For those who are interested we had a fantastic weekend away as a family in Eastbourne - very refreshing and good fun to have time away with just the 5 of us - to be recommended. I can stil beat Zak at tennis which is reassuring - not sure for how much longer though! I've already listensed to Lee's preach from Sunday morning on the podcast, Ben's in the evening is next. Lee was very good and sounds like they both got a great response with the bell being rung in the office on Tuesday.
For the next two days I'm at a Newfrontiers gathering of leaders of larger churches, looking at how to grow past the thousand mark. There are about 15 of us there, all with churches between 200 and 800 people in attendance on a Sunday. If you know me you'll know that stuff like this really makes me buzz so I'm looking forward to it. The meeting is at Steve Tibbert's church in Catford - my sister Lucy lives just down the road in Forest Hill so I'm seeing her tonight which I'm looking forward to too.
Talking of Newfrontiers I thought I'd give a mention to the the Newfrontiers Social Action Conference will be taking place in The Kerith Centre on Saturday 26th April . This is being organised by Simon Allen who is one of Ben Davies' sons in law (I'm sure someone will correct me on where the apostrophes should have gone there) who is also based at King's Church Catford (I'm more confident about that one!). Please can I encourage you to have a look at the conference content and see whether this is something which you would benefit from attending.
This conference was held at The Kerith Centre two years ago and was very well received by those who went. On that occasion we ran lots of the conference such as the car parking, welcoming, stewarding, musicians and the technical crew. A number of people have asked me why we aren't doing that this time around and instead are treating it more like an outside booking. The primary reason was that as we looked at the list of Saturday events we are running in the first half of 2008 such as the HIV/AIDS conference, the Gordon MacDonald Men's day, Unique and United breakfasts and various weddings I felt it would be too much to ask our army of volunteers to turn out to support yet another event. That's always a tricky call and it would have been great to have offered to do more, but I do feel that God is saying to us that sometimes "less is more" and this felt like one of those occasions.
Also just to highlight the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th October at The Kerith Centre. The speaker lineup looks fantastic. For me I'm particularly looking forward to hearing John Burke, author of the book "No Perfect People Allowed" which has had a profound impact on me and is, I think, beginning to shape our Kerith culture - the book is available in our bookshop so if you haven't read it why not pick up a copy on Sunday. Can I encourage you if you're a leader in any capacity to block out those two days and plan to be there at the Leadership Summit.
Hope you're having a great week and hope to catch you Sunday,