Recently Ali Scott attended the Regions Beyond Leadership Forum in Kerala, India.
Here's his report...
From the 20th to 24th January I had the privilege of joining around 40 men and women from Regions Beyond churches around the world for a gathering in Kerala, India, that Steve Oliver called together. The primary purpose of the time was to discuss the Regions Beyond values that we, as a family of churches, are in the process of putting together and then publishing in a booklet, so that people and churches know who we are and what we’re about.
The 4 days together were incredibly inspiring as we heard 10 different people share for around 30 minutes on each of the 10 values and then broke into discussion groups for another 30 minutes to flesh out what each value means in practice. Although the wording and explanation of each value is still being confirmed, they are about Scripture, the Holy Spirit (which I had the joy of teaching on), grace, mission, diversity, the poor, relationship, the church, servant-heartedness, and team leadership. It was wonderful to immerse myself in each of these values and to consider what each of these mean for who we are as a local church in Durham and Chester-le-Street.
The highlights, though, were the times of passionate prayer and worship with people from different nations (UK, India, USA, UAE, South Africa and Brazil). We heard more of what God is doing through Regions Beyond churches in different nations, some of which are nations very opposed to the gospel indeed. I would love it if you could join with me in praying for the church plant in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Colin and Pam Nicholls moved there from the UK a year ago to plant a church they believe will be a church planting resource base for the Free State in South Africa and into Lesotho. They launched weekly Sunday meetings on 29th January and launch the church publicly on 5th March. They saw someone saved on their first Sunday – please pray God would bless them abundantly and they would see great growth and impact in that nation.
Steve Oliver also envisioned us about where we are up to as a family of churches and that now is the time for ‘taking the cities’ (by which he also meant towns and villages!). It was a real provocation to us to keep on planting new churches and taking ground for the Kingdom. We must not settle for where we currently are but must keep pressing on for all that God has for us!