Monday, August 11, 2008

Thoughts on New Wine

New Wine is one of the principle gatherings of the charismatic/evangelical community each year. Many of the leaders are Anglican ministers (by the skin of their teeth these days?) but much of the theology is Wimber/Vineyard.

Commuting over to Shepton Mallett meant we had to look carefully through the brochure each night and decide what we really wanted to go to the next day. End result was that we went to fewer things than last year but they were all pretty good.

A couple of the more theological seminars by the wonderfully named Crispin Fletcher-Louis were excellent in helping to build an understanding of Word and Spirit that did more justice to Word than New Wine usually manages.

John Peters on Ephesians had some good insights. He translated the lists of leadership gifts in the New Testament into just three for 2008 - adventurers, thinkers and carers. Churches, he said, should be run by adventurers with a carer hanging on one leg (to look after people) and a thinker on the other (to do process and make it all legal).

Mike Fuller's 50 minute guides (complete histories) to church, religion and the Bible were excellent. They are downloadable from his website.

Worship was lively (we did Venue 2 not main venue) but I think we are going through a phase of Christian history where the tunes are good but the lyrics are trite - from time to time it is good to sing a bit of doctrine. Where are the poets and lyricists?

Our church had nearly 30 there this year but I think the weather may have put some of them off. Camping with children is a bit tricky in the rain.

I think I remain more convinced than ever that if Trendlewood Church is going to renew and grow it will be God's work not mine but I come away from New Wine feeling a little more fervent in my desire to ask him to do that.

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