The speaker this year was Phillip Jensen from Two Ways Ministries in Australia. He took us through the book of Ephesians. While doing so he provided us with fresh and challenging new perspectives on the book. The Q&A sessions were also greatly enjoyed by the students—Phillip has a long history of working with university students and the delegates at the conference loved engaging with him. A couple of topics did raise some eyebrows, but that is always to be expected of non-essential issues.
I was honoured this year to have been asked to present a short defence of the historicity of Jesus's resurrection as an apologetics soundbite before the Easter Sunday morning, as well as to lead (for the first time) a strand one group. It was an incredible experience leading a group of students who are hungry to learn from and teach God's Word, as well as watching them grow and mature over the days of the conference. When they presented their Bible studies on the last day, there were some genuinely pleasant surprises in how the group members approached the gist of the passage and how they presented it to their target audience. It was also wonderful working with my co-leader, who was grounded in prayer and thoughtfulness. God truly is at work raising up a new generation of teachers of His word!
For the elective I joined the group discussing the topic of Running the Race. I chose this because I am currently at a point where I need to make major decisions about my future and was looking for encouragement. The first two sessions had a strong focus on foundational topics, such as the authority of Scripture and the human condition following the Fall. While this was good teaching, I did feel that the audience was mature enough to not have to go into it with so much detail again (although, admittedly, the speaker could not have taken this for granted when he preparing his material). On the last day, things came to a head and there was some really valuable discussions. While in reality I had chosen this elective with some vague hope of getting an answer to my personal questions, I did walk away with a clear one—not one which I expected, but one which gives me peace and confidence about the decisions which I need to make.
I again had met amazing people and hopefully built some meaningful relationships. I pray that, in the months to come, some good things will come out of it so that the efforts of a new generation will be to the glory of God's Kingdom! Right now, though, I am enjoying some time off from work to relax and think about the future.