Well, another conference has come and gone, the largest Four12 Conference in the Isle of Man to date, with over 500 adult delegates including an astounding 150 overseas guests looking in. A time of linking hearts and discovering the biblical foundations of Four12. I am always amused when Andrew says, “this is not about bringing our best preaches”, Four12 is much more than a bunch overseas hotshots jetting in for the week, making a brief stellar preaching deposit and then moving out! That said, the conference was marked by outstanding teaching. Every session was full of gold, not just profound truths that challenged our understanding of God’s word, but great handles that gave us practical tools to apply what we were receiving.
To pick out a “favourite” session would be to undermine the value of those not mentioned, however, to see two new faces teaching was immense and added beautiful, fresh ingredients into the Four12 mix. Mervis van der Merwe, combining his gift in worship and prophetic ministry brought a beautiful session breaking open the Father’s heart for us. He also shared three powerful prophetic words over individuals that I’m sure were quite life changing. Peter Nembhard brought a completely new style of preaching to the conference, filled with passion, powerful and deeply provoking, what a great addition!
Every session was full of gold, not just profound truths that challenged our understanding of God’s word, but great handles that gave us practical tools to apply what we were receiving.
The truth is though, that teaching is only as powerful as we allow it to be. If our hearts are closed, even the most profound, brilliant message, will have little or no effect. For me, another marker for this stellar conference was the desire and hunger in the saints to receive, apply and experience transformation through what was being taught. Every afternoon, the gardens of the Villa Marina were full of saints from many nations connecting, discussing, praying and encouraging one another, it was a joy to see.
5 years ago, a small team from Living Hope visited Cape Town to experience the DNA of Four12 in Joshua Generation Church, we had never seen anything like it! Today, Living Hope looks and feels very similar, we carry the same DNA and values and it is easy to become so accustomed to our culture that we can easily undervalue how precious this partnership is.
Last week, I was blessed to host a young pastor from the U.K, he had come to look and see what the fuss was all about! His visit was not initiated by an invitation, but stirred by curiosity having met a number of saints from our own churches who had visited his, he was so struck by how different they were, he wanted to find out what they belonged to! Each night, we discussed what had impacted him during the sessions, his observations were fascinating. Initially, he couldn’t believe that Four12 was led by a chilled out surfer dude! His second observation was that not only did Andrew know the churches, he seemed to intimately know the saints! The third impression that struck home was the humility amongst the leaders, no jockeying for position, no ambition to preach, but simply a desire to honour Jesus by following the leading of His Spirit.
Initially, he couldn’t believe that Four12 was led by a chilled out surfer dude!
Once upon a time these same values boggled my mind, but now they are my values too. That’s the beauty of Four12, that the saints are being equipped for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. The saints are increasing in their influence in our own nations and beyond, not only are they hearing what is being taught, but as members of a royal priesthood, they are showing others the goodness of God, as they transom from one degree of glory to another. It is a privilege to be led by humble, gifted leaders, but to see the saints expanding the boundaries of our sphere of influence is the real litmus test that Four12 does what is says on the tin….
The saints are being equipped.
The foundations of biblical Christianity are being properly restored in our churches.
The bride of Christ is advancing in the nations.
Watch the F12 Conference in the Isle of Man 2017 Highlights Clip: http://subspla.sh/jjhebdj
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Euan leads the Peel congregation of Living Hope on the west coast of the Isle of Man. He is married to the wonderful Karen and they have 3 gorgeous children, Holly, Conor and Skye. He has a passion for worship, teaching and raising up young leaders. You can follow him on Facebook.
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