We just finished the Outward Focused Conference in Vineyard Church Dungannon, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has had its share of trouble, even a time that was actually called The Troubles…a religious/class war rooted in a long sad history. A number of people in Dungannon lost family members during that time. There has been a remarkable turnaround since the peace agreement was signed on Good Friday in 1998. The economy is now booming and life has normalized.
120 people with large glass windows that overlook the city. Very cool. My friends Jason and Michelle Scott pastor the church…they’re funny, hip and totally outward-focused in approach. The church was planted about three years ago; the believers here are incredibly hospitable, kind and full of life.
The conference went well. Churches from Scotland, Ireland and England were represented. Mark Lutz spoke with me as well and we did five one-hour sessions. Oddly, I got choked up at the end of the first night (as did Mark, mind you)…it really isn’t normal for me. Not sure what God was doing, but I think it was simply communicating God’s heart for the lost that sneaked up on me. We showed videos as well: baptisms, stories, fun stuff. Prayer for people at the end was good; it had a “commissioning”-feel to it. Tomorrow morning I’ll speak at the church; Jason asked me to talk about the poor. Can do. For the next few days we’ll be meeting with leaders in churches in Belfast, Dublin and elsewhere. Thanks for all your prayers; God has been showing up. Good craic.
Tonight Joe launches a great new series at VCC called Tackling the Elephant. You’ve got to check out the teaser videos at http://www.tacklingtheelephant.com/…this is going to be an amazing experiment—don’t miss this. Once again, the Vineyard’s generosity is going to be stretched. But not only us…as you’ll see at the site; anyone from any church is welcome to sign the Declaration.