PM Graham, Regional Event Director
When the prodigal son returns, he is prepared to be renounced as a son: he is willing simply to be a servant. As we know, this isn’t the father’s plan for him, or for any of us. It isn’t enough that we serve, no matter how faithfully. Each of us is first and foremost a daughter or a son. Unless we confidently grasp this identity – the being side of mission and discipleship – then the doing side of mission and discipleship will be lacking.
This is what God was telling us as we prepared for Kairos Weekend 2016 (5-7th February, Glasgow). We wanted to do something with this year’s conference that would allow him to work with us in a special way, and allow us to respond. So in addition to all 100 of us gathering to worship, hear teaching and have fun together, a chunk of the weekend was spent in two separate venues – the men reflecting on sonship and brotherhood, and the women looking at what it means to be daughters rooted in their Father’s love.
Whether the individual impact was greater vision, deeper conversion or simply new relationships, my prayer is that the fruit of the weekend is ultimately a stronger Kairos, and a network of mission outposts across Europe that are holier and more evangelistic; places where more and more students can discover their relationship with the Father, just like we did.
Kairos Weekend 2016 – Reflections
Paul Hunter (Belfast)
This year’s Kairos Weekend was a truly special time for all involved. Perhaps the highlight of my experience came in the men’s sessions, led by our brother Dave Quintana, who delivered a series of talks on what it means to be a son of God in the 21st century. “Man up!” was the blunt yet incisive instruction to encourage and call us on to build God’s kingdom here in our fallen world, heeded by a group of young men who, empowered by the fire of the Holy Spirit, can make a difference and inspire more brothers than we could have imagined. Seeing so many men give their lives over to Christ, maybe for the first time, was such an amazing experience to witness.
Seeing faces old and new was a personal highlight, as relationships which will last a lifetime were built up. I always leave Kairos events eagerly anticipating the next opportunity to reconnect with my brothers and sisters in outreaches far and wide, and my time in Glasgow was no exception.
On reflection, this year’s Kairos Weekend brought to me personally a renewed desire to follow the Lord, and stirred in me an impetus to live as a son of God, using the life and teaching of Jesus as a model for discipleship.
Jonasz Golick (Belfast)
“With every hour spent with the men, I received it as a huge blessing to build relationships with my brothers in faith. I had an awesome sharing group. The lifted hands of Sunday’s worship will stay in my memory for a long time. It was really powerful!”
Joanna Whittam (Dublin)
Fear has always played a huge role in my personal life. A fear of being unwanted seems to have often held me back from relationships, while both this and the terror of letting people down or doing things wrong has held me back on so many occasions from playing on the worship team or speaking at a prayer meeting. Two years ago I wrote a song named “Fears Fall Away,” in anticipation of the moment when I would be freed from fear. It’s about the secret little girl inside me, feeling small.
It was during our prayer meeting on the Saturday night that one of the women at the meeting received an image from God, an image of the very girl I’d actually forgotten about, the girl from my song. God told me at that point “Jo, she’s free to grow up now.” He released me from the childlike terror that I hadn’t understood was still controlling me! Speaking through my sisters on the prayer ministry team God reassured me, “Do not doubt that you are truly free when you go home. Instead there’s a lion inside you that today has been released!”
But God would never leave that untested, of course. Within hours of the meeting one of the leaders from home sat beside me. Hesitantly she began “Would you like to share what God’s done for you this weekend in front of the group tomorrow?” She wasn’t just talking about the women. She was talking the women, men, priests, leaders, speakers, far upwards of a hundred people! During my sharing, I never once felt a twinge of fear. And I haven’t felt it since. I do not doubt that in that prayer meeting our wonderful Father in heaven replaced my fear with pure joy.
Sarah Hillhouse (Glasgow)
This year’s Kairos Weekend gave me time to spend with sisters and develop relationships with them, time to listen to God and experience his love, with powerful prayer sessions and teachings, as well as of course, time to relax and have fun. In the short time we spent together I really felt a deep level of trust and love amongst the girls in my small group.
The inspiring talks by Heather Semple really spoke to me. The words she shared were very fitting to my life and have stayed with me now the weekend has passed, giving me a lot of food for thought. I didn’t realise how much I needed the Kairos Weekend and to take that time out. I was greatly inspired: it felt all of the talks and sharing’s were tailor-made for me, as if people were speaking directly to me.
Being in a room full of young people, worshipping and choosing to live their lives for the Lord, is always something I find helps encourages me in my faith. I witnessed two girls praying together, both very new to charismatic worship and prayer, slightly unsure of what to say and do, but whole-heartedly throwing themselves into it. Seeing their love for the Lord, setting aside their feelings of doubt and pride, and focusing on him, praising him and sharing that with one another was greatly inspiring.
From Kairos Europe & the Middle East Newsletter, May 2016, used with permission