Moving Forward – Bacon Butty Men’s Conference at Cleveleys Community Church
On Saturday 12th November 12 of the men from The Gatehouse Church joined with about 40 men, mainly from local Elim churches, for the first of what I hope will be regular men’s conferences in the area.
Thanks are due to Stephen Scholes and the team at Cleveleys Community Church for hosting the event and feeding us so well and leading us in worship. One of the highlights of the day was being part of a 40 strong group of men, worshipping the Lord together – it was a very special time. There was such sincerity and openness to the Lord and we all were touched by it.
Kevin Peat, Elim’s regional leader for the North West England and a member of the National Leadership team was the main speaker. He ministered in a very down to earth and practical way – this was particularly appreciated as he was still suffering, having been in a head on car crash only two days before. Thanks Kevin – we value what you gave to us.
The theme of the day was ‘Moving Forward’. Kevin started by looking at where men are at in different decades of their lives and explaining that moving forward for someone in their 20’s will look very different to someone in their 70’s. This had us all smiling as we recognised ourselves! He finished off the session with a look at the four men with leprosy in 2 Kings 7. They could not go back into the city, or stay where they were but had to take their only possible move which was forward, even though it was risky. By taking a step forward they saw God’s victory and were able to share good news with others. The application in our own lives is clear.
The second section before lunch briefly looked at the story of the sinful woman in Luke 7 who approached Jesus. As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His with feet her tears and wipe them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume. We were encouraged to look at our personal walk with the Lord, be expectant, to worship and to serve. By going back to that intimacy, we have a new sense of life, giving us what we need to move forward in our walk as Christian men.
After the hotpot and red cabbage, Kevin used Gideon (Judges 8:1-4,22-23) to highlight some main causes of Christian men not moving forward. The first one was ‘criticism’, which will inevitably come your way if you desire to move forward with God. The second is ‘exhaustion’ which can be countered by remembering the voice of God, the victories you have already seen and the vision that you are working towards.
The final obstacle to moving forward was ‘flattery’, which involves looking and receiving praise from people rather than following what God has called you to do.
All I can say is, that everyone I spoke to came away from the day invigorated and inspired.
Oh…………….. not forgetting to mention that 4 or 5 men responded to the Gospel appeal!