Sunday, 1 March 2009

18-30s Weekend

This weekend we hosted our annual 18 to 30’s event a Kings: “Living an Extraordinary Life”. Great title – and a great weekend with around 200 enthusiastic guys (that’s male & female!) zealous for God.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the church is in decline or that it’s full of old people! Not true. Jesus said that he would build his church and that’s exactly what he’s doing. OK, so some ‘churches’ are struggling and are in decline, but maybe that’s because the supply of life, the presence of the Holy Spirit, actually stopped flowing years ago, and what we’re seeing is something like a tree that, having stopped producing fruit years ago, is finally succumbing to weathering & decay.

Talking of weathering and decay, yes, they did let me in! Well actually I sneaked in because I just knew it would be hugely encouraging and I wanted to be provoked myself! Stef Liston was speaking Friday evening and Saturday morning, and as ever, he communicated superbly (see the website for downloads) and then Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning it was Graham & Sue Hall. Graham was, for many years a fellow leader with me here at Kings and so it was a weekend of reminiscing too.
Talking late into the night with Graham and Sue about those early years here in Norwich, it made Angie & I realise that we have been Living an Extraordinary Life here in Norwich, and that God has done some truly amazing things here. Kings is a very special church - yes we’re unashamedly biased! We were recalling how, in those early days there was no youth work here, and no students, but we prayed. In fact we went up to the UEA campus quietly one evening and started to pray that God would give us the privilege of being able to serve students coming to Norwich, to show them what church could be like, and to pass on to them a compelling vision of the glorious church that Jesus is building throughout the earth (and, of course, feeding them!). So this weekend, seeing an army of young people at Kings, zealous for God, and stirred with thoughts of ‘Living an Extraordinary Life’ made me very grateful to God, and humbled at the way Jesus builds His church.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts…They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. Psalm 145:4f