INTERVIEW – Terry Virgo on Valuing Word And Spirit

This concludes my interview with Terry and Wendy Virgo. Today Terry provides insight into why he decided to work together with the New Word Alive conference. He also tells us how he chooses who to work with, and in particular, what led him to invite Mark Driscoll to the Brighton Conference, which will begin on July 8th. (I will be live-blogging the conference.) The video of this segment of the interview can be viewed here.

The two previous segments of this interview with Terry and Wendy can be read at these pages:

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Adrian
I can see from what you’re saying just how incredibly busy you must personally be overseeing all this. It just kind of brings me back to the fact that, yeah, you’re taking time out from your busy schedules to come here, so you must feel that this conference is pretty important and pretty crucial for, I guess, those outside of Newfrontiers. There aren’t that many Newfrontiers people here. Why would you come here? What’s so important about this specific conference this week?

Terry
I truly believe God wants to bring together a people who love Scripture, people who would flock to hear someone like Don Carson or John Piper, people who really regard Scripture highly.

Adrian
Very good. So, how do you determine, then, who you’re going to work with and who you’re not. Obviously you’re happy to work with these guys, and without going to names, I guess there must be others in UK that you’re not happy to work with. How do you determine that?

Terry
Terry VirgoMost of my life has to be lived working out my commitment to Newfrontiers. That is where my loyalty lies. That’s where my duty lies. These are people who are expecting me to serve them, and I’m very happy to serve them. I’ve always felt that God said, “Now always keep a door open to the broader body of Christ. Don’t get shut in.” So for decades now, we’ve always had some involvement. So I get invitations and I have to choose here and there whether I will go. And this seemed a really brilliant place to come. I was honored to be invited, especially with a Carson and Piper here. So, yeah, I count it a huge privilege to be here. Also being a fairly substantial sizable conference, it means one can reach many people in a short time. After I spoke at the UCCF Forum, I had dozens, I think it would be true to say, letters from Christian Unions saying would I please come and speak at their CU. Well, I can’t do that. I can’t be driving all over England, speaking in CU meetings. But I can speak to a couple thousand students here in one week, so this is a really good economy of time, as well as an enjoyable thing to do.

Adrian
Okay. So I know, as an example, you’ve chosen to invite Mark Driscoll to the Brighton Conference this year. And in the past you’ve chosen various people who some people, I think, were surprised about. How do you go about choosing them, and specifically Mark. What made you choose Mark for this year’s Brighton Conference?

Terry
I’ve been listening to Mark Driscoll over the last year or so, I guess. I’m deeply impressed with his biblical stance.Mark Driscoll I think he’s an unusually powerful preacher. He is also bitingly relevant to our generation and aware of the culture in which we live. I think he’s very unusual. He’s not only fighting for the truth in some sort of static way of just defining the doctrine. He reminds me of a kind of latter day Spurgeon. He’s very clear on doctrine. He’s very evangelistic, building a great church, it sounds, helping to plant churches in Acts 29—again like Spurgeon, who helped to get churches started all around London. You hear about people in Australia who were reading his sermons a week or so after he preached them in London as they printed them and sent them round the world. And now Driscoll’s been downloaded all over the world. He’s an unusual guy, very robust, like Spurgeon was, out of step somewhat, even with his group. But I love what I hear. I’ve yet to meet him, but I love what I hear.

Adrian
Great. Excellent. Well, we’ll look forward to another big conference in July. It seems like there’s conference after conference, doesn’t it? It’s great, I guess, to have people gathering round God’s Word and learning stuff. I mean, that’s what I find anyway. I like conferences because you keep going . . .

Terry
I think I love the local church the most, and I know that would be true of you.

Adrian
Yes!

Terry
That’s where we work out our lives. That’s where we grow. We can’t build our lives on conferences. But we have been associated with some very big ones over the years and know the huge impact, so I certainly don’t despise conferences, but I know that in the end we work out our lives in God in the local church.

Adrian
H-m-m-m. Very good, very good. Well, thanks very much, both of you, for joining us. It’s been a real delight, as always, and I guess we’ll leave it with that. Thank you.

Terry
Thank you, Adrian.

    About Adrian Warnock

    Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and part of the leadership team of Jubilee Church, London for more than ten years, serving alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

    Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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