Thursday, 21 May 2009

Men's Retreat

Recently a group of us went away overnight. We had a great time talking, worshipping, praying, eating and drinking and learning to shoot arrows together. I was struck (not by an arrow, thankfully) but by a number of other things. First that this grouping was mostly people who have joined the church over the last 12-14 months (fantastic!). Secondly, that we still need to form and develop relationships with each other and this kind of thing organised so well by Carl Good is a really good thing! Thirdly that we must keep the pressure up in our own lives as well as as a whole church to make sure we are clear about our target - that we have something to aim at. As we saw during our archery lesson if you aim at the bullseye you are almost sure to hit somewhere in the target. I see far too many people's lives that are targetless. We need to aim at something, we are designed to function in this way. Somebody once said that "we need a big vision, but a tight focus" - are we focussed enough?
As people with a heart for sharing God's love with those around us we are in what fighter pilots might call 'a target rich environment' - in other words there is no shortage of targets for the receiving of the good news - however we have to make sure we are asking the Lord to help us focus on the right target - the one that is being prepared by the Holy Spirit.
So often we are targetting the wrong things, pointing in the wrong direction or trying to hit too many things at once - the vision needs to be big but the focus needs to be tight. We need revelation from God because without it we don't work within the right restraints and if that happens, like an arrow released without control and thought, something or somebody could get hurt. Proverbs 29:18.

Friday, 8 May 2009

What a great time

The New Wine Leadership conference this week here in Harrogate has been fantastic. Those of you who know me won't be surprised that I have been energised with the networking side of it. The speakers were of really good quality - prophetic voices of practioners in kingdom things in their specific contexts.
Personally I was struck by the challenge to focus on your higher calling as a disciple and child of God rather than being dominated by the leadership calling. I realise that I can get so wrapped up in the leadership task that I lose sight of the call to relationship with the Lord and with others. Somebody once said that they had met a French theologian who had been reflecting on the first question she might be asked on entering heaven. She came to the conclusion that it would probably be "where are the others?" Are there 'others' in my daily life? Or am I/we to wrapped up in other things like 'church' or 'work' or 'family' or 'troubles' or 'leadership' to be even aware of 'others'?
People who are wrapped up in themselves make very small parcels.

We (myself, Penny and the kids plus Mo and Andrew Clarke) had a great time also with St Andrew's Starbeck. We saw the Lord really stirring people up and doing some lovely things in their lives. Jesus is so good.... why would we really want anyone or anything else in our lives?

God is great but sometimes not so great things happen. We are sad that Rachel and Mark Turner will be moving on from St Mary's. What we hope for and anticipate won't always work out so all we can do is to return to Jesus.