Sheffield Conference - day 4
As always the day started with some input from Mike Breen. He spoke about healing and evangelism as two important ways of the Kingdom coming in people's lives. He majored on healing and the need to persevere in confident prayer since the Father wants His children well and we all will be one day when the Kingdom is fully come.
The lifeshapes session was on the pentagon which teaches about the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4: apostle (missionary), prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. These are different roles/functions for which grace is given to people in the body of Christ. We are all be given grace for one of these and understanding that can help us find where we can make our best contributions. For members of Stonnington Baptist church we have an online survey here that will help you identify which one you are strongest in. There are various copies of 'The passionate church' book floating around church which will explain it more and we are happy to talk with you about it.
There was then a range of seminars covering leadership, church growth, healing, prayer, pioneers and settlers, and community outreach etc. The day finished with an evening rally where we heard Andy Hawthorne talk about the rollercoaster ride of the wholehearted following of Jesus.
Lisa's (catch up from yesterday)
The conference has challenged me (or more accurately God has challenged me) on healing. I haven't prayed for it often (either for me or others) because I'm not much of a risk taker. So I've struggled with the possibility that maybe God won't heal them or me - so the fear of failure becomes too big.
But this week, I've been immersed in the life of a church that takes these risks everyday. One big reason why is taht nowhere in teh bible does Jesus not heal someone when they've asked Him for it. Well there's one occasion - that's the story of Lazarus in John 11 .... but then he's raised up from the dead.
Praying to be healed continues to challenge me today. To know that God (as our heavenly father wants us to be well is critical for our faith. But what happens when God doesn't heal instantly? We are to keep praying. To keep fighting for the sick to the very end. To honour the unwell and take courage as it make take more than one prayer to win.
Today my brain is truely fried. I have been looking over my notes for the last 2 days and it is hard to encapsulate all that I have learnt and been challenged by God about in a few lines. It is interesting reading Lisa's entry from yesterday (which she wrote this morning before the conference sessions) as today there has been input on healing. I received prayer for healing and am noticing a difference (ask me if you want to know more). I have also been challenged by whether I am willing to take small risks in co-operating with God in His Kingdom. If my identity in God is truely understood then it is natural to want to be obedient or co-operate with God in seeing His Kingdom encounter our community. This is something that I want to be a part of - seeing God make a difference in the day to day lives of all people - Christian or not.
In the session I went to on the pentagon we did a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) for leaders who operate out of the different five fold ministries. This was helpful for me in reflecting on my own leadership style. The last session of the day was an interesting seminar on pioneers and settlers. Each of us has a preference for one of these and it aligns with intuiting and sensing myers briggs types. Steve Cockram talked about the fact that many in leadership are pioneers and can often create unhealthy levels of tension when they aren't aware of where settlers are in change processes and are tempted to leave them behind. This is a mistake as settlers get things established and running properly. So please lets have conversations about change processes in our church.