Tuesday, 28 July 2009

TOAM thoughts

Phil Whittall makes a decent point about the "Together on a Mission" Brighton Conference this year.

I had been thinking along similar lines but not really found a way of expressing it well. I am not sure I yet have, but will give it a go.

There were loads of good bits:
  • The offering
  • The worship on Thursday evening
  • Meeting old friends
  • Praying for situations around the world and hearing stories of what God is doing
  • Bringing spiritual gifts into a larger setting: the way it is done is just superb
  • Some younger guys preaching: Stef Liston, Mbonisi Malaba, excellent.
There are a also few things which niggle a bit.
  • It did feel a bit safe. I understand why there was no headline speaker but there were still several main sessions that were not Terry's talks which we could have used to bring in encouragement from outside the movement. The Nicky Gumbels and J. Johns of this world can really stir us up.
  • I feel too many new songs, or too many too soon, means the worship does not quite reach its potential. "Are you ready to learn heaps of new songs" was the question from the stage and personally, no. I want to learn some, maybe, but I want to be in the presence of God and somehow that is harder when I am concentrating on learning new songs. Maybe I need to change because I felt almost exactly the same last year.
  • My seminars were really good. I wonder whether the "one size fits all" approach of the main sessions is the best way of doing it? I genuinely have heard soem fo that stuff before, from the same people, if not at Brighton then in other settings.
  • On a personal note: I wonder if there could be a way of really seeking God for ourselves and for each other? I would have liked to go somewhere knowing someone would pray for me. A kind of "healing rooms" sort of concept, with an appointment. I think that has mileage. Some of the seminars had loads of praying for people and sounded amazing. I wish I had been there. I love the prayer on the Thursday night for the nations: I wonder what would happen if we focussed that level of prayer on each other and our own situations?
It is well worth going to Together on a Mission, but I have enjoyed it more in the past by being stirred up from those outside newfrontiers. I think I miss a bit of variety. Maybe I will have to go to Spring Harvest next year too!


dave bish said...

I agree with your reflections.. worshipwise the last two years have seemed a bit bland and flat on the new songs front...

I loved Terry's stuff and some of the other main sessions but it was a bit more of the same old stuff (apart from Terry's) and there has to be some freshness there whether from more creative input from the same people or some more new voices either from within the family or outside... possibles abound.

Come to New Word Alive next year. Grudem, Pippert and Bridges.. and it'd be nice to have more than just me and Stuart Townend from newfrontiers there! (there were others too last time out, but room for more)

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

If I am being honest I am still a bit twitchy about New Word Alive I am afraid.

I may post some thoughts on it at some stage. I just can't quite correlate previous experience and current expectations.

dave bish said...

Fair enough, perhaps one day.

It's a work in progress, part of evangelical progress in closing up old conservative charismatic divides.

Jongudmund said...

You could try Flames of Fire/New Wine Wales. Not far away and a bit different. Could try it with a day trip for starters.