Detailed information of the seminars (updated as we get final wordings)
- Youth and Children work (Andy Pitt)
- A glow in the darkness – Depression and the Church (Philip Swann)
- Preaching Christ – Why, How and When (Philip Swann)
- Women of Encouragement (Gwawr Thomas and Elspeth Pitt)
- Deacons in Action – dynamic servants of the Lord and his people. (for secretaries and deacons) (Peter Milsom)
- Managing Church funds (Pearl and Mike O’Brien)
- Handling the Bible (Michael Teutsch)
- Thinking Biblically about Church Music (Andrew Norbury and Dafydd Job)
- Rethinking the prayer patterns of the Church (Matt Francis and Peter Milsom)
- Doing Social Media Well (Gareth Davies)
- Finding eternity in the hearts of men – Evangelism in Wales today (Steffan Job)
- Side by side with the Spirit – the role of the Christian leader in pastoring people (Trystan Hallam)
- Life with Screens (Matt Francis)
When the church prays (Peter Milsom)
Prayer is vital facet of our churches, yet prayer is in danger of becoming the Cinderella of church life. How can we reform and revitalise the prayer life of our churches? What can we learn from the New Testament where prayer had a primary place in the life of the early congregations? Does our understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit encourage our churches in praying? How is our praying related to our fulfilling the Great Commission? How can the whole church be encouraged to be actively involved in praying? How can our praying make us bold in facing the formidable challenges presented by the secular society in which we live?
Thinking Biblically about Church Music (Andrew Norbury)
God has given us music in the church as a means to bring glory and praise to Him and to encourage and build each other up. In this seminar we will be looking at why we sing and then how we’re to do this. We will also be thinking about the order of our services, and how this can be used to tell the gospel story. If you’re involved in leading services, choosing the songs, playing music or singing in the congregation, then I hope you’ll benefit by coming along to this seminar.
The work of the Holy Spirit and pastoral ministry in the church (please bring your own scones!) (Trystan Hallam)
‘What does my pastor do? Come to think of it; how do the elders and deacons in my church help us? That Jayne who’s messed up and sits at the back, how can I help her? Is it all just about drinking tea, eating scones and nodding sympathetically?’
Deacons in Action – dynamic servants of the Lord and his people. (Peter Milsom)
The seminar will focus on the vital role deacons play in local churches. New Testament churches had both elders and deacons. (See Philippians 1:1) We will consider a number of practical questions including: How do the ways deacons function today compare with the origin of diaconal ministry in Acts 6? How can a good working relationship between elders and deacons be cultivated? How do the essential diaconal ministries carried out by women in our churches relate to the deacons? How can deacons fulfil the growing number legal requirements and remain a people-related ministry?”
Handling the Bible (Michael Teutsch)
Handling the Bible is one of the most privileged and challenging responsibilities for those in ministry. We will be considering the convictions that shape this ministry and the skills needed to be a faithful workman in God’s Word. During the seminar we will be looking at three steps which move from understanding the text to applying it to those we serve.’
And they devoted themselves to the prayers (Matt Francis)
What does this statement mean? What does it look like? How is the church you are part of measuring up? Can we do anything to help our churches to be devoted to the prayers? During this seminar we will consider practical things that can help us to pray together.
Life with screens (Matt Francis)
Screens are now an indispensable part of 21st century life in the UK. We cannot turn the clock back, but we do need to understand how screens are changing us and if these changes are not for our good, what, if anything can we do to mitigate this. We will consider the impact upon concentration, conversation, rest and risk.
Youth and Children’s Work Seminars – Andy Pitt (North and South)
Are you feeling tired and discouraged? Many of our children and youth workers are! Do you feel neglected and under appreciated? Are you in need of some fresh ideas? Children and youth work can be daunting and often we are in need of some fresh imput. During this session we are going to give thanks to God for our children/youth and for the opportunity of teaching them Biblical truth. We are going to hear examples of how God is working amongst our children/youth in Wales, and hopefully go home inspired to try something different, without compromising the Gospel. This is a must go to session, for all those engaged with children and youth in Wales today.
Where do children and youth fit in, in our churches today? How effective are we in engaging with the children and youth in our communities? For this session we want to encourage children and youth workers to bring along their Pastor or one of their Elders to explore together, how we might better integrate our children and youth ministries into the life of the church, especially on Sundays. Often our children and young people are either ignored or underused in the life of the local church. This will be a most challenging and thought provoking session which we pray will enhance, not only our children and youth ministry, but our churches also.
Managing Church funds – Mike and Pearl O’Brien (North and South)
It is important that as churches we manage our finances responsibly and honourably as unto our Lord. This applies whether we are a large or small fellowship because when the handling of the money that is entrusted to us is administered in a sloppy or casual way there is a danger that such practices can lead to misunderstandings that can, in the worst case, bring the name of the church into disrepute and dishonour God.
This seminar is intended to consider practices that ensure that every penny entrusted to us is properly accounted for, both in its receipt and in its distribution. At the very least, this will greatly assist us with fulfilling our legal obligations to report our finances accurately as charitable organisations. Moreover, our practices need to ensure that
- The church leaders are provided with accurate and sufficient information on the state of the finances to assist them in planning and decision making.
- Church members receive reports of the finances at least annually so they can see how the church funds are being utilised; and support or otherwise, recommendations by the church leaders.
- Details of all financial transactions are maintained so that questions pertaining to any item of income or expenditure can be addressed.
Mike and Pearl O’Brien are members of Borras Park E. C. where Pearl is the Church Treasurer and Mike is an Elder. Mike also assists the EMW by acting as the treasurer/secretary for three small Trusts associated with the Movement.
Doing Social Media Well – #doesthekingdomextendtohere? – Gareth Davies
It is hard to ignore how social media is reshaping our relationships and even how we portray and view ourselves. 83% of adults in Wales are using social media regularly – including the majority of our church members. That figure rises to over 95% of 18-24 year olds. That leaves the question of how can churches respond to something that looks like it’s not going away? Can Twitter be used to convey the gospel? Can the love of God be visible on our Facebook profiles? Is it possible to use instagram to share Scriptures each week? Join us as we consider how, as churches, we can use social media well to reach the non-churched, engage the local community and encourage our members through the week.
Daughters of Encouragement? – Gwawr Thomas (North Wales)
This seminar is inspired by the biblical character Barnabas, which means ‘son of encouragement’.
The seminar is for women of all ages, on why we need to encourage others and some practical suggestions on how we can do this in our day to day lives.
Women of Encouragement – Elspeth Pitt (South Wales)
You don’t need to look very hard at the New Testament to see how significant a part women played in the life of the early church. Gospel workers, practical carers, visitors, bible teachers, providers of hospitality… The list goes on and on. Women sat at the feet of Jesus and walked with him, women were valued fellow workers of the apostle Paul. But for us as Christian women in the twenty first century, how can we play our part in the life of the church family? What might it mean for us to be women of encouragement?
In this seminar we will consider the opportunities we have to play our part in the work of the Lord Jesus, and think practically about how we can encourage and help one another as we seek to love and serve the Lord Jesus together.
Thinking Biblically about Church Music – Dafydd Job (North)
There is no higher calling for the church than to praise God. Worship has a central role in the Bible. We are commanded to worship, and part of that worship is to sing God’s praises. However, it is a sad reflection on our days that almost nothing causes so much division and strife in church life as how we are to do this. We are all familiar with the term “Worship Wars”, and the contemporary “Christian Music Scene” is often intimidating. Different music styles appeal to different people, from unaccompanied Psalm singing, to having a full blown band and “worship leader”. Is this variety in style due to generation, taste or temperament, or also due to perceived theological convictions? How can we use music in our churches in a way which is honouring to God, and which also helps the congregation to be truly engaged in the singing? We will look at what the Bible says about singing to the Lord, identifying where there may be freedom of expression without compromising our beliefs. We will also consider which criterion we should use when choosing hymns/songs to sing.
A glow in the darkness – Phil Swann (North and South)
It seems there is so much information and opinion about today on depression. Mental health issues appear to be on the rise, as are the number of solutions and management approaches on offer. With so many voices and agencies offering help, Christians are often unsure about how to respond to those who suffer with this, ‘soul sickness’. In my seminar I hope to look at the pastoral opportunities that those who suffer with depression present the church. We will be looking at ways in which the church can respond compassionately and biblically to this pastoral issue. We will also identify bad practice and the things that are to be avoided when supporting those who struggle with depression. This will be of particular interest to those who have a heart to walk with brothers and sisters in the darkness of depression.
Preaching Christ – Phil Swann (North and South)
In 1 Corinthians 2:2 the Apostle Paul identified this as his great ambition. It must also be the ambition of every preacher today. It is certainly the need of every gospel church. But what does it mean in practice to preach Christ? In this seminar we will be looking at why preaching Christ is vital to the life and health of a church. We will also look at some of the challenges to this and how we may develop in preaching Christ. How do we balance being faithful to the text, with the desire to preach Christ? Is there a difference between preaching Christ to believers and to unbelievers? These are some of the issues we hope to explore together. This seminar is appropriate for all preachers of all abilities whose hearts are set on proclaiming Christ. I trust this will be a time to grow and learn together.
Finding Eternity in the hearts of men – Steffan Job (North and South)
As a Christian worker involved in evangelism in Wales I’ve been perplexed. On the one hand the Bible tells us that God has ‘put eternity in the heart of men’ (Ecclesiastes 3) and ‘what can be known about God is plain’ (Romans 1), but on the other hand we see such unbelief. Often, sharing the gospel with people is like getting blood out of a stone – people have no interest and frequently believe that there is no God. What’s going on?
In this seminar I hope to show that although we live in a mainly secular society, there continues to be a real spiritual need and an interest in God. It is our task as Christians to pray and to make sure that we communicate the gospel message in a way that people understand. This will involve understanding how people think, what they have learned about the Christian message in the past and how to interact with people in a way that is effective. I hope to share some of what we have learned from our gospel evangelism in festivals and on the streets and marry that with what we can do as churches today. The session will be both biblical and practical and will hopefully challenge those present to look at how we share our faith with people around us.