Wanted: winners

We’re back from the Agapè staff conference at De Bron in Dalfsen. We had a great time with a lot of good input by Jan den Ouden, Bram Krol and others, talks, and a very positive atmosphere. We made some slight changes to the regular program that made it a little more relaxed than most conferences, such as an after-party in the pub. It was quite revolutionary to hear myself say to all staff that we meet in the pub (although we were still in a ‘safe’ environment at the conference center – maybe next year we’ll meet in a real pub :-)). The kids had a great time too; Rosa and Sara were running around with friends (especially their ‘twins’ Sari and Levske Blonk, who have the same age, hair color, eye color, height…) and Tomas stole the show on Sunday morning, when he handed me a candy during my sermon.

The conference motto was ‘Wanted: winners’. God is looking for winners, and so are we – people to be won for Jesus, and people who want to win others to become winners for Jesus… If you read this blog last week, you’ll get the picture. On Friday Jan den Ouden served us with an inspirational and confronting talk about the need to start discipling others in the context of a community. And Saturday morning Bram Krol talked about the movements of God throughout the entire world – if you read this blog you’ll get the picture: a lot is going on. Bram brought these current movements into the perspective of Isaiah 66:18-20: “the time has come for the Lord to gather all nations and tongues”. He also showed a video from Congo, where he preaches the gospel in French – and in the afternoon, he turned out to be a very good soccer keeper (while wearing sandals!).

Sunday morning was the traditional family event, where kids performed, and Jefta Alberts turned the whole thing into a real party. I had a sermon prepared for Sunday morning, but I couldn’t possibly spoil the party with a long and boring message. So I kept it really short, but I felt pressed to challenge ourselves with a specific goal: to have at least twice as much people at the conference next year, both by growing in number of staff, and by involving our disciples and volunteers. So we better start praying and working…

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