The final one Last week marked the end of the TOAM conferences in Brighton, the home city of Terry Virgo, founder of Newfrontiers. The first biennial Leadership Conference was in 1990, but after the Stoneleigh Bible Week ended we started to hold them annually, from 2002, combining them with Students and Twenties under the banner of Mobilise. Three years ago Mark Driscoll, our guest speaker from Seattle, USA, challenged us to prepare for transition to the next generation of leadership. He suggested allowing five years to accomplish this. Prophetic leading Obedient to what we believed was a word from God we have worked steadily seeking Him for guidance and planning for the future. This final TOAM marked an important turning point in that process. There is still much to do in the way of implementation but we believe we have now entered a new era. Indeed this was emphasised through prophecies such as ‘this conference is a “coming of age” party’, and that Newfrontiers history has been like acts in a play, three acts being: the era of Downs Bible Week (79-88), the era of Stoneleigh Bible Week (91-01), the era of TOAM Conferences (02-11). Now the curtain has fallen and angels are radically changing the scenery for the next act. This morning we had our weekly CCK church staff prayer meeting and, being the first after the final TOAM, we gave opportunity for everybody to say what the conference had meant to them. Since I see the conference from such a particular angle I thought you would be encouraged to read some of their comments; mine would bring quite an administrative edge (though I am proud of my team who did a superb job!). So here goes:
- The wonderful teaching and preaching, including Terry sharing his heart on the final afternoon as the father of the movement.
- Amazing to see the growth of Newfrontiers from an acorn to a forest of worldwide mission (referring to the soon-to-be-released videos showing the growth using the imagery of an acorn to a forest).
- The impact of the evening of prayer when, with vision being presented from around the world, we looked at the future and prayed for each situation, ending with prayer for those men and their wives who are leading apostolic spheres into the next season.
- The way that the public ‘ministry’ dove-tailed together and was to such a high standard
- The excitement of seeing students caught up with a sense of worldwide mission.
- Passing of the baton with the runner in the previous ‘leg’ shouting encouragement to the next runner.
- The tangible presence of God as we met Him in worship
- A recent addition to the staff felt caught up in the Newfrontiers history like a child when he hears about his parents’ wedding – his own roots.
- The grace being communicated by team members over the organisers’ radio network when things were ‘challenging’ (you would be surprised what goes on behind the scenes when all appears to be going smoothly!)
- The joy of seeing some who had been students in CCK returning as church leaders from different parts of the world.
And so it went on. Everyone had a different perspective but what was clear was the fact that God, through His Spirit, was very active. What more could we want? It is always easy to say that the most recent conference was ‘the best ever’. On this occasion I think there would be no dispute from those who attended (4,500 on the prayer night) and that we shall look back on it as a fulcrum in the history of Newfrontiers. You too can benefit! To enjoy some of the ministry I encourage you to download either main sessions or the equipping Tracks and Seminars here>>. There was some powerful, impacting and relevant teaching.