This week I got a flyer for another Christian conference…
I like Christian conferences. I’ve helped run them. In short there’s generally good teaching, opportunity to meet with friends, meet new people and leave feeling encouraged to keep going as a Christian. I might even attend multiple conferences.
So far this year I’ve been encouraged to go on conferences or day events about; the gospel, church planting, pastoral care, preaching, sexuality, prayer, the CofE, evangelism, leadership, youth ministry, music ministry, student ministry, urban ministry, rural ministry (no doubt suburban ministry is next) not to mention the larger events like New Word Alive, Bible by the Beach and Keswick. Now these are just some of the Christian conferences/events represented by Conservative Evangelical Christians in the UK.
In broader evangelicalism in the UK there are plenty more conferences… Spring Harvest, Soul Survivor, Momentum, New Day, New Wine, Youthwork Conference, Youthwork summit, HTB Leaders, EA… and many more that I’ve never heard of. Yes I know each conference has it’s distinctives, different flavours and emphasis, but young get the feeling there’s a lot of replication going on.
Do we need all these conferences? Could we not work together? I love the idea behind Together for the Gospel, an Independent Charismatic, Presbyterian and South Baptist working together for the sake of the gospel and to serve the church. Can we find any similar unity in the UK? I was encouraged when New Word Alive began… there were all sorts of people there and support from Newfrontiers and Soul Survivor… they don’t seem to be there any more, why not? Show me something that comes close… I doubt whether you could find four leading Conservative Evangelical with different approaches to ministry who would work together on something like this… let alone anything broader!
Why do we seem more in to empire building than kingdom building?
Why do we seem more concerned with our names than Jesus’ name?
Why do we find it so hard to show our unity?
* The flyer pictured is only representative as it was the latest one I received. Not a particular verdict on that event.