What an exciting and inspiring day we had at Ignite. With about eighty people attending, there was a wonderful sense of fellowship and being together, whether in the meetings, or chatting over lunch. As was said in the feedback: ‘It was just great seeing the congregations meeting together.’ ‘When can we do this again?’
Our speaker, Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, gave us three talks, leading us through the great Commission and onto the ways in which the face of mission has changed drastically in the UK over the last 40 years and how, therefore, as God’s people, the church must respond. One word that I am sure we will all have taken away with us is the word ‘Go’. ‘Go and make disciples of all peoples’. In this day and age, we can no longer expect people to come to us. God started his rescue mission when he sent Jesus and the sending has been going on ever since, but we do not go alone; it is a com-mission, ‘I am with you always.’ (Matt 28) He gives us His Holy Spirit to help, guide and empower, which both challenges and encourages us. We were reminded that it is what people see in us, not just what we say that counts. We must be vulnerable, honest, and real with them, not implying that we have readily available answers to dispense, but befriending, caring and working alongside, becoming a servant community. But also, when in this day and age so many seek after mystical or spiritual experiences, perhaps it is time to rekindle that flame of authentic mysticism in our Christian faith, that wonder of an all-powerful, all-loving God, that working of His Spirit that we can neither explain, predict, nor control.
What else can I say? We had two wonderful times of worship, which were described as ‘inspirational’, ‘refreshing’, ‘uplifting’, ‘empowering’, as we sensed God drawing us closer to Himself.
Were there things we could have done better? Of course, such as warning about parking, giving out notes for the talks, and having a cup of tea earlier in the afternoon!!
Will we do it again? I am sure we will.
Will we take what we have heard this time and allow God to direct us in His mission here in Epsom? Let us pray that as His people here at EMC, we will.
Maybe everything is best summed up by two comments from the feedback sheets:
‘It is not about coming in and getting comfortable. It’s about going out and being uncomfortable for Jesus.’
‘Now all we have to do is respond to God’s mission and let Him make the difference.’
Thank you to all who came and made it a great day.