Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Passion For Your Name

I have just had two well spent days at the Passion For Your Name conference. 1200 people with hearts to worship Jesus and to learn more of how to do and live the same.

Highlights were: an hour of worship led by Mark Beswick, in a black Pentecostal style; getting to sing some of Tim Hughes' new songs; a challenge by J John to evangelise; time with friends; being prayed for; and much more besides.

In particular, as I was prayed for one evening, I felt the Lord speak to me about courage. Sometimes, I know something I want us to do as a church, but as I try to lead some new creative thing, I see a couple of scowling faces and I shrivel inside and end up doing a cautious, passionless version of the thing I intended. My courage vanishes and I am (literally) dis-couraged. I have never seen "discourage" as a "courage" word before. But surely it is: for being discouraged normally means I lose my ability to be creative as fear wraps itself around me, and being "en-couraged" again re-equips me to serve well as I have my courage renewed.

Does that make sense? I was left thinking - O Lord, give me courage! Let me not be dis-couraged and prevented from acting in faith; let me be en-couraged and enabled to be creative and fearless and a worshipper who would walk your paths after you, whatever else may be going on around. Let the scowls not win! Let the courage you give me bless the whole church here. And may we be a church that can, a place of en-couragement for all who come here, a place that builds up every member.

Let's see how that gets answered.

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