We are part of a group of churches called Commission. Each year on the August Bank Holiday weekend the UK Commission churches, together with some friends from Commission churches in other nations, gather for a weekend at Westpoint, near Exeter. We call the event Together at Westpoint. This years event was the best yet and I’m sure we will be talking about it for years to come.
Westpoint this year reminded me of five great reasons that our church exists:
1. God calls our church to be a FAMILY
It was a blessing to see so many of us there this year. Approximately 200 from our church were among the thousands who attended. It was great to spend time together and have some relaxed fun.
We were served breakfast every morning (thank you Judith and team!)
We had a great BBQ (Judith again I believe) and a fun quiz night (thank you Chris & Catherine and Thomas & Kathryn!)
We successfully lost at the various sporting events … saving me some personal embarrassment – thanks to all involved for that one!
It was great to see our church hanging out together and having fun.
2. God calls our church to SERVE
Everywhere I looked there were Grace Church people serving – serving one another and serving the event.
On our site I saw people looking out for one another and serving each other: meals cooked, children watched our for, tents put up and taken down and much more.
Across the event we had people serving in children’s work, in worship, in seminars, in stewarding, in security and much more. Special mention to Sarah Harris and team for running the threes work again this year.
3. God calls our church to WORSHIP
Of course this means worship as a lifestyle and not just singing … but weren’t the sung worship times incredible? Our band served the event so well, as did the band from Bristol.
A huge thanks to Simpson and the team for that.
4. God calls our church to make DISCIPLES
The teaching at Westpoint this year, both main stage and seminars, was outstanding. I believe many of us would call it life changing.
If you missed it here is a link to follow where you can find videos of some of the main sessions – it includes some great footage of our band leading worship too. If you were at the event, why not listen again? Once might not be enough!
Not sure where to start? I suggest the following order:
- Guy Miller’s first talk – Friday evening
- Guy’s second talk – Sunday morning
- Phil Moore’s talk – Saturday evening
- Mark Jobe’s second talk – Sunday evening
There were loads more great talks too which will come on line soon (but not yet available as I write this). When they do why not listen to them all? I’ll post the details on my Facebook and Twitter . Phil Moore’s morning Bible readings, seminars from Mark Jobe and Mick Taylor … listen to them all. You will be impacted!
5. God calls our church to EVANGELISTIC MISSION
One thing that came across clearly at the event was our calling to fulfil the Great Commission – to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. This means church planting and starting new congregations. It also means reaching out with the gospel in the places where we live and work right now.
Guy shared the new vision statement for Commission:
“To see thousands of lives transformed, through hundreds of churches, in tens of nations”
Guy went on to share our Commission “SURE” strategy:
S: Send – Adventure together to transform the world
U: Unify – Moving forwards together as one
R: Release – Empowering everyone for influence everywhere
E: Equip – Enabling everyone to think and live like Jesus
We were given a booklet with more info about it, and here is a link to a short video too. This strategy will underline our future together as Commission churches.
People responded to this call with an incredible offering – just over £600,000 given and pledged by the time I left on Monday
Two final thoughts from me
First: if you weren’t there you did miss out
There is no way to soften that for you. It was a truly incredible weekend for us as a church and as Commission. But don’t worry – booking for next year is open already. As for me and my house … we’re booked for 2017 already.
Second: THIS WILL IMPACT OUR CHURCH – and we could all feel that impact
The call to be all in (as Phil Moore put it) will mean that some will feel a call to go – to strategically relocate to pursue our calling together . Others will feel a call to change how they are living – to serve God in new ways.
I’m excited about what this year will bring!