Together On A Mission is an annual gathering of over 5,000 men and women from over 35 different countries to worship Jesus Christ and hear the Bible preached. The conference is hosted by newfrontiers, an international family of Churches, in Brighton from the 7th to the 10th of July. Over the duration of the conference, Yohaan Philip, chief editor of the ccklife blog, will review the various main sessions as well as some of the seminars. Complete audio and video files will be made available on the website as soon as they are ready.
Main Seminar 1: Mbonisi Malaba - God's Global Heart
Mbonisi (or Bones as he's affectionately called) leads the newfrontiers church in Bulaway, Zimbabwe. What a dynamic preacher this guy is! Bones preached from the book of Jonah. Jonah was a prophet in Israel who God used to speak to the people of the surrounding nations. Bones paralleled this to God's command to the first man, Adam, of filling the earth, and God's promise to Abraham that the nations would be blessed through him. God has a concern for people and He wants to share His global concern with us.
- Go to where people are
- Have a global strategy
- Target cities
In conclusion, Bones looked at Acts 19 and drew out 3 key learning's from Paul's time in Corinth
- Tent Making - have a practical skill to find employment. This will help you advance with integrity (demonstrates that you are not peddling the gospel for profit)
- Paul stayed a bit longer. Press through for break through. Know when to go and when to stay.
- Paul won a victory for Christianity in Rome
Main Seminar 2: Stef Liston - Go back to Gallilee Mr. Big and a bruised reed He won't break
Stef leads the newfrontiers church in North Central London. Stef regularly preaches at the annual conference for teenagers, Newday. Stef began by sharing the aim of his preach, to captivate our hearts with awe and wonder towards who God is and in doing that pull down the proud and lift up the humble. The text for the preach was Ezekiel 34 in which God reveals His anger towards the leaders of His people because they had misused their God-given authority. From Matthew 18:1-6 (being child-like to enter the Kingdom of God), Stef brought out the following points to help leaders wisely steward the responsibility given to them of looking after God's people.
- God is child - like
- a child likes to please his father
- a child likes to follow his father
- children aren't after the complex, but are satisfied and delight in the simple
- There's something medicinal about children. Be a pleasure to be around.
- Kids copy. Imitate!
- Kids ask for lots Pray pray pray!
- Kids sing. Worship God
- Kids trust
Main Seminar 3: Terry Virgo - Newfrontiers Part 1 - Past
Terry Virgo is the founder of newfrontiers and is based at Church of Christ the King, Brighton. Terry began his highly anticipated 3 part series on the past, present and future of newfrontiers today. I have had the privilege of praying with Terry over many a lunch break in the build up to the conference and have witnessed his deep desire to see the Trinitarian God glorified through this series. And boy did that happen!
Terry used Eph 2:1-10 as the text for his sermon.
1. Word and Spirit movement
Our start: we were dead in our trespasses and sins. Dead people don't bring anything to the table. But God loved us, rescued us and made us alive with Christ. We are a new creation in Christ: His workmanship. He works on you because you're His work of art. He has ambition for you.
Ephesians 2:10 talks about the works God has prepared in advance for us to do. Terry reminded us of 2 key prophesies that had been spoken over newfrontiers:
1. A herd of elephants crashing through a jungle making new paths. What are some of those new paths?
- Spirit filled churches
- International family of over 600 churches across 50 countries
- Newday - 6,000 young people gather annually to worship and be taught about Jesus
- Finance has been raised to plant churches as well as to aid countries in need (Kenya famine, Zimbabwe)
2. We would change the expression of Christianity across the world. How have we done that?
- legalism to grace filled freedom churches
- independent to interdependent churches
- secessionist to charismatic churches
2. Life in the Spirit
Eph 1:13 says that we were marked in Jesus with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. At newfrontiers, we aim to be theologically biblical and to experience the explosive power of the Spirit. The seal of the Spirit is to authenticate and as evidence of our new relationship with God. It is experential. Not experiencing the Spirit robs the Church of it's joy of knowing the presence of God. When we cry "Abba, Father" by the Spirit (Rom 8:15), it is an intense and experienced cry.
In conclusion, Terry briefly spoke about praying in tongues from 1 Cor 14. Praying in tongues is a vehicle of worship you don't understand. We use our physical apparatus to move in a different realm, like when Peter walked on water (Matthew 14).
Fittingly, we ended the meeting praying for those who had never been filled with the Spirit to experience this indescribable joy. And God made His presence felt.