The Power of God
Last week saw our annual Leaders' Conference take place on the Norfolk coast. So what was it like?
More people. A bigger venue. An extra day. Our annual Leaders’ Conference is the most significant event in the FIEC calendar – and this year it was the biggest yet. Granted the venue had a slightly different feel to the usual Christian conference centre…
…but the overall atmosphere was of a family of churches that are moving forward together. If you weren’t with us for the conference, one of the best ways to get a flavour is to read the stream of Tweets from attendees. Here are a few from the end of the conference…
Inspiring teaching, worship & friendships at #FIECLC this week, leaders eagerly desiring to see more of the power of God in our churches.— John Russell (@johnrussell356) November 7, 2013
#FIECLC thanks to all those who made the leaders conference such a success. Thankful to God to be a part of the FIEC.— Paul Rees (@plrees) November 7, 2013
Fantastic time at #FIECLC . Thanks for the challenges, encouragement, and penetrating teaching.— Ralph Cunnington (@RalphCunnington) November 7, 2013
The FIEC Leadership conference was the best FIEC conference I have attended - which is a lot. Praise God! #FIECLC— Julian Rebera (@JulianRebera) November 7, 2013
Big thanks to God for all who served us so well at #FIECLC this week. Been inspired, challenged & encouraged. On with the task…— Stuart Dean (@stuartdean) November 7, 2013
You can read all of the Tweets about the conference by searching for the hashtag #FIECLC, which you can read even if you’re not a Twitter user (though be aware they’re in reverse order!).
The Power of God
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1v18-21)
John Stevens (our National Director) tackled the main theme of the conference – The Power of God – in our morning meetings by expounding three sections of Ephesians (1v15-23; 3v14-21; 6v10-20). There was much to be reminded of and encouraged about…
A Christian has experienced the incomparable power of God: made alive with Christ, raised with Christ, to rule with Christ. JStevens #fieclc— Richard Lacey (@richard_lacey) November 5, 2013
But his final words on Thursday morning were a call to fight…
We have sentimentalised the role of a pastor. Like David fighting Goliath, the shepherd-pastor is a warrior fighting for the sheep. #fieclc— Richard Lacey (@richard_lacey) November 7, 2013
John wasn’t the only speaker though. A team of fifteen people were involved in leading seminars and three FIEC pastors (Paul Mallard, Jonty Allcock and Bobby Warrenburg) spoke from the Psalms in our evening meetings.
Many people had long journeys to our coastal conference venue, but by far the longest was Andrew Heard who travelled all the way from Australia to give a three-part seminar series on ‘Gospel Leadership, Gospel Growth’. Andrew is the President of the Australian FIEC and Senior Minister of EV Church.
All of the morning and evening talks plus Andrew Heard’s seminars were videoed, so expect to see them online to watch in the coming weeks. We also recorded the audio from most of the seminars so they’ll soon be available to listen to and download as well.
In the meantime, you can read summaries of all of the main talks over on the blog of Dan Green (Pastor of Banstead Community Church) at blogofdan.co.uk
A few words of thanks
One of the toughest jobs at a conference that brings together people from different styles of churches is leading the music. Christians have so many different preferences and traditions! That’s why we’re so thankful to Colin Webster and Phil Moore from Cornerstone Worship for leading sensitively and skilfully; mixing the best of new songs with old hymns.
You can find the lyrics, sheet music and mp3s for two of the songs Colin and Phil taught us at the conference in the Resources section of our website. They are Holy Father Rich In Mercy and We Have Heard a Joyful Sound.
We also want to thank 10ofThose for providing an excellent bookstall – though many of the attendees have beaten us to it…
Really encouraged by all at the @thefiec leaders conf. We've never had so many "thank yous" at the end of a conference. It's our pleasure!— 10ofthose (@10ofthose) November 7, 2013
So are you sad you missed out? Excited about next year? We’ll be back at the same venue for the 2014 conference – entitled In_Dependence – which will take place from 3rd-6th November. Bookings will open early in 2014 but it might be worth getting the date fixed in your diary.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3v20-21)