|Christ Is All|
|Written by Administrator|
|Monday, 12 December 2011 01:53|
2011 Delegates Meeting and European Christian Conference
"Christ Is All"
Over 700 disciples gathered in Budapest, Hungary, during the week of November 30 - December 4 to pray, preach, sing, fellowship and talk about Jesus, who is all and is in all (Colossians 3:11).
Starting on Wednesday, November 30, over 100 came together from around the world as delegates in our family of churches (now numbering 614 churches in about 150 nations). This group, along with several observers, heard lessons on faith, unity, discipling and the mission. They also discussed important kingdom topics like a united training curriculum, missions vision and finances, and more.
Speakers from across the globe like Koko Enrile (Philippines), Randy McKean (Northern Virginia), Justin Renton (South Africa), and Mike Taliaferro (San Antonio, Texas) pointed to our Savior as the one who can hold us together and change the world around us. Proposals were formulated and discussed in lively group discussions. Every age grouping was prayed for and talked about (from empty nesters to youth and family) and all kinds of plans were put on the table (worldwide days of prayer and fasting, conflict resolution scenarios, etc.)
Newly-esteemed prayer warrior, Justin Renton, even asked God for snow in one rash prayer request on the first morning of our meetings. He was answered the following morning by the flakes he so desired and is now seen as "the one to whom God replies." During breakfast, lunch and supper breaks, all kinds of pairings for fellowship broke off to continue to act as ligaments in the worldwide body of Christ. Languages from around the world were represented and friendships past and present reinvigorated.
The delegates meeting was certainly a spiritual high, but it was not to finish this memorable Hungarian happening. On Friday, the European Christian Conference began in earnest. First, leaders from across this great continent convened to hear from evangelists like Joe Silipo (Milan), Kevin Mains (LA) and John Louis (Singapore).
On Friday night, from England, Albania, Denmark and Romania they came. Disciples poured in from France, Switzerland, Germany and Croatia. Others arrived from the US, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Holland. Certainly this list is incomplete. European disciples filled the conference hall to praise God's name in song and hear Christ's name praised. Peti Szabad (conference chairman and evangelist in Budapest) and Maher al Hinn (Amman, Jordan, evangelist) were the keynote speakers for the first night. With English as the preached language, but multiple translators being used, each follower of Christ was convicted and inspired by the things we heard.
Saturday was full of classes and separate sessions for men and women. Special songs and videos moved our hearts closer to the cross. A multitude of brothers and sisters led us in courses on every theme imaginable - humility and vulnerability, an overview of Colossians, character development, etc.
Sunday morning was to be the grand finale as we all met together. It did not disappoint. With a German songleader surrounded by musicians from all over Europe, voices of gratitude and conviction filled the hall. Wil Horwood (London), Shawn Wooten (Kiev, Ukraine) and others shared short thoughts or lessons during the service time. Boston evangelist Douglas Arthur preached the word from Colossians and used his typical "make ‘em laugh and cry" approach while challenging us to pray for open doors, preach it clearly and share with the souls God sends our way (Colossians 4:2-6).
As the week ended, a massive scattering took place. Most traveled home. Many took advantage of the time in Europe to go by and visit a sister congregation (to preach, sight-see or just learn more).
There can't be too many other conferences that bring together this many different languages. Certainly cultures and lifestyles are very diverse in the examples of disciples we met, but we are bound together by Christ. And He is All. May we proclaim Him and love one another deeply in the process. Let's keep praying for all the hearts and souls living in Europe and all over this world, which now counts over 7 billion people as its population.
Jimmy Allen, Hartford Church of Christ