When we announced earlier this year that we were going to host our first ever church conference, I had a number of people say to me “Why?” or “What is the point of a conference?” or “Do we really need to spend all weekend at church?”

After the conference finished last Sunday I had some of the same people coming up to me asking “Can we do it again next year?!”

So why did we have a conference and will we do it again?

In biblical times the Jewish nation as well as its weekly Sabbath, would have several festivals spaced throughout the year that would often last several days. They were opportunities to gather together, remember what God had done for them in the past and celebrate what God had promised them in the future.

Our recent conference was similar to one of these festivals. We love meeting together on a Sunday for worship and learning together, but to be able to spend all weekend together with incredible times of worship and awe led by Jim Rogers, incredible insight from our guest speakers and time to laugh and enjoy one another’s company was amazing. We were really blessed with some amazing guests that came and encouraged us. Stuart and Irene Bell reminded us that life is full of tough challenges but the local church is a place where we support each other through those moments. Tim & Becca Jupp inspired us with stories of God at work in their lives over many years and Simon Benham finished off the conference with a call for us to encourage one another and not to be laggards!!

The kids programme on the Saturday led by Chip Kendall and the Praise Ship Orbitron was sensational, I know many adults would have loved to have been in his session if they had a choice! The workshops on Saturday afternoon led by Jim Rogers, Jo Ibbott, Neil Kirkland and John White were creative and transformational to so many people.

So, after such an incredible weekend, with much to consider and ponder upon all that has been said, what is my overriding thought?

I am THANKFUL

So thankful that we get to serve such an amazing church, with such awesome staff and volunteers who made everything run so smoothly.

So thankful that we have such wonderful friends who agreed to come and speak at the conference, when they could have been doing many other things.

So thankful that I serve such a magnificent God who is leading us one step at a time.

and will we do a conference next year?

You will have to wait and see! In the meantime enjoy the pictures from this years conference – you all look amazing!

 

[unitegallery conference]