Last month Jubilee Church family met with two other Newfrontiers churches for the first ever Connect Day. There was worship, talks, youth and children’s work. Everyone had a great time and it felt as though we had all done this before and knew each other well. Since it was a family day out, I asked one family to tell us their thoughts on the day.
The kids group was fun with lots of activities and it was a chance to meet other people from other churches. The worship songs I listened to were good. The best bits of the day were the stories about Jesus and being prayed for. In the kids group I was prayed for when someone felt God wanted them to pray for me about school and friendships at school. We had already been praying about this at home and the person who prayed for me didn’t know me. This was encouraging because God knows about me and that is cool!
I thought that the day overall was pretty good. The worship songs in the first session I thought were great. The youth was also good as I got to meet other kids from the other churches and the activities were interesting like praying for different parts of our community and local area but then expanding to the outer world. I thought there could have been another youth session in the afternoon because the first one was good and I think I would have benefitted from another session.
Rob’s challenge of the Connect Day to ‘not get distracted’ from our calling to make disciples, and Matt’s message about a ‘Fresh Calling’ to be God’s witnesses dovetailed together really well and felt a timely message for our churches. It’s always provocative to consider the other things that have taken higher priority in our life other than God, and the Connect day was a time to bring these things before God again.
Our call is a big call: to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth! It’s a corporate call, and there was a clear sense of purpose and calling to work together with other churches to see how God will reach people across the Midlands. This call requires us to be all in; to wait for the Holy Spirit and see what he will do and to put distractions aside and seek first the Kingdom of God.
I thought the Connect day had a really good family feel to it. It was exciting to gather three churches together and it felt like we belonged together, rather than we’d all just met for the first time.
A few things struck me throughout the day. As someone who was involved (as a youthful student!) during the days of the Midlands Initiative, Rob’s reminder that what God spoke back in the late 90’s was still a call for us and one which we need to step into. There is a need for vibrant God-glorifying, Jesus-centred, Holy-Spirit-filled, disciple-making churches right across the region. That was true in the 90’s and is true now.
The invitation for us to take up the baton is an exciting challenge. By linking the Haggai’s call to not be distracted to the prophetic mission we’ve been given I found my vision lifted again to dream about what God can do.
The second thing was the call from Matt to be active in the waiting like the Early Church in Acts ch 1. Too often I go passive until prodded and so this was a timely reminder for me to continually seek God and look for what He is doing.
The final thing was simply that it was good to be with God’s people. The leisurely lunch, the coffee and refreshments allowed time to wander and chat, to give and get encouragement and to have the sole agenda of having a day set aside to meet God with His people.
Thank you Ben, Joseph, Beccy and Simon.