190530-Vividly-AdvConf Preview-17 (Copy)

Advance partner churches from the North American Central Hub gathered at Crosspoint Church, St Louis from 9-11 October 2020.  Speakes included PJ Smyth, Brian Barr, Shaun Craig, Ben Durbin and Chad Rogers.



PJ Smyth - Jonahs meltdown and how to avoid having one of those yourself

In Jonah Chapter 4 we find a man with a death wish, in complete meltdown, flipping’ out … pick your metaphor.

Drawing from the text, PJ highlights seven stabilizers for life and ministry to help us avoid a meltdown when in seasons of immense pressure, including: Ensure that Jesus is your only Lord; Build in physical and emotional rhythms of rest; Settle that you will always be a work in progress; Acquire a big displacing evangelistic vision; Be in team / community; Be in Scripture; and Come to the great Jonah.

Rigby and Sue Wallace - Marriage

The session opens with a brief preview of four new books written by PJ Smyth.

Rigby and Sue Wallace then share their journey though the South African lockdown, and their insight on a Biblical response to trying times. As our communities face growing persecution, growing economic hardship they exhort us to be anchored in scripture. Reading from 1 Peter 4:12-19, they charge us to recognise life will require moments of suffering, that we should trust God throughout and continue to do good.

The sessions closes with a panel discussion with various couples including: Craig's, Smyths and Durbins hosted by Erik Santiago.

Ashleigh Smyth, Rachel Barr, Becky Craig, Jenn Rogers - Woman in Ministry breakout sessioN

The ladies share honest stories of their ministry experiences, both highs and lows, across various stages of life and ministry. They share practical wisdom gained through their experiences navigating the unique pressures of leadership and relationships in the communities they lead.

PJ Smyth - How the Kingdom of God makes us resilient

In the days before Christ's ascension, Luke tells us in Acts 1 that "He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God." What is the Kingdom of God? Why did Christ emphasize this topic shortly before his ascension?

PJ encourages us in this session with a look at three facets of the Kingdom of God. It is spiritual, not geographic. It is spiritual, not political. It comes in a steady stream, rarely suddenly.

Erik Santiago, Operations Director for Advance Global & North America, wrote us a great summary of the event after his visit to St Louis for the hub gathering. Read it here >>

PJ Smyth - The Mission of God

Continuing from Acts 1, PJ considers the mission of God. How mission brings resilience to the church, maintaining a right perspective through distractions and trial. PJ highlights four facets of mission, as seen in the early church in Acts. Including: the remarkable progress made, the emphasis on continued advance; it is supernaturally empowered and finally, it is ours to continue this ancient story

ShaWn Craig - Tell the story again

Shaun Craig speaks from Psalm 78, encouraging us with the words of Asaph, who writes a psalm to remind the listeners of the amazing stories of God in the past. We tell these stories to reset our hope in God.

Have you forgotten what God has done as the nation and world endures a unique season of testing? Have you forgotten what God has done in your life? There are stories in your church of God's goodness, supernatural intervention and life change. The Church has survived civil wars, Spanish flu, 9/11, the global financial crisis...  surely it will survive 2020.

Brian Barr - Politics

Brian Barr tackles the challenging issue of politics and its infiltration of the church. Political tribalism has taken hold; you are expected to aggressively and militantly oppose the opposition. Exaggeration is rife. Christians are tearing apart other Christians online. Brian reminds us from Phil 4.5, that reasonableness should mark us as Christians. If we fail to behave like Christians in this season, he foresees four consequences for the church. Including: Our confidence in Jesus will be replaced by confidence in a candidate; We will fail to be like Jesus to those around us; We will promote division in the body of Christ by elevating candidates above Jesus; We will harm our witness to those who don't know Jesus.

Chad Rogers - Multicultural Church

Preaching out of Ephesians 2, Chad speaks to the importance of building multicultural churches in our movement. The church is Jesus' plan A for reconciliation of the nations and there is no plan B. Chad works through practical steps and postures that will be required for our churches to succeed in this mission critical task.

Ben Durbin - God's Elect Exiles

The year 2020 has brought myriad challenges to our communities and so our churches. COVID, a polarizing election cycle and a civil rights crisis. Yet Peter's greeting helps us reset our perspectives, recognizing that life and ministry as exiles, in a hostile world would inevitably bring us seasons of trial. Through all this, we must first remember with wonder that God loves us, pursues us and sanctifies us. Further we respond by conducting ourselves honorably, loving our neighbors, honoring our leaders and showing hospitality to all.