Candidates Conference

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I have spent the last 2 and a half days at Port Hacking hanging out with a bunch of other Sydney candidates and the team from Ministry Training and Development, learning how to be better teachers of God’s word.

The program included 3 talks from Phillip Jensen on 2 Timothy 3 & 4, a few hours of praying for Sydney, Question time with Peter Jensen (which turned out to be him asking us questions!) plus 4 other sessions in year groups with Rob Smith, Mark Charleston and Ken Noakes.

The 2nd year sessions were – the minister as trainer (Ken Noakes), Applying Theology pastorally: 1 Tim 2 (Phillip Jensen), Reformed Doctrine of Salvation (Rob Smith) and Small Group Ministry (Mark Charleston).

It was a great 3 days filled with lots of things to think seriously about. One of the most important for me was raised in Phillip’s talks on 2 Timothy 3 & 4. These talks highlighted the nature of the world we live, particularly that people are so ready to believe lies – to go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived – and the difficulty we face in sharing the truth in this world. This morning he spoke about the Christian life and what its about – not finishing or starting but finishing the same way we start…. believing the gospel.

Two highlights for me would have to be the 2 sessions that deal with an issue that, though controversial, seems in my mind to be relatively clear.

First was an hour and a half that 2nd years spent with Phillip Jensen looking at 1 Timothy 2. Being a key passage on the issue of women in ministry, this is a passage that I have read and re-read and listened to talk after talk on. So what Phillip said was not complete new to me, although he did give me reason to think a little further about it. My basic summary on this passage is that it calls for men to men, and women to be women and its appeal to creation and the fall shows that these commands are not stuck in the first century, but relevant for us now. As hard as it can be to understand, I love this passage.

Second was on a similar topic. Peter Jensen gave a lecture he used to use at MTC, which was the first in a series on relationships between men and women, and then asked us to help him update it, by commenting on the issues raised and their relevance today. One thing that these 2 sessions raised for me was the difference between how much men have thought about these issues to how much women have thought about it. I had comments from guys afterwards who had no idea that this was such a big issue, and yet for us girls its there – its reality and there’s no avoiding it.

I have too many thoughts on this to put them all here now – maybe one day – but suffice it to say this was an excellent time of learning not just from the guys out the front but from one another.

Hopefully that gives you a small insight to how I have spent the last few days. Feel free to ask more questions :-)

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