Stonnington Baptist Website 
 Recent Forum Posts 

View All Forums ...

Sheffield Conference - Day One

The day started with worship and a morning devotion from Mike Breen.  Then it was off to one of the various streams teaching about lifeshapes.  The lifeshape focussed on was the triangle which is about the three dimensions of life - UP with God(discipleship worship etc.), IN with the community (church family etc) and OUT with the wider world (showing God's love through words and deeds).  I coudn't figure out how to embed the Youtube video but go to youtube and search for 'james blunt triangle sesame street'.  Then Mick Woodhead expanded on Mike's devotion about the two key themes that wind their way through the bible - Kingdom (which is about doing, responsibility etc) and Covenant (which is about relationship, identiy, being etc.)  In the last session for the day Paul Maconochie talked about how they do the OUT dimension at his church particularly with mid sized groups reaching out to different people.  We will get a chance to participate in some of their out activies in the next few days.  Here are some of our specific thoughts:



I am feeling a bit weary at the end of the day but excited by the teaching. David has asked me to dig out a profound thought for the day so here it is: it has struck me that lifeshapes is very logical in its application and foundation. By that I mean that the shapes themselves are based on solid biblical teaching but are incredibly applicable to everyday life. Their beauty is in their simplicity but they are incredibly challenging to ponder their application in my life ie is my life in balance with how God wants me to live. More teaching tomorrow and more opportunity to hear from God.  



Like Chris, I'm also feeling tired, but grateful to have travelled the long distance.  Coming together with around 200 other Christians from all over the world is both bizarre & fabulous.  Our meeting place is a converted warehouse, but with great facilities.  The English certainly love their tea breaks & know how to eat.  Anyway, one of the things that struck me today was how clearly Jesus lived out the triangle. Luke 6:12-20  records how Jesus spent time up on the mountain top with God (UP), then he went down & spent time with the disciples (IN) & then went down & made himself available to the crowds (OUT).  The triangle is such a simple tool!



A simple application of the triangle is to ask yourself which is your strongest area (Up, In, or Out) at the moment, which is your weakest area at the moment and then unpack why that is.  If you are feeling particularly stressed at the moment take time to think - how is my relationship with God, with the significant people in my life (spouse, children etc), and with the wider community.  If we are weak in the UP we can burnout, if we are weak in the IN we can become isolated and lonely, and if we are weak in the OUT we can be ineffective.


I was challenged by the idea that ministers often major on the kingdom theme (doing) and don't focus enough on the covenant theme (being).  When we are in a healthy place our doing flows out of and is energised by our being - our identity in God, our relationship with God, the receiving of His grace etc.


In the second and third sessions I was challenged by Paul's testimony in 1 Cor 2:4 and 1 Thes 1:5 that his ministry was not just in persuasive words but had demonstrations of the  Spirit's power.  What do you think that means for us at Stonnington?


One of the great ideas that the church had for getting as many people as possible involved in mission was to have a variety of activities that required a range of commitments.  Some high commitment mission groups moved to poor areas to live with people while some lower commitment groups reached out to people with common interests in outdoor sports through hiking, rock climbing, riding etc.


David Wanstall, 10/06/2008