I have the privilege of going to help at a lot of the UK’s Christian conferences. Everywhere I go there’s always something new to learn or ideas to enjoy. So I thought I would look for the positives where ever I go. Here are some of the things I really enjoyed about Spring Harvest this year
1. The whole family curriculum
I love the fact that at Spring Harvest everyone is learning about the same things. From the smallest children to the oldest adults we are all on the same page. That means that lunch times and dinner times are a great chance to catch up together about what God has been teaching all of us.
I had a lovely conversation with my 9 year old nephew yesterday about what he had learned about God the Holy Trinity. As someone passionate about all age disciplemaking – this is one of the greatest things about the SH experience for me.
2. The special needs provision
My friend Kay Morgan Gurr is the special needs advisor for Spring Harvest and she told me that there was an unprecedented rise in the number of children that were at Spring Harvest who were newly adopted or fostered. She put this down to the influence of the Home for Good campaign over the last few years. We have been so encouraged by the support our friends at Spring Harvest have shown us and it is really beginning to pay off. Over the years we have brought a lot of children with special needs to Spring Harvest and the volunteers and childrens workers have been outstanding. They set an ‘industry standard’ for caring for vulnerable people. Well done! We talked about things that are modelled at Spring Harvest incepting into the church new models of best practice – long may that tradition continue!
3. The emphasis on theology and mission
I always come away from Spring Harvest excited by the depth of theology we are trying to teach – this year it was the apostles creed, in previous years it has been hermeneutics, eschatology. We encourage guests to really up their game. But this is not all head knowledge, Spring Harvest encourages people to live out their theology with a strong call to action. As ever this was visible through the seminar programme and the way young people engaged in raising money for exciting projects such as peer evangelism in the UK and a church leadership training centre in Cambodia.
4. The Global Dimension
The speaking highlight for me was definitely Barnabas Mamm from Cambodia. He shared passionately about the God who had transformed the killing fields of Cambodia where 2 million people were executed including many Christians during the regime of the Khmer Rouge 1975-1979. It was breathtaking to hear of what God is doing now in a country where the 10 000 christians were reduced to just 200 due to persecution and killing. Barnabas shows a video where over 400 people were baptised in a single day including leading military personnel. Allowing global leaders to speak on a stage like Spring Harvest is absolutely vital if we are going get rid of our colonial superiority complex in the west.
5. Commitment to Evangelism
There was a recurring theme during the week as we sought to help Christians regain confidence in the gospel by reiterating some of the essentials of our faith. The aim being to help to encourage Christians to be bold enough to speak openly about their faith in a world that really needs in the gospel.
As ever we had a lot of fun on site. In our zone we ran a selfie competition and had a terrific response. Check out below some of our favourite responses.
You might also like: