Evangelical Network camps out
The Evangelical Network of the Methodist Church got together at the end of April at Chosen Valley in Auckland, nearly beating the end of the summer. The rain had no effect on their efforts to make plans for the year ahead and have fun together.
The highlight of their time together was some thought-provoking teaching from Martien Kelderman, director of the School of Contemporary Christian Studies at the Bible College of New Zealand. Their time together was salted by worship – both at Chosen Valley and in their visits to congregations at Meadowlands and Tuakau.
The Evangelical Network executive met before the camp to discuss their response to various issues. These ranged from stationing and candidates for ministry, to fundraising, to Evangelical Network resources for the wider Methodist Connexion.
.After deciding that flying foxes, racing carts and lake swimming needed less rain and more bravery, they listened to Martien, who talked about what it is to be a Christian immersed in the market place.
One of his stimulating thoughts was that we should spend only 5% of our time at church, in order to prepare for the 95% of the time we are engaged in witnessing to others about the reality of Christ in our lives. Church often is not the best of training grounds for the task of letting others know how and why to walk the Way of Christ.
He reminded us that we are the light to the world and that we must be intentional about our ways of living so that others may ask us why we live in that way. There were some wry smiles when he suggested that our “Christian” lifestyles were sometimes almost indistinguishable from those who were not Christian, in both behaviour and ethics.
On the Sunday, camp divided into two groups and travelled to worship at the Meadowlands Methodist Community Church, and the Tuakau Union Church. Each group enjoyed being part of the wider church as they shared communion together.
The Evangelical Network has a resourcing role primarily for evangelicals within the Methodist Church. It also publishes a weekly email resource for the whole church called Efish which is available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.