BUC National Lay Bible Workers' Convention
30th November 2017
When over 350 people turn up to a weekend of training geared towards equipping for effective soul-winning that's a positive sign. That's exactly what happened at the BUC National Lay Bible Workers' Convention, an annual event, this year held at the De Vere Staverton in Northampton on 24-26 November.
With the highest number of attendees over the past few years, people converged on the conference centre from both Conferences and Missions, with some from as far afield as Scotland.
Dr Kirk Thomas in his new role as Evangelism director for the BUC took over the reins of this weekend that was initially planned by Pastor Eglan Brooks before taking on his new role as BUC Ministerial director. After registration on the Friday afternoon and a welcome meal prior to the commencement, Pastor Thomas welcomed all attendees and introduced the first of the guest speakers, Pastor Louis Torres, Conference evangelist in the Michigan Conference, who is a regular invite. Torres' messages for the weekend was on effective ways in leading souls to Christ. In his calm, soft-voiced but engaging delivery, Torres in his teacherlike style of presentation ensured everyone followed him by asking questions for feedback and re-emphasis on the points he made. Some of his topics included 'Dynamics for Decision Getting' and 'Reaching the Heart'.
The evening worships were led by Pastor Nicardo Delahaye, from the Breath of Life Fellowship church in Stanford, USA. This young minister spoke eloquently each night on mature themes of spiritual growth and Christian discipleship.
Throughout the weekend, meetings were also provided for the teens and youth as well as a children's club to ensure parents could attend without the concerns of childcare. The spiritual nature of the weekend was evident with frequent breakout times for prayer as well as a dedicated prayer room open throughout the day and evenings.
The small group workshops provided attendees with sufficient choice in over 15 topics including 'Conducing a Bible Study', 'Looking at key doctrines', and 'Discipleship'. The workshops were designed to provide more interaction and specific learning needs in the ministry context of the attendee.
A special feature on the Sabbath morning was recognition for the work of Pastor Brooks in his 10 years as BUC Evangelism director. This was expressed through acknowledging the entire family on the platform, with gifts and a special cake. Pastor Patrick Johnson, TED Ministerial director, led out in prayer for the family.
Dr Alistair Noble, from Scotland, was the third guest speaker. He has lectured on scientific and religious topics throughout the UK and abroad. His seminar entitled 'Intelligent Design – Changing World Views', was appreciated by all.
In the midst of guest speakers, the convention hosted a number of local ministers who contributed in different ways. BUC President, Pastor Ian Sweeney, led out in the morning devotions and Newbold student, Adil Habib, spoke on the topic, 'SDA Offence to Bible Defence Conservation Solutions'.
The weekend although seemingly packed with lectures and seminars, allowed space for people to mingle, fellowship and opportunities for enough free time to explore the natural surroundings of the venue.
There were many positive comments as people left in preparation to return home. The fact that each year the attendees are increasing shows that positive news in being passed on to fellow church members.
Pastor Kirk Thomas, when asked about the success of the weekend said, "it was all about preparing members with the effective tools and skills to better equip them for service, and I believe we accomplished this over the weekend."
One Tottenham church member expressed her appreciation for the weekend as she had the daunting task of preaching her first sermon the following week and wanted to learn about making appeals. "I'm now going home a lot more confident", she remarked.
Another lady from Wales came for the first time, said she was getting baptised next week together with her son but came because she was "hungry to learn about the Word of God."
Indeed, the weekend was a spiritual feast that saw many who left empowered and inspired to be used for God in His service.