I don’t know the last time you moved away from somewhere, or when you last finished something significant but for any of you who ever have, you’ll recognise the common questions; what was your highlight? What are you going to miss when you move away? What are you looking forward to about your next year?
As we head into the final stretch of our course, these are the questions that come up in most conversations I have with anyone. And, despite this I still seem to struggle to pinpoint an absolute favourite point of the year. Anyway, over the next few minutes I’m going to try and have a look at what have been my highlights of the last ten months since that Saturday afternoon in November when 30 strangers moved into Watford to live and work together for a year.
In February we had the annual Naturally Supernatural conference which was 3 days of meeting together and learning more about moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was an amazing couple of days as a group of people gathering together, worshiping and seeing people changed because of the power of the spirit. For me it was personally a bit of a turning point in the course as I began to see the Holy Spirit in new ways, moving in people and changing lives. Although I knew this happened and I knew of the power of the Holy Spirit, Naturally Supernatural really stood out as a time where I saw this power in a new way.
Another time that really stood out was the time I spent in Durban, South Africa in April. There’s a load of blogs about South Africa that are already up so have a read of them for more on what we got up to. But this was an incredible time to see God at work in another part of the world, to work alongside people who are practically making a difference to some people in our world who are in desperate need of a reflection of the love of Jesus.
Now I guess this isn’t exactly a highlight (but I’m going to talk about it anyway!) because it wasn’t one point, it is a combination of a whole load of people making a difference through the year but has been a huge, huge positive of the course. I have loved living with and working alongside such a great group of people. We’ve lived together, worked together, learnt together, laughed together, cried together, struggled together and celebrated together. I’ve not just come on Soul61, done ‘my bit’ and am leaving soon, rather we’ve come as a group and together we’ve worked through this year together and what we leave behind isn’t my work, or anyone else’s work, but rather what we’ve done as a group through the different gifts we’ve all been given and have grown in over the year. I look back now at the first week, where everyone desperately tried to get to know everyone else, tried to remember names, tried to work out where they fitted into the group and then at the group of friends now who love each other, serve each other and look out for each other as we are all involved in a whole host of different things that have stretched, challenged and changed us this year.
It’s been amazing to see God’s power throughout the year whether through big conferences like Naturally Supernatural or as we’ve gathered together to worship at the beginning of teaching- whether through a trip to South Africa or through conversations we’ve had with people in Watford in our neighbourhoods and on the streets. And it’s been amazing to see the family of God grow as we’ve built relationships with one another and have worked and grown together.
And so I leave the course not only with a great set of notes from teaching (although these are great), not only with a list of things I’ve accomplished this year but actually with a greater understanding of the real power of God, a strong family of friends built up and a deeper relationship with my saviour who, ultimately, is the reason that any of this has even happened.