We thank God for his blessings! The snow was falling as ministers and church leaders gathered for last week’s Fresh Streams Conference at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick. But there was a warmth of fellowship and God’s presence through His Spirit that left people blessed and encouraged.
Kate Coleman’s teaching was at the heart of the main sessions, applying three key questions from scripture thoughtfully and prophetically: “Where are you?” was God’s question to Adam, prompting consideration of our place on our own journey, both inwardly and outwardly; “What is in your hand?”, God’s question of Moses, was a reminder of the resources we have and how they can be (and should be) used in God’s service; finally “What do you see?”, God’s question to Jeremiah, was the catalyst for considering our vision. “Informing and inspiring”, said one hearer; she spoke with “measured authority” said another.
Current Baptist Union President Chris Duffett spoke on the first evening in his usual irrepressible style, full of encouraging stories and, more importantly, a passion for outreach and mission. The following day many entered in to the challenge and adventure of a treasure hunt, briefed by Chris. This is prophetic evangelism, requiring people to approach total strangers with the good news of God’s love to them. Some of the delegates surprised themselves by agreeing to participate; as a result, some of the good people of Alfreton and Swanwick were equally surprised!
Pete Gilbert heads DNA and is a member of Fresh Streams Core Resource team. His Tuesday evening message was a prophetic word for Fresh Streams that many also found applicable to their own personal situation, encouraging a grasping of the new rather than holding on to the past.
And there was plenty that was new at the conference! New ways of making connections with fellow guests; new ways of chatting over key issues with the speakers; discussing news ways of offering support and encouragement to those looking for this kind of input into their lives and ministry.
All this in the context of worship, of prayer ministry and prophetic words that reached a climax at the end of the conference as many left through a ‘prayer tunnel’ and received a renewed sense of God’s presence equipping them for the weeks ahead.
Here are some of the comments made by those who came to the conference:
“The first Christian conference I have attended where I felt entirely at home…”
“Excellent teaching, but also found the worship, ministry and renewal of friendships so special”
“The conference is always a wonderful time of learning from God, experiencing Him working in my life and seeing Him clearly at work in others. It always brings challenge, inspiration, information and fellowship and is a really lovely refreshing time where God always speaks and I am able to hear Him.”
“What a fantastic, refreshing and uplifting time I have had the last 3 days. I am already looking forward to the next one.”
You can purchase recordings from the conference using this 2013 Conference Recordings Order Form