Saturday, 12 January 2008

Five highlights from UCCF Staff Conference

Got back yesterday from UCCF's annual staff conference. My favourite staff conference so far - brilliant to be working for a movement that is clear in its focus, and excellent to partner alongside other brothers and sisters in the gospel. Here's five highlights from this year's conference.

  • Dick Lucas. I'd never heard Dick Lucas preach before this week. He opened up 1 John for us. One of the things that will stick in my head is a man in his mid-80s with such a freshness for God's written word. Praying the same for myself in sixty years' time
  • FRESH. Exciting to hear from Krish Kandiah about his upcoming book, FRESH (which I read whilst in draft form) and the suite of resources that will go with them. Praying that God will use this book to see many Freshers arriving at university ready to thrive from next year onward.
  • News of next year's Gospel project. 400,000 copies of Mark's Gospel placed in the hands and hearts of students across the UK. An amazing opportunity to encourage a generation of Christian students in proclamational evangelism - and dynamite going out into the world. A long way to go in fundraising, but an exciting year ahead.
  • Counselling with the gospel. I had the opportunity to go to Tim Rudge and Paula Love's training track on 'Gospel Care'. I can genuinely say that I think the teaching was life-changing both in changing my understanding of idolatry and in thinking about pastoral care and counselling. I was also very blessed by the pre-reading for this track: Paul Tripp's Instruments in the Redeemers' Hands.
  • Personal conversations. Conferences are a brilliant chance to bash ideas around others and to learn from other gifted and godly people. Fortunately I had plenty of chances to do so at this conference. Particularly blessed by chatting with Pete Williams about Old Testament narrative, Jason Clark on the emerging church and Mike Reeves on ecclesiology, as well as a whole host of personal conversations with other lovely individuals!

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