VOX LIVE Blog: Sligo15 (Day Two)

Monday 13 July

VOX magazine is LIVE at New Wine Ireland's Sligo 15 conference this week.  Through the VOX Blog we'll be bringing you highlights each day and taking a closer look at what happens behind the scenes.  We'll find out  about New Wine Ireland's passion for God's Kingdom and discovering about their focus on Worship, Prayer, Outreach and Kids Ministry.

08.15 Good morning Sligo!  It might be raining outside but it is a great day to start with prayer in the "Sanctuary" - a quiet room in the corner of the Kids venue.

09.20 The Arena is buzzing with expectation as we wait for the start of the Morning Bible Session with Greg Venables. Greg and his wife Sylvia have been missionaries in South America for 37 years.  Greg has been Bishop of Argentina since 2000.

"High and lifted up" - praising God together.

Time to Grow Up

10.08 Greg Venables shares from 1 Corinthians 14:20:  The main purpose of delving deep into God's word is to become mature!  There is nothing wrong with being childlike but there is something tragically wrong with being childish.

God wants to change your way of thinking so that you begin to think like Him.  And you will begin to do what He wants you to do and to feel what He feels.  If the church doesn’t get out and start being the church, what is going to happen to this world.  Jesus told His disciples, “I want you to GO not to stay.”

10.25 Don’t abandon the basics.  You can grow from them.  What is the foundation of your life?  Your foundation is where you go in the worst moment in your life.  All human foundations fail.  There is only one real foundation - Jesus!

Vital lesson from my mother about buttoning a shirt, “Gregory, put the first button into the first buttonhole and the rest of the buttons will be fine.” Jesus wants to be your first love. That's the first button in the first buttonhole.  Get that right and everything else will fall into place.

“Lord, your word is crystal clear that there is only one foundation.  We want to get that right before we move on to anything else.” 

Read a summary of Greg's message here: First things first.

George Newell, Willowfield Parish Church

George Newell, Willowfield Parish Church

1.45 Mission Focussed Church

George Newell shares: "We decided to do a door to door visitation of our parish.   I’m not really into door to door but felt God was telling us to do this!  We took an idea from Vineyard in Coleraine - asking people three simple questions.  

We started in December and the first time we went out a the very first door, a girl gave her life to the Lord.  It surprised me!  

One Saturday afternoon I was just walking about and a girl came out of her house.  She  asked, “What are you doing?”  She had given her life to the Lord years ago but had drifted away.  "I’m not sure God is real anymore," she said.  So I asked, "Can I just pray for you?"

God just came and touched her life and she burst into tears.  Immediately she knew that God was real. "You mght have wandered away from God but He has always been close to you," I told her. The presence of God just impacted this lady’s life.

John Dickinson, Carnmoney Presbyterian 

John Dickinson, Carnmoney Presbyterian 

12.15 John Dickinson shared how his church  made a strategic decision to do evangelism all year round (not just as part of a week of outreach):

I've discovered if you give people the opportunity to come to faith... even in church... they do!  What sits behind an effective evangelism strategy is the heart and head of the leader or leaders.

Heart:  You have to really want this!  When God melted my heart and gave me a desperate hunger in my heart to see people come to faith, then He began to bring people to me. 

Head:  If you don’t anticipate that people are going to come to faith, people don’t come to faith! We need to make plans about what we are gong to do with the people who respond!  

14.24 Lunch over and it's off to the afternoon seminars. Peter Lynas, the Director of Evangelical Northern Ireland looks at Kingdom Culture.  His first question is, "What is your story?"

Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance NI

Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance NI

Narrative is our culture’s currency - he who tells the best story wins. Too often Christians are telling half a story instead of the full story.   The full story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration is simplified to sin and the cross and we have lost cultural influence. 

The Biblical narrative cuts right across the world's narrative.  There is a creator and we are created for a reason; not for a random collection of “isms” but with an identity, for a particular set of relationships and with a purpose.

The big picture: Kingdom CULTURE

  • Chaos to Order (creating order and stability)
  • Emptiness to Life (creativity)
  • Bondage to Freedom (setting people free)
  • Desert to Abundance
  • Responding to idolatry and injustice
  • Death to Life
  • Heaven to Earth

19.00 All set for the evening celebration tonight.  Looking forward to hearing John Derneborg - a pastor from Sweden.

New Wine Ireland is purpose-driven but presence-focused - David McClay

19.59 "Nothing compares with Him."  David McClay introduces John Derneborg as he comes to share this evening.  Starting with stories of God's healing power this year and two years ago at the Sligo conference.

20.13 Reading from Daniel chapter 5.  Daniel was a man in whom was the Spirit of the Holy God.  The people had rebelled against God despite of many prophecies and warnings.   Because of that God had placed them in Babylon.  Daniel was not defeated.  He lived in a different realm and spent time in God's presence.  As a result, he lived a life full of opportunities.

God has given you a sphere of influence and whatever field you are in, you can bring God's glory to that place!

20.30 Why is it that some people can be in a meeting where God is moving and yet they find it harder to receive?  There is no simple answer.  It starts with a decision, “God, I need you.  I’m hungry for you.  Do something new in my live.  I want you to be part of what you are doing in this nation.  In my city or town and in my workplace.” To receive from God, you don’t receive more because you do something.  Sometimes we are so busy doing things.  It is important to stay in His presence and let Him do what He wants to do.

When the church was born, God opened heaven over us in a new way.  I believe there is an open heaven over us tonight.  In Ephesians, it says we shall be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit.  

Read a summary of John Derneborg's message here: Changing the Atmosphere.

20.37 Ministry time at Sligo15 as we wait on God.