Arriving the day before the conference was a great idea. Thanks mum for suggesting it to us and for looking after our five children so for the first time in years I could come with my better half. Its going to be great to show Andrée what conferences mean for me these days.
One of the real privileges of being the “official” blogger at an event like this is you get to see what goes on behind the scenes. There is of course an army of unsung heroes who make it all happen. There is no doubt that these annual Newfrontiers conferences are the best organised that I have ever attended, and that includes secular meetings I have been to through work. It is easy to forget this for someone like me who doesn’t tend to notice my environment much (Andrée asked me yesterday what I thought of the painting in our hotel room and I had to confess I hadn’t noticed it!)
But yesterday I walked around the conference centre watching it being transformed into a meeting place. I was with Nigel Ring, whose well-known meticulous eye for detail was constantly alert to anything, no matter how small, that didn’t meet his approval!
Many people rightly credit the wisdom and leadership of Terry Virgo with the phenomenal growth of this family of churches. But, we should never also forget the vital contribution of this army of practical people serving in the background who in performing tasks which are often not considered “spiritual” have turned not just the conferences but the whole of Newfrontiers into a well oiled machine. This team has always ultimately been headed by Nigel. Every Terry needs a Nigel.
If you want to understand more about what it is that Nigel has done for Terry, I strongly recommend you begin to follow Nigel’s blog which shares great insights about how to do the practical things without which churches and movements of churches simply couldn’t continue. His blog is so helpful i have today awarded him a warnie and his headlines will join the others that appear in my sidebar.
If you are coming to Brighton it will be easy for you to forget the work that has gone into the event precisely because it is done so well. Good administration blends into the background and simply creates a welcoming, organised environment, drawing attention not to the administration itself but to the One for whom we all gather. Bad administration does draw attention to itself. So, please thank that steward, or greet the person manning the bookstall or appreciate the sound engineer this year. I am sure that in heaven all these unsung heroes will receive their reward.