Unlimited Conference

New Zealand - March 2014

God’s Love is UNLIMITED / God’s potential for Collisions are UNLIMITED


As a group of 150 children/family workers passionate about children gathered together in New Zealand @ the Unlimited conference in March 2014, we brainstormed together what it might look like to “Collide” with each other across the ages.

Some felt this was such a difficult task and yet as we brainstormed together the wall began to fill with peoples dreams and desire to see what this might look like. Together we shared what we ARE doing and what we would love to SEE possible.

When something seems impossible, it is best to start with the reminder that Jesus is the centre of it all and it is HIM that desires to see this happen with His people more than ever. So, if you are stuck, first ask yourself what ways can we collide with Jesus? Listen to others are they share which brings out some key elements to transformation when we collide with Jesus.

 

COLLISIONS WITH JESUS that have been transformative...


When we are taken out of our comfort zone

  • I collided with Jesus when my family had to move from Fiji to Christchurch! From my comfort zone to a shaky zone! It was messy, painful and challenging but I now see what he wants to teach me, Praise God
  • Missions trip

When I surrendered to HIM

  • He Told me not to worry – and ask Him about a “why not” decision
  • Broken the lie that I can’t study and learn new stuff in lectures
  • When facing fears, when knowing the direction but not how to get there
  • When have had nowhere else to go and surrendered and accepted that I can do nothing but rely and trust in him
  • Challenges me to put him and others before myself
  • When I’ve got nothing left to give

When I am with others and having a corporate experience of Worship

  • Worship at a MX service on Sunday Night
  • Praise and worship
  • Family church
  • In communion – reminded of what it means to remember what you did for me when you died on the cross

When failings and Disappointments happen

  • When I feel I have failed in my job and God pops thoughts into my head – don’t be discouraged, keep going, seek me going forward
  • In difficult times when I remember that you are the source of my strength and I hand things over to you and be supported
  • Emotional, painful, refreshing, freeing, healing
  • When I was struggling at work and prayed to you – you freed me and gave me a sense of peace and joy
  • At work when I’m struggling feeling confused or lost
  • The tougher moments have been my time to collide with Jesus
  • In the midst of some pretty big storms...you have been the still, small voice telling me we are going to be ok.

When things happen beyond my control

  • When I’ve been unwell
  • I was challenged to pray for members of my family who don’t believe – I realised I need to actively seek the lost, not just support the looking
  • Illness in family and can’t fix it! Be able to leave it in God’s hand
  • Safety through the traumas of life
  • Getting cancer 5 years ago and being safely brought out of that. Total trust = life changing
  • When he answers for me whether or not I can do something
  • With big changes coming up, big challenges, trusting that God’s plan is unfolding just the way it’s supposed to

When I am challenged by different ages

  • Continuing the journey of intergenerational ministry outside of the institution as an ordained priest
  • Whenever I hear a child pray with such sincere and innocent faith, untainted by adult cynicism
  • Listen/collect testimonies and stories from the elderly in church, visit, listen
  • Building relationships – growing with others in fellowship
  • Interacting with my teenagers
  • When things went wrong for me my aunty told me not to be greedy and stuff and that I’m more lucky than the needy and poor people – God is the answer
  • Desire for intimate relationships in my family and for others in their families
  • Encouraging conversation with an older Christian
  • Dynamic spiritual interdenominational discipleship

When I immerse myself. In nature

  • On a walk in Gods Creation, I hear you, I listen
  • The Beach

When my environment is changed, even temporarily

  • Stepping out of my comfort zone
  • Eastercamp
  • In finding peace in my mind at this conference
  • Women’s retreat, total time out from family life allowing new focus

When I am able to spend time with HIM in a safe place

  • My pieces of art
  • In bed in my bedroom
  • In communion – reminded of what it means to remember what you did for me when you died on the cross
  • In room quietly by my own
  • During quiet times – reading the bible and being open to his voice
  • In the garden
  • Journaling my prayer life

When I sense God speaking directly to me

  • Gave me a word – take out heart of stone for a heart of flesh, breaking down the walls I have built up
  • New biblical insight that is applicable to my life and shareable with others

When I have a teachable heart

  • Learn more about prayer and hearing from God – go to groups, get Joyce Meyer book to read
  • When I am quiet, receptive to what Jesus has to say
  • Insight and guidance
  • Reading God’s word – meditating, praying, writing...in a personal quiet time.

When I learn to listen and be still

  • Being rather than doing is more important to me at present within the family at home setting
  • Still place – connection.
  • Quiet, peaceful, refreshing
  • In times of prayer – grace imparted
  • 1 week silent retreat
  • To open myself up to Him

When I choose to serve others

  • Start loving the difficult
  • Be bold in colliding with non believers
  • Doing something for someone else
  • Give up some of my time and offer it to God or my family
  • Talking to non believers about Jesus

Ever get the feeling that if we lived with even half of these principals in our life that the rest would just happen? Sometimes we complicate things when we are asked to live for HIM and with HIM. Love God and love others.
 

 

When I asked the group to think about ways we can Collide with our families. The bah’ith (bah'-yith) (the household of faith) that we live within this is what they said was valuable and had brought transformation in theirs and other lives.

Here are some main themes that emerged:

 

COLLISIONS WITH the household of faith

Times to share God’s word together

  • Meet weekly to study and support each other
  • Faith box – opportunity to learn together
  • Morning devotions. Read and pray together
  • Spend time as a couple doing devotions and reading the bible

Meal times together

  • Saying grace
  • Eating together with no other distractions
  • Talking about your day
  • At the table asking where we’ve seen God at work each day

Quality time

  • Going to the movies
  • Games
  • Play
  • Read and pray at bedtime
  • Through laughter and games we come together in fellowship
  • Being silly together
  • Faith partners for each child
  • More one-on-one times with girls, more time spent connecting

Holidays

  • Camping
  • Travel
  • Walks together to happily enjoy God’s nature

Worshiping all together on a Sunday

  • Worship together
  • Learn together
  • Pray together

Family traditions

  • Have family altar
  • Funerals / Weddings
  • Easter and Christmas
  • Sponsor a child
  • Family meetings/devotions
  • Family walks in God’s forest/nature
  • Enter more competition as a family
  • Adventure more

Serving Together

  • Share ministry of life experiences and acts of service, brainstorm ideas
  • Pray, serve, holiday and laugh together
  • Mission trips together
  • Run a ministry together (mission)

Create a safe place for all members of the family

  • Be more loving and accepting of each other, communicate more often, aware of needs of each other
  • Spending significant real time talking than think we have to be somewhere else
  • To be an encourager
  • May my whole family get you and know you and we treat others how we would like to be treated
  • Help each other more, think of each other’s needs
  • Understanding and a willingness to compromise
  • Having our children and grandchildren share our faith

You might feel overwhelmed with where to start. I say just start somewhere and be intentional. See what happens.

 


I then asked the group to think about how we are the Faith Community (Mishpawkhaw) can collide together across the ages in ways that would be transformational for all.

These were the themes that came out of that brainstorm:
 

 

Collisions with the Faith Community across the ages

Connect days / Events

  • Women’s, men’s and over 55s gatherings.
  • Get together, have fun, play games and talk
  • Knitting group,
  • Film afternoons,
  • midyear social,
  • Events that are centred around food
  • Gathering centred around sport - Southern 7s, The Gathering, rugby watching
  • BBQ gathering, cafes
  • Community days / picnic
  • Blogging, conversations
  • Come dine with me (family dinners)
  • Family fun day
  • Camps
  • Soccer day
  • Raft races
  • Movie, pizza night.
  • Family mini sports
  • Amazing race
  • Cafe
  • Mixed ages dinner/lunch

Talk to different ministries in the church and be open to working together.

  • Meet with the children’s ministry leader to plan for Sunday and Mentor each other
  • Inviting seniors in to talk to our pre teens’
  • Working with the church and mainly the music team to engage with community parents
  • Get mentor and mentor someone
  • Acceptance, communication and understanding, forgiveness of long ago hearts, more openness, no criticism
  • Intergenerational mission trips
  • Young families revival, kids bringing their parents to Christ

Be a part of existing Ministries that minister together across the ages.

  • Messy Church
  • Rainbow promises
  • Mainly music
  • Tumble times
  • Cube groups
  • The Gathering...SISTERS...the Practices/Meals...

Combined family worship experiences

  • Celebration time at Sunday session
  • Grace days out, worship well together
  • Part of a life group of different
  • Mentor relationship, intergenerational home group
  • Services are becoming more intergenerational
  • Homegroups – deepening connections, Women @ Well – sharing faith together, keeping aware of needs and responding, encouraging as we come alongside each other
  • Togetherness not separate groups
  • Family worship monthly all in together having fun together
  • More Whanau Sunday all services
  • All serve food, all ages, engaging sermons and bible studies
  • All ages church once a month, all taking part in services
  • All ages involved together – sharing, acting, telling stories and praying

Serving together across the ages

  • Everyone actively joining in, Sunday Funday, service to the community
  • Using gifts across generations to disciple each other
  • Releasing and sending out equipped
  • Creative arts ministry involving all age groups (collaborative)

It is overwhelming obvious by this exercise that we all want the same things. To worship God, serve Him and do life together.

Our challenge, as leaders is to create the environments where this can happen and sit back and see what God does. And as we do, we will shine the light of Jesus’ love to those who do not know HIM yet. If we live together with acceptance, forgiveness and love, they will know we are Christians by our love.

The final question I asked people was how we can create environments where we can collide with those who don’t know Christ yet. Here are some things that group came up with together when we collided our thoughts, dreams and desires.

We can “collide” with the community that do not know Him yet by...

Showing love:

  • Meals for pregnant mums
  • Serve the mission field at home. Homeless NZ kids without food in the streets/broken homes
  • Smile, say hello and open up and welcome your neighbour
  • Women’s Breakfasts
  • Papa New Guinea letter writing to children X-site, pen pals
  • Get out of church and meet their needs
  • Multi-cultural English class outreach, create link with an overseas mission project
  • Social enterprise ice cream truck
  • Neighbourhood cafe
  • Penpals to all overseas
  • BBQs in city
  • Provide meals and/or baking when I know they are struggling with something
  • Operation generation

Live the love

  • Parties
  • Neighbourhood parties/BBQs
  • A gathering in – into a healthy, functional family community
  • Use the people in art to draw
  • Having youth rallies or groups for everyone and having mission trips to other parts of the world
  • “Family” – attracting and providing where is none
  • Community service projects, know your people and their needs, pray for and practice active service of people/community
  • Bible in schools, interaction with schools
  • Be able to reach out to our community at their point of need and help meet it
  • That we would all have a heart and the means to reach out to the people of the world

 


This last question was by far the most challenging for the group and therefore had the least amount of input. But, I still think we could spend most of our time and energy on the first three questions and answers and it would be surprising the effect that would have on anyone we came into contact with.

You simply be cannot be TRANSFORMED and functioning here on earth in HIS IMAGE and in COMMUNITY and not have that effect EVERYONE you met and have influence in this world. The challenge is that life needs to be lived OUTSIDE the physical church walls, we need to be careful that we are not living life to the full in ISOLATION of the community we live in.

Here is where I feel the problem has developed that our church buildings and our Sunday CENTRIC faith has been the KEY factor in ISOLATING us from shining our light in the world that needs to know Christ’s love. But first, lets start with you and Jesus…..and from there, you can see what environment you can create, just take ONE step forward.

 
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