How are you feeling about life, friendships, your role, your purpose? To tell you the truth, I’m feeling fragile in all these areas. We’re not promised an easy life as a Christian, and it’s a lesson we have to learn, learn and re-learn, isn’t it?
As part of some research, I was watching some 3-minute TED talks. I can’t get this one off my mind – if you’ve got 3 minutes, I recommend you watch it…
That video was a wake-up call to me to remember what I’ve got. I simplified and rationalised the niggles in my mind and started thinking of days gone by, of the people I used to live life alongside, of the roles I used to play. Faces and names came to mind. I’ve gradually been reconnecting with some of my best friends and colleagues from the past and I’ve realised how little they know about my present. Whether through choice, laziness, busy-ness or address changes, we shed connections and friends as we move through life. Imagine bringing some of those friends together (for happier reasons than shown in the video) so amazing moments can become modern-day memories, instead of wistfully harking back to the past.
I need a shot of fun right now, but others – maybe you – need much more. Your friends, old and new, might need a shot of inspiration, a new opportunity to accept God and His plan for their lives. I recently interviewed one of our supporters to find out how it went when she brought a friend to our annual weekend away last year. Here’s what she had to say:
I have no doubt about it, the Activate weekend was a turning point for her. She didn’t expect that but the whole experience gave the opportunity for her to turn her whole life around. I’d had lots of conversations with her with all the travelling. She needed to talk and talk and needed someone to listen.
She wouldn’t normally go to church, now she’s coming back to church. Something has reignited within her. She is willing to move on and there is actually growth and a difference of heart.
She was nervous about coming as it was not something she usually chose to do.
The fun side of things spoke to her, people accepted her, chatted with her. She felt very at home there.
I felt confident bringing her because I knew she would love it.
She liked the food, being social and having fun.
There was no pressure or expectation – it gave her the freedom to be herself.
I’m glad I made the step to invite her.
There is something unique about the atmosphere of the weekend – she needed to be taken out of her situation to experience what people are trying to do for her in their normal environment.
All I was was the driver. We all need to be willing to share the experience.
Pray about people you know from the past. God will be sowing seeds in your head – who to bring.
We can all be part of the big picture, whether we realise it at the time or not.
Activate is doing what, years ago, I used to try to do myself. Providing a space for people to retreat.
One of my best nights of the year is the Saturday night at our Activate weekend away. Groups sitting in the bar, friends dancing the night away. For others, it’s the Friday night quiz that has kept them giggling all year!
You maybe know what I’m going to suggest…
1. Reconnect with some old friends.
2. Plan to spend the weekend together at a lovely spa hotel… a De Vere, perhaps?!
3. Make that weekend the last one in January or the last one in March and book it in one simple step here!
In other words, bring a group to one of our annual weekends away and experience transformation – for you, for your friends, maybe for your whole future.
We love planning the weekend, putting on great talks, seminars, worship, activities, and events. But it’s you who can bring the people we haven’t come across yet.
So get thinking, because nobirdy should be left behind! (Sorry, but I like birds, and there is something poetic about the fact that my windowsill collection includes birds made all over the world, from many different materials, eras, styles, and colours… but they’re all birds and they look cute in a flock!)