Every year thousands from churches like ours head to Exeter for a long weekend in August. For 5 days we enjoy a packed programme, with activities for all ages. Why go to Westpoint? My top 10 reasons:
- People who attend Westpoint join with thousands of others to worship God in joyful and exuberant praise – a foretaste of heaven!
- Children and young people attend groups tailored to their ages, experience lively worship and great bible teaching. Each year dozens of them become followers of Christ and experience the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
- It is an opportunity to hear great teaching from excellent bible teachers who bring expertise not available in the local church. As well as the main meetings and daily bible readings, there is also a seminar programme that addresses relevant issues that impact daily living as a believer.
- It is the best opportunity for us as a church family to connect with other churches in our movement and get caught up in the bigger, worldwide vision of Commission.
- It provides time for us to spend a few days away together building friendship and deepening relationships.
- The festival zone includes a bookshop, craft stalls and exhibitors from various Christian organisations.
- Want to learn a new skill or chill out? There are workshops, cinema showings, live music, quiz and comedy nights; whichever takes your fancy.
- The weather is always fantastic! Well that may not be strictly true, but over the years it has mostly stayed dry and gathering together in our marquee during the showers helps us bond.
- You can choose accommodation to suit your budget and style. Camping is cheapest, which most people opt for; caravanning is another way to stay on site, whether you bring your own or hire one. There are also plenty of guest houses and B&Bs nearby.
- As a Commission church, going to Westpoint is what we do.
I am looking forward to our largest group yet attending in 2016. Please plan your year around Westpoint 2106 and put the dates in your diary now (25th – 29th August). Book now to get the early bird prices and spread your payments out over the year if you wish.
This blog post featured in the October 2015 edition of Lifelines
It is good to be back in the office after the summer. As I sit here reflecting it seems incredible that it is now 2 years since I left teaching to work for the church fulltime. Then I was sat in the cold, damp, wooden hut that had been home to the church for several decades. This time last year I was in the new premises but it was still a building site with all the commotion and stress that entailed. The experience today is much different as we have settled into the new building and enjoy the warm modern facilities that it offers. These last two years have probably the happiest and most fulfilling of my life so far. I am constantly overwhelmed by your seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm to support the various activities of Life Church—there are far too many things to run through here but I am sure you have your own list in mind.
Most recently many of us have shared together in the highly fruitful Newday and Westpoint events. These are always excellent times of teaching and worship and you can read more later in Lifelines. For me the highlight of the summer has been being midwife at the birth of 4 new believers! There is no greater joy than seeing someone come into the kingdom of God and becoming a ‘follower of Jesus’. Combine that privilege with some excellent teaching from PJ Smyth which I heard twice at Newday and Westpoint and it has rekindled a desire and expectation to see people becoming followers of Christ. PJ’s observation that churches have a tendency to drift from mission to maintenance is sad but true. Bottom line however is that Jesus has commissioned us to make followers of him. I am thrilled that over the summer 8 people connected to Life Church have crossed the line and made a decision for Christ. Christ is not looking for people simply make a decision and get the label ‘Christian’ but that we all genuinely become followers—a lifetime journey for each of us!
Any midwife will tell you that childbirth doesn’t run to tidy schedule and timelines, the call can come at anytime day or night. The challenge for us is not to develop new programmes so much as to ensure that everything we already do is shaped by the expectation and desire that it will result in helping people follow Jesus. Whatever your role in Life Church, whatever your daily routine, please join me in praying that we will all be called upon to be midwives and parents to birth and raise followers of Jesus.
This blog post featured in the September 2012 edition of Lifelines