REFLECTIONS ON SurgeConference 2010
We had titled this year’s conference ‘Church Unleashed’ because we wanted the body of Christians that make up God’s church to come away from the conference effectively mobilised or ‘unleashed’ with a genuine conviction to serve our risen Lord Jesus.
It was a really fun, inspiring and challenging weekend. So what exactly happened??
Steve Chong was the speaker for the evening. He addressed some of the dangers that we need to be wary of when we come along to a conference that encourages self-reflection and is also related to the often controversial topic of ‘gifts’. This quite helpfully set up our expectations for the weekend and put us in the right mindset. After this we filled out the SURGE questionnaire which helped us reflect on our life of service and provided questions to help us understand ‘who God has created us to be’- our personality, our gifts etc.
Al Stewart spoke in the first session. He spoke from 1 Corinthians 12 reminding us that the body of Christ has so much diversity and within the body there is no room for envy or pride. He left us wanting to find out more about our place within the body and where we should be serving
Steve Chong then took on the 2nd session of the morning by giving us a helpful framework to think about our own life of service and the interplay between gifts, desires and opportunities.
We had four different electives to choose from. The electives were run by Keith and Sarah Condie on offering one-on-one counsel, Trevor Hodge on music ministry, Eugene Hor on church planting, and Martin Garcia on encouragement. People also had the opportunity to be involved in ‘SURGEtalk’ where they got to meet one to one with mentors and talk through various issues related to serving in their personal context.
Saturday night was a fun and relaxed time of singing and a question time with our 2 speakers- great job guys with answering some pretty tough questions!!
Al Stewart spoke to us on the topic ‘Unleashing the Greatest Gift’. He focussed on 1 Corinthians 13 reminding us that ultimately what should guide our decisions when it comes to service is ‘love’ – love allows us to helpfully balance the interplay between gifts, desires and needs/opportunities in our personal context.
We then wrapped up the weekend by networking in various groups – firstly we gathered together with people of a similar thinking style to our own, enabling us to add another dimension to the person God has made us, but also to then better understand how this impacts where and how we serve. We brainstormed opportunities ‘outside the box’ to help open our eyes to the many ways we can potentially serve.
At Surge we want to bless, and bring the focus back to, the local church. So our last segment of the conference involved networking within our church groups to reflect and share what action we would now take to put into practice what we have learnt. This was a refreshing time with people renewed in their understanding of who they are, an appreciation of the differences others bring, and how they can work together to build God’s church!
Who were our Speakers?
Al Stewart met two people at uni who changed his life- he has been following Jesus for 30 years, and married to Kathy for 28. They have 4 grown up kids, 3 daughters and a son. He has been in fulltime christian work for just over 20 years. Al’s great passion in life is to see people come to know Jesus as their Lord and saviour, and see their lives transformed. “It’s a great privilege to be part of Surge, and help people understand how Jesus has gifted them, and so how they can best serve Him.”
Steve Chong is married to the beautiful Naomi and is father to two gorgeous boys, Reuben & Jacob. He is the lead pastor at Kirkplace (a presbyterian church in Kogarah) and he is the director of the RICE movement. Steve’s wife says he is long-winded but he has just discovered twitter and is learning rapidly to express himself in under 140 characters! He loves this city and prays that God might renew and mobilise the church so that we see might see revival as people respond to the news that Jesus is Lord. Perhaps his greatest passion in ministry is seeing people use their God-given gifts to serve Jesus with all their heart and so he is particularly excited about the upcoming Surge conference and hopes you’ll come along!
Why should you come along to SurgeConference 2011?
We can’t give away too much about SurgeConference 2011. All we can say is that it is going to look very different . This is as a lot of the material we covered this year was foundational material that we want all first timers to go through. SurgeConference 2010 has set the platform off which God-willing we will build many exciting new ventures in the years to come. STAY TUNED!!