by Barry Klaer, Joanne Schache, Sarah Kubenk, Steve Burger and Keren Loffler
The National Lay Workers Conference at the picturesque Warrambui camp in early November was one of inspiration, encouragement and growth for me. These biennial events are much more than an exercise in networking.
Old friendships are renewed, new friendships are established and experiences shared, confirming that the body of Christ is alive and well and growing.
Heart-to-heart connections are created, as the love of Jesus is seen radiating from fellow lay workers. I attended the conference with an anticipation and desire for the Lord to speak into my life through prayer and the gifts of wisdom from presenters. It became a refreshing time in and around the word which brought reflection and challenges and a time of fresh visioning and realigning goals. (Barry)
Growing in our faith and in our relationship with God through Bible-reading and reflection, and then sharing God’s love from our experiences is the theme that the three lead speakers gave to us.
John North helped us to reflect on what it means to grow spiritually. Spiritual growth happens through reading and reflection on Scripture. When things grow they change, and spiritual growth does that: it changes us internally and then that change is reflected externally. Pastor Fred Veerhuis led us in the most thought-provoking Bible studies. Each hour we spent with him had us fully engaged. Small group discussions then gave us a wonderful opportunity to reflect and grow in quite unexpected ways.
From Pastor Bob Kempe we learnt that our life experiences can and do help us when we interact with others, especially those who are hurting. Often people who themselves have been wounded can be the greatest of healers. This gave us a time to reflect on our own lives and whom we may