Not able to be at the Four12 conference in Cape Town? I’ve got you covered! Here’s how the first day unfolded…
The Sunningdale venue is buzzing, the overflow tent is overflowing, and colour-coded bracelets have replaced the personalized ID lanyards of previous years. Also, a brief moment of silence is observed for the now-impossible tactic of stealing a glance at someone’s lanyard when you’ve forgotten their name.
Grant Banwell, looking fit enough to do the Argus on rollerskates, officially gets the 2016 conference underway! We’re gathered to glorify Jesus, so it’s gonna be a good one.
A mere seven minutes into the conference, and the Oxygen Lifers who made the trip have been publicly warned by Grant about eating all the pastries in the hospitality tent. They’re on to us.
If worshipping together can be this great while we’re living in a fallen world, can you imagine how amazing heaven is going to be?
Morne van der Walt from the Mossel Bay Josh Gen congregation is first up, and hits the bullseye with his preach on finding life in the father’s love.
In one of his illustrations, Morne reveals that he and his wife Erina disagree about how long they’ve been married. He says 11 years, she says 10. No one in the venue, in the tent outside or anywhere on planet earth can understand how it’s humanly possible to disagree about it. “Our anniversary is very special to us,” he adds.
“Our purpose each day is to walk with God,” Morne says. This is good stuff – the foundation of what we’re about. It’s the greatest commandment, and a good way to start the conference.
“You’ve lost the pot,” he says, before the people in the front frantically tell him that he meant to say, “You’ve lost the plot.” Ah, the letter L. So small, so important.
After a break, Session 2 gets underway, and Andrew Selley is up with a word titled ‘God, the Servant’. Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds, but none of us made it up; this is what God is actually like.
Nacho Libre quote number 1: “I just want a leetle taste of the glory!” Honestly, we should just make it mandatory to watch that movie before anyone is allowed to become a member of a Four12 church.
“Servanthood is not a means of getting honour; servanthood is the honour.” Yowzers. That sound you hear is the sound of 800 hearts and minds getting recalibrated.
Session 2 is done and dusted, and every person with a pulse has been challenged, encouraged and is in awe of this God we serve – the God who actually first serves us.
After Session 3 begins, Brad Verreynne hits the front with a message about the power of God. “We have to battle ourselves into a place of expectancy,” he says. Brad is a faith-stirrer of note, and God is working in hearts big time.
Nacho Libre quote number 2: “I’ve had diarrhea since Easters.” Yes, really. You don’t need to know the context.
A preach about the power of God is pointless without making space for God to move in power. Words of knowledge for healing – both emotional and physical – are released from the front.
At the end of the ministry time, some testimonies are shared after the words of knowledge: Restoration after a father wound, a healed finger, a healed knee and deliverance from past sin. The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power, and it’s a great way to end the first day.
Shaun played punk rock for a living, then worked for a chicken company, then wrote for adverts. Now he’s one of the full-time pastors in Oxygen Life Church. He has a lovely wife, Sammy Jane, and they have a daughter, Gracie. You can follow him on Facebook.
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