“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.
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.