If you were with us at Westpoint last week, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It gives me a strange, dizzy kind of pleasure to be surrounded by the church that I love and see God at work powerfully in people’s lives.
It’s tricky to pick out the highlights, but here are five things that I loved about Westpoint this year…
For me, one of the very best things about Westpoint is spending time with my church. It’s great to hang out with old friends and have the time to get to know newer friends too. This year, as always, we had a few camping difficulties and the occasional medical drama, but the relaxed, family atmosphere was greater this year than I remember it ever being before.
So, I guess the relaxed atmosphere was at least in part due to the weather, which was... awesome! The success of Westpoint does not depend on the weather - it has generally rained at some points in previous years and we have still had a great time. But let’s be honest, it really helps! I am grateful to God for the wall-to-wall sunshine that we had.
As ever, the Grace Church quiz/talent night was a highlight for me. Who would have thought that twirling fire, newspaper giraffes and impromptu worship led by a selection of our younger youth would combine so brilliantly in one fun event!
It was also fun to muck in together putting up tents, preparing food or serving on teams throughout the weekend. Thank you to everyone who served in some way to make Westpoint happen, either serving the wider event or on our own Grace Church site. As ever, the worship team did an epic job on the main stage, and Sarah and Kylie led the 3’s team impressively. I’m also particularly grateful to Trevor and Denise for overseeing all our catering. My bacon and egg butties each morning were a real treat!
I thought the quality of the teaching at Westpoint this year was outstanding. If you were not at Westpoint and missed the live streaming, many of the talks are now available on-line for download. Whether you were there or not, I recommend that you think of the five top things that made an impact on you and write them down somewhere. Maybe they were one-line quotes that you heard, or things that God said to you personally during the weekend. Write them down and put it somewhere safe. In the months and years to come, you will likely forget most of what was said this year at Westpoint, but you will probably remember those five things.
It’s personal to you, but here are my five top quotes from the weekend:
“The disciples had an emphasis on prayer because they had been with Jesus. It was not duty or devotion but a recognition that prayer is where the action happens.” Terry Virgo
“Aim to be a blessing everywhere you go.” Guy Miller
“The church does not have a mission; the mission has a church.” Terry Virgo
“God’s purposes were tied up with Ruth and Boaz, who never had celebrity status in their day.” Mick Taylor
“You don’t drift into Christlikeness; don’t be like a jellyfish on the tide.” Guy Miller
The presence of God
More than anything, I loved the sense of the presence of God. I saw God at work as people joined together to put up tents, chilled over a coffee in the Festival Zone, or gathered with 4,000 other people in outstanding times of worship. Several people shared with me that they had been physically healed during the weekend, had known God speak to them powerfully, or simply wanted to tell me that they really love their church. I do too!
I’m grateful to God for an excellent weekend. Why not book into Westpoint 2018 now?