Review of LS11 Greg Haslam - For such a time as this (Esther 4)

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 11

Outline in program:
The story of Esther shows supremely how God’s “invisible hand” shapes us for our divine destiny, then calls us to risk everything to defy assimilation to the spirit of the age and to save a nation. God is seeking no less from us.

Greg Haslam is a master of the well-constructed sermon. He does his research carefully and fills them with good illustrations. In the first part of this message he draws a straight line between the people of Israel in the time of Esther and the church today.

In the second part he focuses more on Esther, applying various aspects of her life as a good or bad example for us. In a moving climax he appeals to his hearers to step out of their cosy Christian comfort zones into the purpose for which God has raised them up.

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Review of LS10 Ray Lowe - Church history can save you a lot of pain

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 10

Outline in program:
Can our history teach us anything or do we have to go round in circles again and again? Today’s church is plagued with fads or the latest unbiblical shortcuts for success. Nothing is new, we’ve been there before. Ray will explore past movements in church history to help us avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes of the past.

Ray began by explaining why he had changed the emphasis of the talk to be on positive examples from the past rather than negative warnings of pitfalls.

Under the heading “Dare to be different”, he took four of his favourite historical characters:

  • Martin Luther
  • Charles Parham
  • Bramwell Booth
  • C.T. Studd

Ray knows his material well. His purpose is to emphasize the admirable and inspiring qualities of these men rather than to provide a critical evaluation. Highly recommended!

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Review of LS09 John Groves - The prophetic gift and the local church

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 09

Outline in program:
Spiritual gifts are given to equip, enrich and edify the church and this is especially true of prophecy. We need more prophecy and we need to understand how to use it well—this will be the goal of the seminar.

I was really looking forward to hearing this session and I was not disappointed. It is quality material, well presented with lots of personal examples. Once again, it’s a shame not to have the handout. (I have tried emailing him for it and will post it here.)

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Review of LS08 John Hosier - The church needs pastors and teachers

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 08

Outline in program:
According to Ephesians 4 these are vital for the health of the church. Looking at the role, nature, equipping, purposes and challenges of pastors and teachers from a Biblical perspective, combined with 37 years of experience!

This is an excellent message—extremely practical with a lot of wisdom from a lifetime of experience. This message is probably of interest to many kinds of people in the church, but it is essential listening for those in leadership.

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Review of LS07 Greg Haslam - Can these bones live? (Ezekiel 37)

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 07

Outline in program:
Much of the church appears to lie slain, dismembered and dried up on the battlefield. But God is calling for a supernatural resurrection and recommissioning by His Spirit. The result can b e a new day of unity, militancy, vitality and spiritual authority. Find out how.

This message has an interesting (but brief) account of the revival that took place in Winchester Family church many years ago. Apart from that, I didn’t feel that it was particularly remarkable. Greg has more of a sermonic style, which some people prefer but it doesn’t suit me so well.

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Review of LS06 Philip Greenslade - Prophetic untimeliness

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 06

Outline in program:
The power, pathos, particularity and permanence of God’s authentic prophetic Word in ministry and community today

Philip Greenslade indicated that both this and the previous message were inspired by Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance by Os Guinness. This is a thought-provoking and challenging message on what it really means for Christians to be “untimely”, i.e. to be willing to go against the trends, taboos and political correctness of the times.

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Review of LS05 David Smith - Developing a dynamic prayer life

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 05

Outline in program:
Focus on personal intimacy? Need to live from his presence?

  1. Time to pray—set times and practising the presence of God
  2. Place to pray—set place and continual abiding
  3. Way to pray
    1. in the Spirit—importance of tongues
    2. with understanding—Bible prayers and special focus on the Lord’s Prayer

David Smith began by saying that we all desire to have a good prayer life, and if we have one it will be a delight. But the gap can only be bridged by discipline. He then went on to describe what to do under three headings:

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Review of LS04 Ray Lowe - Sons or staff?

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 04

Outline in program:
Were Timothy and Titus sons or staff? Today’s church often resembles more of a business than a New Testament community based on faithful loyal relationships. Ray will explore some principles of producing sons rather than merely employing staff, and will highlight some of the long-term dangers of neglecting this important New Testament principle

Ray argues that the model we should have for church leadership should be radically different to the "church staff" model so often seen in "corporate church". This is an excellent message and well worth listening to. The only caveat I would have is with regard to the question of what happens to a gifted potential leader who doesn't fit into the profile of the kind of person the senior leader picks as "sons". Does such a person have to go to another church in order to be mentored? This is not a fundamental issue with the model, but more of a practical problem that has to be worked out.

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Review of LS03 Philip Greenslade - The idol of relevance

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 03

Outline in program:
False prophecy—its therapeutic illusion and misleading effect on the contemporary church

I must admit to finding this message a little disappointing. The discussion of the historical background to Jeremiah was well done, and very few would disagree with his general exhortations from the passage. We all appreciate how wrong it is to tell people what they want to hear rather than the truth, just to make ourselves popular. However I am disappointed for two reasons:

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Review of LS01 John Groves - Heaven and hell, outdated concepts?

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Leadership Seminar 01

Outline in program:
Christians need to recover an awareness of eternity. We shall be exploring these fundamental doctrines and asking how a Biblical view of heaven and hell affects our preaching, evangelism and church building

A lot was said a the start of the session about the importance of everyone getting a copy of the notes. Yet there doesn’t seem to be any provision for those ordering the CD to obtain them. I like the way that SGM makes all their conference handouts freely available through their website. This would be a good pattern for Newfrontiers to follow.

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