mars bars (Jocks)

5. and two sets of islanders (Man and Northern Ireland!)

so most of us cannot be called northerners either.

However I am and proud of it.