I am just back from a Christian Associates Leadership Summit at High Leigh Conference Centre website here
One always worries a bit when heading to a smallish conference where we knew very few people,and they mostly know each other fairly well but we were made very welcome and came away both encouraged and inspired by the people we met and the stories we heard.
Indeed it was also affirming to all that we are seeking to do in Shrewsbury.
My highlights included:
Seeing Dudley Callison again and meeting his wife Laura
I first met Dudley in 1989 when he came for a mission trip to Ross on Wye and Gorsley and I have no doubt he will make a highly effective leader of Christian Associates as they move forward into a new era. In my opinion he has exactly the gifts that are needed. Dudley is an excellent communicator with a wide experience of cross cultural mission and a passion to see missional churches share Jesus.Combine all that with an ability to relate to people and a strategic mind and my guess is that CA have got the right person at the right time
Another highlight was the the teaching of Kim Hammond from Forge
Kim is another great communicator who spoke with honesty, humour and knowledge on the subject of" multiplication-reproducing local leaders and churches" there were some great one liners such as" radical people inspire ordinary people to do radical things" but above all it was the wisdom he shared that was so inspiring . I only wish the talks had been recorded and it is encouraging that Forge are looking to work more in Europe in the future
It was also great to meet some wonderful people from all over the world who told encouraging,indeed amazing stories of Gods work from the person planting vegetables in Haiti to the woman sharing food and faith with prostitutes and the guys sharing faith in Russian orphanages.
We were also able to make connections, which we hope and pray will help us as we seek to partner with Christian Associates in bringing Phillip and Christina to work with us in Shrewsbury
As much as anything though we were encouraged by the healthy culture of Christian Associates which is accepting,permission giving ,creative, respective of local cultures and people, and above all passionate about Jesus
i will try hard to remember all we were reminded of but above all 3 things :
- Firstly, that Gods grace is prevenient. In other words God is at work in lives long before we get there and will be at work long after we have left,but we can by Gods grace be links in the chain
- To tell more stories
- To be even bolder and more faithful in seeking to show and share Gods love in innovative ways to people made in His image
We hope to keep in touch with CA