It was the final session of the New Frontiers Leadership conference. PJ Smyth was preaching and throwing out much that was hitting me.
It was our first trip with baby Rufus. He is just 4weeks old but he wanted to see how Terry would respond to Driscoll so I felt I couldn't leave him at home. By the end of the week I was pretty hazy to be honest. TV's response was as solid as it gets for me. Steady and enduring.
During the worship of the final session I looked at PJ Smyth on the platform. He looked like a boxer on his way to the ring. I think we were all ready for PJ to throw some big punches.
1. Risk. Big words for Christians 'maybe' and 'if'. The call to take risks for God like Jonathan and his armour bearer. Elephants ploughing through the jungle creating a path for others to follow have no place in a zoo. PJ quoted Rocky 3 where Mick says to Rocky, "The worst thing happened that can happen to a fighter... you got civilised." We don't want to be, "milksop". Whatever that means... We need to be comfortable with risk and uncertainty if we are to be effective on our mission. Amen PJ. "Let's gamble our lives for Christ." Jim Elliot.
2. Authority. I was in and out of this point. Know who Christ has made you to be. Let your light shine in your city.
3. Wild. Elephants are wild. Mission motivates. Mission creates structure - then changes. Mission creates leaders and gifting emerges on the way. PJ challenged us to honour gift and honour relationship and get on with it! Don't build a zoo! He finished by calling us to be undignified worshippers like David before the Lord. 2 Sam 6v14.
I was sitting rather comfortably noting down PJ's final point scribbling, "undignified." Then I heard PJ saying something along the lines of, "I'm going to become more undignified than this..." I looked up to see him shirt off, swinging it over his head! He then issued the call, "come on you young men..."
Now PJ obviously had planned this and spent months working on his guns. I am overweight and out of shape. I looked to my right and saw groups of men with shirts off dancing and celebrating. I looked to my left and saw a couple. I realised that us Exeter boys were sat down dignified and comfortable.
This is not how I want to live so the shirt came off and the dancing began.
I want to be comfortable being uncomfortable...
I want to take risks for Jesus and not care what others think...
I want to be undignified before the Lord in worship and praise...
This talk is well worth a listen. Compulsory for all young men in the Church.