In a world of control dominance and power, what does it mean to be a 'shaper', an 'influencer' and a 'change bringer?' The Lord Jesus told His disciples that they were 'in' the world but not 'of' the world. Yet when we look at leadership in the body of Christ, it so often takes on the shape and style of those around us and simply seeks to spiritualise it with a few splatterings of Christian terminology here and there.
It strikes me that as a leader in Christ's church, I have a responsibility to be an influencer for Christ but that I am never permitted to be a controller. So what is the difference? How can I influence others without controlling them, and where does God's influence of me fit in? Can a local church influence a whole community - or a whole country? Can the church influence the nation without creating a Christendom model of mission and witness or should we abandon any hope of seeing the UK changed?
The next Catalyst Mission national day conference will be exploring these and many other issues. It will be held at Gold Hill Baptist Church (take a look at the website for address details) on Wednesday 2nd October from 9:30am. Details can be found on the website and we would be delighted to have you join us. As well as myself and my colleague Jim Graham (Pastor Emeritus at Gold Hill), speakers include Vicky Thompson (part of the leadership team of Catalyst and a local church leader), Garry Rucci (a regional leader for the Assemblies of God) and Nigel Tween, the principal of Regent's Theological College and the director of training for the Elim Church. The day conference is open to all and we especially encourage those who are in a role of leadership in any capacity to join us. Worship will be led by Barry Thompson. The day conference runs from 930am - 515pm. Supper will be served at 530pm and in the evening, we have a special celebration in which Gary Rucci will be speaking. The celebration begins at 730pm and ends around 930pm.
Throughout the day, there will be opportunities for prayer ministry, encouragement and support. Catalyst Mission is an open mission network which now links a few hundred churches in different parts of the UK and seeks to develop relationships between churches and Christian leaders in which we encounter God, wrestle with scripture and engage with the world around us. At it's heart there is a commitment to be open and listening to the Spirit and connected to the culture and world around us.
I'd love to see you there. The day costs £20 and that includes refreshments, lunch, dinner and a delgate pack with materials from the day. For more information or to book, please contact the church office at Gold Hill on 01753 887173. Please do encourage others from local churches around you to join us.
My prayer is that God would use the day to help us see that we are stronger when we stand and serve together and that He will meet us and renew us for the purpose of mission in the world.