RMCPC ‘provides four days of inspiration, envisioning, resourcing, preparing and equipping. It's a place for pioneers to refuel and gather new momentum. And it's also an inspirational opportunity for those exploring or preparing for church planting in the future. We share practical church planting strategies, give God space to shape and direct us and hear the best - and worst - stories from those who have been there and got the t-shirt. Most importantly, we hope that this time together will inspire you to develop new relationships which will serve what God is doing among us.’
I find these environments refreshing and stimulating on a number of levels and RMCPC was no different. It did all the things it says on the tin (listed above) and so when I am asked ‘what was your highlight?’ it is hard to give a succinct answer – all the above are true! However as I have reflected on the conference one things has stood out for me particularly and my reading in Acts this morning has given me a vocabulary for it! In Acts 28 Paul is heading to Rome as a prisoner, he has been shipwrecked and bitten by a viper to name a few things! In the description of his journey verse 15 says that some other Christians (‘brothers’) heard that he was coming and they travelled a fair distance to meet him and the result was that he ‘thanked God and was encouraged’ or as the ESV puts it he ‘took courage’.
Pioneering. Sacrifices. Relationships. Mutual encouragement. F.F. Bruce puts it this way ‘There are times when Christian fellowship moves one in quite a special way to “thank God and take courage”’. RMCPC’15 was such a time.
Worshipping in different languages. Meeting pioneers from different countries and contexts. Watching the generation ahead of us sharing stories of the years they have walked together and – my highlight – getting to know men and women of my generation with whom we will walk together in the coming years.
Brothers and sisters – thank you for coming together, seeing you has made me grateful and given me courage.