March 13, 2007

North of England Church Officers Conference

(Guest Post by Ross Mackenzie)

This weekend gone by saw the 2007 North of England Church Officers Conference.
110 pastors, elders and deacons - the highest attendance yet - all squeezed into Mirfield Evangelical Church for this year’s conference entitled “The Challenge to be Different”.

All of the sessions are downloadable from the internet, and are a must listen! You will be glad you did.

The programme looked promising with David Meredith, pastor at Smithton Culloden Free Church, and Ian Hamilton, pastor at Cambridge Presbyterian Church, as the main speakers.

Ian Hamilton

David Meredith

We were not disappointed in any way! The organisation was up to the normal high standard thanks to Graham Heaps, Colin Mountain, and the wonderful ladies of Mirfield Evangelical Church who minister so cheerfully. For those travelling a distance, a great feature of the conference is spending one night in the home of believers in the Mirfield area, and hearing of Gods work in these strange sounding places. Progress reports on 7 local churches were, as always, very encouraging.

The first address from David Meredith was: "The Church: Somewhere to belong".

He outlined that the basis of community is reflected from the very nature of our triune God. We are the only body of people who can experience and display this earth-transcending community. The impact of modernity on community was outlined, following up with the outworking of this God-centred community through: preaching, corporate prayer, prayerful and pastoral church officers and effective small groups.

This was followed by the theme: "You are a Role Model". Ian Hamilton started with 6 practical areas that we must model, ranging from a God-like catholicity through to hospitality; and David followed with men who had influenced him, from the fishmonger with a Reliant Robin to the Session Clerk.

The next two talks were on purity in the home: Ian expounded 1 Cor 6: 9-20 with helpful biblical principles and insightful practical advice, including the importance of family worship; David spoke on resisting materialism from 1 Tim 6: 3 – 21. Both talks had the strong common thread that transgression in both areas was a symptom of a greater problem: not living as we should in full closeness and devotion to Christ, or seeking his glory and honour in our lives. David did comment on what a blessing the internet was, and how one could ever prepare a sermon without it! Not to mention how you would ever be able to listen to these outstanding talks without it... In the final talk, "The Rewards of being different", Ian expounded Rom 8:29. His assertion was that the difference is being conformed to the likeness of Christ, and our ultimate reward is seeing Him become the firstborn among many brothers.

I close with a comment from an experienced pastor attending for the first time.

“This was the most helpful minister’s conference I have ever attended!”

Whether attendees or listeners on line, we have much to work through, that we might reflect Gods Glory in our Local Church Communities. Thanks to all at the conference in helping us towards that end.

Spot the odd man out...

Return to WHBC Homepage

Posted by Danny at March 13, 2007 12:26 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?