On arrival at St Phillips Church in the heart of Manchester, it was clear that the Exponential event was going to be significant. We were led in heartfelt and sincere worship and this coupled with dynamic speakers who are actively sharing their heart to join God in his great mission to the lost.
These principles were built upon and further affirmed as the pre-conference took its full flow. From Paul Hollingsworth from New Wine England to Richard Wandera – speaking into the affluence and apparent apathy of some parts of the Western Church; to Dave Ferguson from Newthing who challenged folks to be a real “Blessing” in order to create an evangelistic culture that helps people find their way back to God.
On Tuesday and Wednesday as folks gathered at the VictoriaWarehouse, they were warmly welcomed with coffee and pastries and again from the first moment of the day, it was clear that the combination of deep worship and deep speakers would have a positive impact on the Kingdom of God.
Stories of faith, transformation and the beauty of God’s holiness filled the day with examples of discipleship from Manchester, Norway, South America and across the world. The group was further encouraged, stirred and challenged by Major Danielle Strickland as she shared from scripture and applied the truth of being born again, again and again as a necessary part of our response to God’s overwhelming grace.
There followed some network lunches which gave an opportunity to connect with others and think about some learning opportunities in a smaller setting. As the gathering continued after lunch, and into the next day the reality of God’s blessing being poured out was really clear – a sense of empowerment and engagement as the reality developed that we would all need to leave this place and return to our place in the world.
It almost seemed like folks were then itching to go and experience the new things that God was planning to reveal through his presence with us…
The challenge of events like these is that contextualisation is key – stories of obedient faith are encouraging, but they can only go so far – our culture, our