Last weekend ie the last few days my church had a conference at Orford on the East Coast of Tasmania. The conference title was 'The Body'.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Christian terms 'The Body of Christ' is a symbol of all believers working together to do Christ's work on earth. All Christian's are seen as part of 'The Body' and are told to use their unique gifts to do Christ's work on earth.
Our pastor, Dan Shepheard, did three sermons on the topic. In the first talk he talked about unity, diversity and equality. He read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31 where it talks about all 'body parts' being indispensible. He emphasised that there are not 'successful' and 'unsuccessful' Christians - all are equal parts of the body.
In his second sermon Dan emphasised that all should use their gifts for the 'common good' and that Christians should celebrate diversity rather than argue and divide over differences.
In the third sermon Dan talked about growing to maturity in Christ. He also made a great point about not disempowering people and doing everything in love. He read from the popular passage in 1 Corinthians 13 about how love is the most necessary of any gifts and if we use our gifts without love we are, at best, achieving nothing and, at worst, sinning.
Dan was supported in his talks by some excellent MCing by Tim Hansard. Tim had obviously worked hard on this role and was equipped with jokes, information and encouragement.
Speaking of encouragement I did an elective on it with Gwyd Jones. He emphasised Ephesians 4:29 which tells us to build each other up with words. The seminar emphasised that people don't open up because they fear rejection. Gwyd emphasised that the gospel trait of putting others before ourselves was necessary for the ministry of encouragement.
We also completed a 'spiritual gifts' survey. I listed my gifts as: reading and writing, evangelism, theatre, administration and analytical thinking. The most popular gifts were reading and cooking.
I had a great time at the conference even though it was tiring. I felt 'part of the Body' even though I am probably a 'weaker part'. Thank you to all who contributed to the conference including those mentioned above and Jake Tuit with the food and the band.
God Bless you all