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30 January 2014

Somewhere New

Somewhere New

Lusty Beg, Fermanagh. It doesn't sound like a location where much happens, which is generally the case for the islet. It's a quietly popular getaway in Lough Erne, accessed only by a two-car ferry. The surrounding environment was one of immense tranquillity. It was here that Somewhere New landed. A weekend for young leaders from across Ireland to have the space to dream about what God might want to do in the island of Ireland in our lifetime, and beyond. In one way I think it was appropriate we gathered on a small island; so as to be released to dream about the bigger one we find ourselves on.

After registration, dinner and introductions, the weekend proper began with Pete Greig teaching us from John 15. The importance of beginning with our identity cannot be overstated. If we are to go into all areas of society, we are to go with a clear sense of who is sending us. Pete encouraged us to abide in Jesus; to set up home. The metaphor of home is a powerful one. It is where we have our most precious moments. It is where we keep our treasures. It is where we are to find nourishment, rest and comfort. When we abide in the Vine, fruitfulness will surely follow.

Saturday's schedule was full, yet contained vital space to be able to contemplate. Andy Masters from WhatNow began to lead us down the idea of the importance of dreaming, which is rooted in our identity. When we know who we are, we know what to do. We have a Father who dreams that we may become the Church not to simply fill our sanctuaries, but to fill society with the light and life of the Father through Jesus. We were left with this in our minds: every great act of society began in the dreams of someone. What are yours? Kate Marshall then taught us on what biblical leadership looks like. It possesses purpose, values, leading from the heart, connected relationships and self-discipline.

After an afternoon of prayer and processing – and an excruciatingly tense Ulster rugby game – we were powerfully and literally encouraged by Pete. The greatest threat to us living out the dreams God has given us for His Kingdom is not sin, but fear. Scriptures constantly instruct us to not be afraid. Why? Because so often we abide in fear. We looked at how Caleb silenced a room of cynics, pessimists and doubters by boldly proclaiming in Numbers 13:30 – We can certainly do it.

Too often as young leaders we reduce our dreams to manageable bite-sized chunks and have too much fear to pursue them into reality anyway. Here's the truth. In Christ Jesus we have ALL authority. Through the cross we inherit the dreams of our Father for our entire nation and more; we are given the courage to walk in that inheritance, to see those dreams become reality. 

Dream no small dream for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By Thomas McConaghie