Why Pastors should support #EQUIP

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3

I have just returned from an inspiring two days at the Welsh Leadership Forum EQUIP conference.

Last year was a great success with world renowned speakers Os Guinness and John Lennox bringing many to attend the launch.  They were excellent to hear, but for me the content this year spoke far more directly to the needs of our mission field in Wales. 

But, however rich and applicable the content was, it was nothing compared to the feedback I received from our church ministry team who left feeling; valued, uplifted, empowered, inspired and confident in the gospel.

And this is what EQUIP is all about.

I fear that Church leaders and Pastors are far to quick to dismiss EQUIP because it does not have the theological depth of other conferences but this is not what EQUIP is about.

Although it is a real blessing for Pastors, the focus is not on us.

The Welsh Leadership Forum designed EQUIP to help and support the hundreds of volunteers who help run our; Youth Clubs, Sunday schools, and home groups. It is for our ministry leaders, elders and deacons, volunteers and our wives. 

EQUIP provides a fantastic and affordable opportunity for our closest and most committed church members to network and learn from their peers, rather than receiving second-hand, filtered information that we gather from a plethora of Ministers conferences that we attend.

Noddfa EQUP

Some of the Noddfa Church crew at EQUIP

 

We are a relatively small church in the Welsh Valleys, yet managed to bring ten people to the event over the two days and it was a pleasure to support and share in their learning as “Pastor”.

I know that they will all be better and more confident in their ministries as a result of this week.

My wife returned home filled with practical ideals for Sunday school and was excited to share them with the wider team, it was lovely to see her face beam with such enthusiasm that I have when returning from other conferences. She thoroughly enjoyed the conference and I pray that others from the church will come with us next year.

I pray that next year many more Pastors will embrace the conference and bring their weary and hardworking flock to the good grass and still waters of the EQUIP conference so that they to maybe refreshed.

Welsh Leadership Forum EQUIP

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Come Lord Jesus! A Biblical Theology of the Second Coming of Christ

Come Lord Jesus! A Biblical Theology of the Second Coming of Christ by Stephen Motyer APOLLOS (IVP) London 2016

This well researched study has been a companion of mine for the last few weeks, taking in a chapter at a time when the moment allows.

The book attempts to stimulate thought on what is a contentious (and thus often neglected topic), the Lord’s second coming.

Motyer achieves this ambition in a surprisingly accessible way, inviting all to come to the relevant scriptures (fourteen passages in total), putting their millennial dispositions aside and letting God’s Word speak for itself without influence.

The book is honest and conversational in approach with helpful footnotes to explore. The study is split into two parts; the first sets the Biblical foundations of the subject in the Old Testament, the second part progresses the applications and foresight of Jesus’ second coming found in the New Testament.

There are many key themes throughout the study that are applied to the selected scriptures. In particular the ‘meaning of time’ and how to interpret the various visions, either as Chronos (‘time’ on a watch) or Kairos (we had a great ‘time’).

Motyer helpfully welcomes into the discourse various views from renowned scholars such as Augustine and Martin Luther to the more contemporary Dale Ralph Davies and N.T. Wright, attentively explaining any misguided exposition in a respectful and considered manner.

Motyer’s conversational approach and personal references throughout made me feel as if he was guiding me through the study, rather than presenting his findings. With that said, despite the enjoyment of the journey, it was not a ‘page turner’ that could be read in just a few sittings. I say this not as a criticism; the magnitude of the topics discussed should be digested slowly and devotionally, if we are even to begin to comprehend the profundity of God’s redemptive plan.

Motyer has been exceptionally honest and loving in his approach. His exegesis is superb and I believe that he met his own challenge of writing a biblical theology of the second coming that is true to scripture without excluding or offending readers from whatever eschatological positions that they may have.

Motyer does extremely well to tackle the hugely complex and profound subject matter of the second coming and packages the content in a way that is not restricted solely to the scholarly elite. But I do feel the book is better suited for the Pastor’s shelf rather than the broader Christian market. I certainly gained a lot from this book and I am very grateful to Motyer for his prayerful insight.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelations 21:5

come