The Adult Sessions
Shortly after our return from the US, we had our UK Staff Conference/Summer Bible Conference. This year we studied the Gospel of Mark. I (Lisa) personally found this study a massive blessing. The format allowed me to spend several weeks gazing at Jesus. The book was broken down into 63 bite-size portions; each section had three reflection questions and at the end of each chapter we noted what stood out to us about Jesus. We then shared our observations about Jesus in a larger group. What a treat!
My greatest takeaway was actually a challenge. I was challenged to drop religiosity and focus more on my relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a relationship with Jesus of increasing depth since I was a teenager. I just never realized the ways religiosity was hampering that relationship.
Here is one example: I love studying God’s Word and growing to know Him in truth. Sadly, in my busyness and woundedness over the past couple of years, I have allowed my time in the Word to become more of a task than part of my ongoing relationship with Jesus. Because some of my hurts were just not getting healed as fast as I wanted, I stopped brining them to God in my Bible time. I was studying for knowledge more than relationship.
Observing Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, I was reminded how relational He was in everything He did. He didn’t call His disciples to come follow a set of rules and behaviors. He invited them to follow Him and live life with Him in a very intimate way. Not long after calling his disciples we find Jesus in the home of Simon and Andrew; caring for Peter’s mother-in-law. These two examples are just in the first chapter of Mark!
Are you looking to draw closer to Jesus in your Bible time? Matt Walmsley, the author of our course, has graciously agreed to let us share his devotional questions with you, our support team. Download a PDF copy for your personal or ministry use. Matt hopes to have an in-depth version of this study compiled over the next few months, which will include the talks he gave to our staff. He will be happy to share this with anyone who would like it! Send us a note, if you find this helpful and/or if you would like Matt’s next edition of this study. In true Christ-like fashion, he is offering it for free!
In addition to taking our course on the Gospel of Mark, I coordinated the Staff Children’s Program, which we call K2. This is the second year that I have had this role. It is a huge responsibility, but God has again been faithful to provide some amazing volunteers to care for our children.
This year we had four ladies join us from Oak Hills: our home church in Sioux Falls, SD. They were amazing: arriving on Sunday and getting straight into working with the children on Monday! You’ll see some pictures of these ladies here with some of our staff; I didn’t get many of them in action with the children, because I was in my classes then!
We were also blessed with five amazing volunteers from the UK. These volunteers worked over 50 hours during the week! We aim to help the children enjoy the experience of their parents’ conference and to help each one discover something new about the Lord in an age appropriate way. No small task! May God bless each of these volunteers for all their work!