Confidence or arrogance?

Last week I was in Peterborough at the Newfrontiers Prayer & Fasting conference. This gathers around 800 Newfrontiers leaders from across the UK for 2 days of worship, prayer, fasting and seeking God. The conference happens 3 times a year and there are often significant prophetic words which come out of it.

This time, I was particularly taken by a prophetic word brought by Neville Jones from Brighton. He felt God speak about not being so afraid of arrogance that we lose our confidence.  Here is some of what he said…

Neville felt God was saying: “I want to speak to you about confidence in God. Some of you are so frightened of arrogance that you’ve thrown out your confidence. I want to say to you, you can’t be too confident in me. You can’t be too confident in a God who saved you. I didn’t come to you when you were slumbering; I came to you when you were dead. Dead people can’t wake themselves up. I have come to you and woken you up. …. Surely you can have confidence in me….. I’m not calling you to triumphalism but truth…. I’m coming to you again today. It’s not arrogance but confidence.”

The line between confidence and arrogance is a very fine one. I know there have been times I have crossed from confidence into arrogance and similarly, there have also been times when I have held back and not been as confident as God intended.

I think the difference is to do with what you put your hope and trust in. If your hope and trust is in your own ability or skills, that can lead you into arrogance. However, if your hope and trust is in God, and in His ability, then you can come away with confidence; not in yourself, but in Him. This is very different to arrogance.

Becoming arrogant is not good and not honouring to God. But losing your confidence is not good and not honouring to God either. God calls us to have a resolute and unshakeable confidence in Him, and then to live in the good of it, that we might accomplish all that He intends – for His glory. Let’s be confident in a great and mighty God who loves us and wants us to be confident in Him!

Reflections on Together on a Mission 2009

It’s been a few weeks now since this year’s Together on a Mission conference. I’ve been meaning to post some comments for a while, but, as ever, life has been busy. I do wonder, those prolific bloggers – how do they get the time?! Anyway, I digress… Brighton…

I have to say, I thought it was great! Terry (Virgo) was outstanding, talking about the history and future of Newfrontiers. He reminded us of some of the things that are important to us as a movement and encouraged us to hold on to these as we move forward. These talks are well worth a listen (free download here) whether you’re new to Newfrontiers or have been around for years.

For the training track, I signed up to the one on preaching with John Hosier, Greg Haslam and Mbonisi Malaba (Bones). This was superb – really practical and very challening! I will be going through the notes with our other preachers at Jubilee.

PJ Smyth closed the conference with an excellent message about keeping it RAW (take Risks, have Authority and be Wild).

Conferences like this remind us of the strengths that are gained from being part of a worldwide family of churches. We are much stronger together than we are apart.

Reflections on 40 years of Christian Leadership (by John Hosier)

Last Sunday was John Hosier’s final preaching Sunday at Church of Christ the King in Brighton, after 40 years of full-time Christian ministry. He was one of my tutors when I was a student on the Newfrontiers Leadership training course a few years ago and is an excellent teacher. He blogged this on the CCK Life Blog and I thought it worth sharing the headlines here. For anyone in any form of Christian Leadership, this is an outstanding article. You can read the full piece here.

He says this:

During the past 40 years I have led 2 evangelical Baptist Churches, served as a Tutor and Director of Studies at Moorlands Bible College and then for 23 years served as an Elder at Church of Christ the King in Brighton. Looking back there are a number of things I would want to emphasise at this stage of my life…johnho1

1. Have faith in God.
2. Pioneer or Persevere?
3. Be convinced.
4. Implement the vision.
5. Ask more from your people.
6. Play to your strengths.
7. Preaching and teaching.
8. Go for students.
9. Beware the latest fad.
10. Don’t fret too much about those who leave.
11. Use the different ministries.
12. Pay attention to team.
13. Be flexible.
14. Develop an outside interest.
15. Jesus before ministry.