Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the mountains you can see things differently

I've just spent the week at a conference for 'current and potential' university evangelists. I attended as part of the British delegation of five among 55 from other nations around europe. We attended as those from a big well-resourced movement. The temptation is to think we should just teach everyone else how to do things. The experience is that we have immense amounts to learn from others. The fresh air of the Austrian mountains is good for the soul.

Photo from the IFESWORLD stream

Testimonial preaching from a Serbian colleague that was some of the most persuasive apologetics, a narrative apologetic from a Bulgarian and the most penetrating preach by another Bulgarian whose imagination and humour got the truth of the gospel under my skin. I've received instruction from a French Zacharias Trust Associate who taught me more about how to construct and deliver a talk than I ever knew. I've been inspired to press on with Dostoyevsky by a German professor. And that's before I even consider the sheer courage of these IFES colleagues of mine who serve in contexts far more difficult than my own.

I'm aware of my own lack of humility and presence of arrogance that takes blessings for granted and is often unwilling to listen to others. I'm aware of the poverty of my heart that has often passed up opportunities to fish for people and preferred to just look after the aquarium i.e. I've often easily filled my diary with teaching Christians and not left room to go to those who aren't. I'm inspired by the lifetime experience, generosity of spirit and humility of Michael (aged 77) and Rosemary Green who poured out their lives for us over the past week. I'm provoked and inspired by their example, by their quiet charismaticism, by the evidence of God's hand through them, and for the way that they're giving their latter years to still doing evangelism and to training the next generation.

Some recent sermons from Michael Green can be downloaded from Holy Trinity Church in the USA where he was serving in 2007

Please pray for the outworking of this in student ministry, in my marriage and in my local church.

Michael Ots left the conference early to go and preach at his church on Acts 1v1-7


  1. Michael Green ran a mission to UCT when I was a student there in the 70s, and I will never forget seeing him fencing against the university champion on Jammie steps among 1000s of students. He got their attention, all right. And made the most of it too. An amazing man, and how blessed you have been to be there!

    1. I've heard that story elsewhere. Brilliant!
      Four and a half years later we've had a great week with him in Exeter.

  2. haha. classic! where's uct?
    Glad you were there. is there any way to hear some of what was delivered? particularly keen to hear what you learned from raphael.

  3. Everything was recorded, Martin Haizmann wasn't particularly clear about where/when/how they would be available, but they'll be good. Particularly useful are the four sample evangelistic talks (Richard Cunningham, Michael Green, Jurgen Spiess and Charlie Hadjiev).

    I'll post some of the lessons I picked up from Raphael though hopefully they'll be most evident in changing the way I engage people, issues and put talks together.