Susie’s Conference Takeaways

Conference Takeaways Rectangle

Conference’s come with mixed blessing’s and navigating the mix can be tricky. I have just returned from Catalyst Festival 2015. Along with around 4,000 attendees from across the UK, the bravest amongst us camped. Myself, my husband Jon and youngest daughter, chose to take refuge in a local Premier Inn, rather than brave the elements – weather or otherwise! We left our two eldest daughters at home, revising?!

So what did I takeaway?

Apart from the morning and evening meetings, the majority of time was spent with church family, on Yellow 8! And what a family! Time to mooch about with this outstanding community of believers has to be the most precious part of the entire event. Being brave in conversation and sharing what you really feel, is essential. It is wonderful discovering that even though others are not walking your path, they love you and want listen and even have similar experiences as they grapple with their own challenges and those of ones they love. Everyone is included. Blankets, hot water bottles and meals are shared and it truly is love in action. The whole thing bobs along delightfully and relationships deepen in its embrace.

Inevitably, the meetings are not everyone’s cup of tea. Movements paint with a broad brush and detail is impossible. It is vital to understand the heart and passion of those in the forefront and not to be offended if your own unique perspective isn’t covered. I am a passionate, called, creative. Sadly, the creative movement championed by Catalyst has a different emphasis to mine, but that’s ok. I’m not there to be ‘stroked’ and ‘applauded.’ I’m there to be ‘stoked’ and ‘equipped’. This I got in bucket loads!

What did I hear?

I heard that this is a season of ‘revelation’ and ‘exploration’. What did that mean to me? It means that it is right to be leaning in to the voice, equipping and fellowship of the Holy Spirit – for the ADVENTURE! I heard that the Holy Spirit will ‘remain’ on me. Never leaving or abandoning me. I heard that I am loved, passionately by the Father. That he kisses me with affection and delight. That I am His favourite. I can get things wrong in the adventure and it’s ok. The more I understand who the ‘Father’ is – the more I will understand who ‘I’ am on the adventure.

I heard that the river of God isn’t meant to get stuck in the church – it is for the nations! It is the Kingdom of God flowing through us – the church – bringing hope and transformation to the world beyond our pews: justice, fulfillment, delight, peace, joyful wonder and wholeness. The way things ought to be. This gets me excited!

I heard that we need to invest in the future of Christianity – that seeing ‘Kingdom’ flood into the nations will require the best. Sometimes I wonder if I should be giving more to the local church. But now I know that it is right to be investing in the world ‘out there’ – beyond the pews. Life in the wind and waves. This is what I am called for. I can be myself and know I am in the ‘will of God.’

Lastly, I heard that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It starts small and it grows up to be something big in the end. There is a kids poetry book we read at home that states, ‘it takes a lot of slow, to grow.’ It will take time. So make a cup of tea and breath deep. There is peace for us, called ones! We’ll be needing more friends, blankets, hot water bottles and meals on this journey.

Thanks to… Josie Pride and Carly Spear for the photo.

For their awesome preaches… Julian Adams/Andy McCullock/Andrew Wilson/Terry Virgo – available for download on the Catalyst web site soon. Will let you know when I hear.

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