God’s Glory our Joy conference
For the fifth year running, I travelled from rural Northumberland to the north west of England to join 150 others for this conference. It was held at the Emmaus Church Centre in Warrington, which had been kindly lent by the Orford church. The facilities are excellent and we were made welcome by the church’s friendly and hard-working staff.
The theme was ‘Engaging with God’ and began on the Friday afternoon with a seminar for church leaders entitled, ‘Walking with God’. Alec Taylor of Chelmsley Wood Reformed Baptist Church, Birmingham, spoke about the danger of being involved in a lot of activity for God but having little or no communion with God.
The rest of the conference, open to all Christians, started with a stimulating paper by Chris Hand of Crich Baptist Church entitled, ‘This is eternal life’. Chris led our thinking on true and false spirituality. He defined the true as knowing God through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Saturday began with, ‘The truth shall make you free’. Alec Taylor showed how the Thessalonians met God through his Word. He pointed out that Paul proclaimed the gospel to them rather than tell them stories of what had gone before in Philippi. Paul pointed them to Christ and reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
Martin Grubb of Charlesworth Baptist Chapel gave a sparkling paper on how we present God to a godless world, listing several things the Holy Spirit says about God. He is the God of: creation, conscience, the Lord Jesus Christ, conversion, the church and the Consummation. We should pray that God would work in people’s minds and hearts. God can turn people ‘from idols to the living God’.
In the afternoon Stephen Rees of Grace Baptist Church, Stockport, considered how we engage with God in the church. This was a searching yet warm paper, with Stephen exploring how in the fellowship of the church we see and feel the truths we believe. God particularly reveals himself to his people when they assemble together.
There were reports from various fellowships and the conference closed with a stirring sermon from Geoff King of Radcliffe Road Baptist Church, Bury. Next year’s conference will be held on 10-11 October, with pastors Phil Arthur, David Last and Geoff Thomas as speakers. More details from www.ggoj.org.uk
Alan M. Travis
Swarland Evangelical Church