The London Men’s Convention - 7th
May 2011 at the
Royal Albert Hall Wow! What a day!
During a conversation over supper at our last home group before Easter, Martyn mentioned the upcoming London Men’s Convention, and whether anyone would be interested in going. The more I heard the more interested I became and, encouraged by my wife Helen, agreed to go. A quick look at the website and introduction v i d e o c l i p f r om conference chairman Richard Coekin and my appetite was well and truly wetted.
Eighteen in all made the trip to London, thanks to clear roads and some excellent local knowledge of the ‘rat runs’ in and around St Johns Wood (thanks Steve!) we made excellent time and parked up for a short walk through Hyde Park to the Royal Albert Hall. Once inside the atmosphere was special, 4000-plus men from all over the UK and from all walks of life
by Chris Samuel
in approval and not so gently digging their husbands in the ribs as Mark talked about what it means to love your wife and family as Christ intended and our accountability for sin.
Faithful at church
in one of London’s iconic buildings all united by their Christian faith.
Faithful at Work
The central theme was the call of God’s Word to be faithful, loyal to Jesus Christ at work, home, church and in mission. The session started with a welcome from Richard Coekin before the we heard the story of how a Major in the Royal Ghurkha Regiment came to faith, what it means to him personally and how he leads his men in some of the most difficult and dangerous (‘sporty’ as he described) places in the world. This led on nicely to our first topic of the day – faithfulness at work led by Marcus Nodder and looking at Colossians 3:22-4:6. The take home points here for me were from 3:23-24 ‘whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward it is the Lord Christ you are serving.’
Amazing singing With music from the
talented Christian artist Nathan Tasker and the rousing sound of 4000 men singing Be Thou my Vision ringing in my ears we went to morning coffee break. The more musically astute amongst us (Dave Maylor) pointed out the clever selection of songs and hymns perfectly suited to the male voice – whereas I on the other hand just thought ‘Great! All songs I know and enjoy singing!’
Faithful at home
The late morning session for me was the highlight as Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church Seattle and a well renowned and exception- ally gifted speaker, talked about what it meant to be faithful at home using the Ephesians 5:21-6:4. To describe Mark’s style as direct and to the point probably doesn’t do it justice, but to witness 4000 people silent and transfixed by his delivery was inspiring in itself. There was nothing complicated or any revelatory insight, just straight biblical fact. Any wives present would surely have been nodding
Rico Tice from All Souls Langham Place took centre stage after lunch using Colossians 3:1-17 to talk about what it means to be faithful at church. A calmer but no less thought provoking session best summed up by v17 ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed do it in the name of Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’.
Faithful in mission
With time for one more rousing session with Mark Driscoll I personally was captivated as he used 2 Corinthians 4:1-12 to talk about being faithful in mission and reminding us that every man’ s conscience is in the sight of God. Quite what the Bishop of London would have made of Mark suggesting he missed an opportunity at the royal wedding to address 2 billion people and promote the ‘whole truth’ of Christian faith I’m not sure, but it made for an interes t ing discussion as we walked back across Hyde park and headed back up the A1 home.
In short an amazing day for all who attended. For anyone that was unsure about whether to go I urge you to sign up next time –it did what it said on the can, encouraged me to ‘be faithful’, the p e r f e c t energiser’.
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