Main Seminar 6: Terry Virgo - Newfrontiers part 2- Present
What a preach!! Make sure you download the video, this is something you don't want to miss out on! There was such a sense of wonder as Terry glorified Jesus and His Bride, the Church in the final session of Day 2 in a way that only he can. It really is such a privilege to be a part of a family that has such a biblical understanding of the Church as God meant it to be.
1. We must treasure the Church
It must have been an incredible revelation for Paul when he heard a voice say 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.' Great is the mystery of the unity between Christ and His Body, the Church. In Phil 4:1 Paul's overwhelming exuberance is sensed as he refers to the church as "my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, dear friends." Great grace was on them all. They were a people overwhelmed by God's grace.For freedom Christ has set us free. We have to preach grace.
2. The church is where we loose our individualism and personal agenda
If you want to find your life you have to loose it. How? In the stuff of relationships. In stuff of Church building. The fruits of the Spirit grow in the 'one another' context. The most magnificent things about Jesus are not meant for theological books, but to transform you. The cross transforms. God wants to build leaders He can trust. Sanctification is impossible alone. We are called to make disciples. We are called to serve. Don't use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another (become a slave).
3. Joyful obedience
God is worthy of obedience. It is the best thing to do, otherwise it becomes rules and legalism. Satan lies that God is holding back. The church not only consists of individual obedience, but corporate obedience as well.
4. Utterly committed to building biblically
We're on a mission around the world to build biblical churches. Churches that are transformed by the guidance of the Spirit. Democracy may be the way to run countries, but it is not the way to run churches.
Nehemiah rebuilt the walls and the city. We need distinctives back.Restoration also means the return of the presence of God.
David wanted the Ark back. He could not run the nation without God's presence. The Church is the dwelling place of God's Spirit where He is neither quenched or grieved, but revered and glorified. Peter was with Jesus all the time - that's what being a Christian was to him. Being with Jesus is breath taking; being with the Holy Spirit is magnificent. Jesus went back to His Father and sent His Spirit in His place. We're to be with Him. His presence makes us distinct.
The Church is a community of love worked out in relationships where the presence of God loves to dwell.
Main Seminar 5:Stephen Van Rhyn - Grace
Stephen leads the newfrontiers church in Cape Town, South Africa, supports Manchester United and delights in poking fun at Brighton in comparison to Cape Town! He is also an outstanding preacher and a very gifted communicator.
Stephen began his preach with a story - the gripping tale of Abraham and his son, Issac. He started off with the promise and miraculous birth of Issac and then lead us to Mount Moriah where God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Issac. He then compared this to Calvary - A similar story where a Father had to sacrifice His one and only Son, only this time, His hand was not stayed.
What are the implications of this grand story for us as a family of churches together on a mission?
From Phil 1:1-11, Stephen brought out the following 3 key learnings.
1. Grace to you
God's grace must touch us personally before we seek to touch anyone else. Grace is the centerpiece of Paul's gospel. Salvation begins with God and God finished what He starts. The day of completion is when Jesus returns in all His glory. Does your confidence lie in this great truth? Or do you place your trust in numerical growth or manifested Holy Spirit power?
2. Grace on display
Even though salvation is an intensely personal affair, Christianity is not private. Without the gospel we have no church. God is after communities of people who will demonstrate His glory and power.
3. Grace to the nations
Churches impact cities. In Gen 20, God promises Abraham that through his offspring, the nations will be blessed. The gospel is communicated through relationships. Churches should be connected to apostolic ministry in mutual love and respect and humility. The question is not "who will succeed Terry?", but "who are you connected to?"
Mobilise Main Seminar 1: Andrew Wilson - The Cross and The Cosmos
One of the brightest minds in newfrontiers kicked off Mobilise today morning. Mobilise is the training track for students and twenties with aim of raising up leaders to plant churches and affect campuses and workplaces for the glory of God.
Andrew used 5 story lines that run through the Bible and showed us how they found their fulfillment in Jesus Christ on the cross. Colossians 1:1-15 was the text for Andrew's preach.
Story 1: The creation story. God made man in His image. Man rebelled and chose to usurp the authority of his Creator. The problem of evil arose. A new man made in the image of God was needed.
Jesus: A Man who is the image of God. (Col 1:15)
Story 2: God calls Abraham and sets a part a people for Himself. But the hope for the world (Israel) turn to sin and become the problem not the solution. A new covenant was needed.
Jesus: In Him, we have been qualified into the Kingdom of God. (Col 1:12)
Story 3:The exodus. Yahweh ransomed the Israelites from slavery and crushed their oppressors.A new redemption was needed from a more powerful enemy.
Jesus: On the cross, He rescued and delivered us from sin and death. (Col 1:13-14)
Story 4: The exile. The Temple was destroyed and Israel wept because Yahweh had judged them. But there was hope - they believed Yahweh would forgive them their sins and raise them from the dead.
Jesus: One the cross, death was undone. (Col 2:13-14)
Story 5: The Roman oppression. Israel was ruled by the oppressive might of Rome. Under the cry, 'Roma Victor' the Romans would steal people's countries and impose their government on them. The cross a symbol of Roman authority. It made a bold statement - If you rebel against our authority we will kill you.
Jesus: And having disarmed the powers and authorities, Jesus made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Col 2:15)
To read an interview with Andrew Wilson which I had the privilege of conducting, please click here.
Leadership Main Seminar 4: David Stroud - Daniel: affecting society
David Stroud leads the newfrontiers church in the West End of London. David used the life of Daniel (from Daniel 1) to show us how we need to engage with society in way that glorifies God's name. He used 5 questions followed by 6 key learnings to communicate his message.
Q1. What does God value? (Dan 1:1-2)
God cares about everything that happened in Babylon. God created everything and loves everything.
Q2. How should we get involved? (Jer 29:4-7; Gen 12:1-3)
Look similar but differ in your heart. Take confidence that God has promised that you will be a blessing to the nations.
Q3. what should we be thinking? (Dan 1:6-8)
Be wise and sensitive.
- what should we accept from culture?
- what should we redeem from culture?
- what should we change in culture?
Q4. what should our vision be?
Influence but not ultimate transformation.
Q5 How will things end? (Dan 1:21)
Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus would set the Israelites free. Be faithful until the end.
6 Key learnings from Daniel
1. Daniel said yes and gave himself whole heartedly
2. Daniel was part of a team (dan 1:7)
3. Dan did not allow the cost to deter him (dan 1:13-14; 5:17)
4. Daniel and his team were outstanding candidates (1:20)
- encourage people to work hard
- value education and secular learning
- look for the favour of God
5. Dan continued as a man of prayer and the Spirit (1:17)
6. Daniel became someone who was listened to (2:24)