I am just back from a new wine leadership conference in Harrogate. I was keen to sign up as soon as I heard Alan Hirsch was speaking .He did not disappoint, and I will write more about what he said in a future blog post.Suffice it to say I believe its a message we need to pay attention to
I found the whole conference stimulating and challenging & it was great to be with Steve and Jude and also great to meet up with with friends again
For those who aren't familiar with New Wine ( and this was my first experience of a New Wine conference) a few very personal observations.
The conference was very Anglican
One speaker kept referring to us all as Anglicans and though that wasn't true ,Anglicans were by far the largest group there. It felt like the charismatic wing of the Anglican church,maybe that is how they see themselves or maybe it is simply an oversight.Perhaps they do need to think about this issue and decide whether they are a conference for Anglicans that welcomes some others or a conference for everyone. I hope it is the latter as they have a huge amount to offer other Christians.
It was not a very ethnically diverse group . There were people from other backgrounds and some from other countries, including people from Norway and Holland and Romania , but not that many of them
The worship was beautifully led with a very particular style with some very personal songs and plenty of opportunity to respond to what God was saying. I really enjoyed these times!
It was very charismatic (compared to what I am used to )with many manifestations of the Spirit. I found that refreshing and indeed challenging and inspiring.
New Wine is no longer simply a Network it is on the way to becoming a movement. That is quite an intentional development and in my view a good one.
I do think that there are important things the traditional denominations ,including my own,could learn from them and incidentally if they are as brave as New Wine leaders they should ask Alan Hirsch to speak at Baptist Assembly.They may not agree with everything he said but they sure would be challenged to think, as I was
.He would challenge much of the current thinking and speak & prophetically into our situation
New Wine also took a strong position in favour of women in leadership of churches which I applaud and they were not afraid to name prominent preachers they disagreed with on this issue.
All in all a very good few days
It was my first time,it did me a whole lot of good . I will probably come again & would love to bring others.