In light of me missing out on NTE, went out to RICE Regenerate instead on Saturday night. It was really rushed for me, having to come out of work straight away and head down to the city. As with all RICE events, the “advertised” start time of 7pm actually means a 7:30pm start. It was held at the Wesley Mission Centre. I’ve really heard of churches that are dead centre in the city; but well, there’s a few.
After I got off the train at Town Hall, I came across people who were also going; but although they called out my name, I actually didn’t remember their names. All I knew was that I served with them at the actual RICE event earlier this year. We bought our tickets at about 6:30 and then went back to have dinner. We had about several hundred people come to RICE Regenerate; it’s weird seeing all these old people there: men and women who were at best first year uni, all the way up to people in their late 20s.
The night was chaired by Peter Ko, and our theme for the night was “Treasuring Jesus”. Essentially, the topic was exploring how we can keep our passion for Jesus burning as we age and potentially lose our desire to serve Jesus that we might’ve done when we were younger. We had a testimony from a guy who funnily enough was also called Malcolm Turnbull; spelling might’ve been a bit different. He’s been in a wheelchair for several decades. He was telling us his story of how Jesus had comforted him for those years of his life and stuff; it was pretty encouraging.
Later, we had someone show us their Facebook profile page; can’t remember the reason for it, and it might have been a set-up, some guy who had several fan pages and other weird embarrassing posts. Our speaker for the night was none other than Al Stewart; I only ever saw him in that DVD about apologetics. He’s a pretty funny guy when he starts telling us his anecdotes and such. His talk was based around the passage where Jesus goes up to a few people to ask them to follow him, but they give excuses and don’t do it straight away.
He raised points about being committed and not just involved in ministry. His analogy for that was bacon and eggs. The two main “ingredients” for that is a pig and a chicken. The chicken is involved because it lays the egg, but the pig is committed because it IS the bacon. I suppose that one thing we can all think about when we next serve God; just how much it is we are giving ourselves for some part of ministry, whether it’s our whole, or just partial contribution.
After the talk, there was a half hour session where everyone was allowed to have time to respond to what we just heard. They had several room, including a net cafe place where people could post on Facebook and twitter how they’ve been changed by the Word of God; such typical 21st century attitude. There was also praise, a letter room where you write a letter to yourself, and a solitude room, a prayer room; and the Al Stewart room where he would answer any questions that we had. It was pretty popular and heaps packed.
Most of the questions were indeed relating to ministry, seeing as how it is probably the greatest way you can devote your life to God; how we should approach it, when we should do it, what about money, what about generosity, stuff like that. Al basically said that we should go into ministry when we feel willing to do so and especially not out of obligation. There wouldn’t be much of a point because your heart isn’t in it and so you won’t be serving as best as you can; much the same as working in a field where you have no interest in. His comment on generosity was that rather than follow the “tithe” method and giving a 10th of all we own. Rather it would probably be about when we start to “feel the burn” from giving.
And the night pretty much ended after that; it was pretty late by the time we ended. What I got out of the night is perhaps more direction in what I should be doing in service for God; and at the current time it most definitely is not ministry. I’m more than happy to commit further into what I am doing: in church, in CBS, and my other devotions; and only consider ministry at a later time when the door is properly opened for me. Sorry this post came a bit late; it should be up after I come back from NTE mission.