EQUIP South Africa 2011, which took place last week (28 to 30 Sept) at Central Cornerstone, was simply amazing. For three days we were able to absorb the teaching, heart and envisioning of guys on the NCMI team. As in the words of Mpho Ntuli at Cornerstone, something shifted.
The EQUIP SA Twitter account (@NCMIEquipSA) live-tweeted each session as well. The tweets include some interesting quotes and notes. Read the #EQUIPSA Twitter feed and scroll down to read the quotes.
Recordings of all the sessions are available for download at the equipsouthafrica.co.za website.
My attempt at a summary
Wednesday night, when things kicked off, was a real party as we headed straight into passionate worship to our King. Tyrone Daniel shared later around the central theme for the time, which was “Follow the Life”. What does it mean to follow Jesus? What brings the life of God? What kills the life of God? And what should we focus on? The central theme throughout the week is that it really is all about Jesus – the King and the Kingdom – and when we lose sight of Him, replacing Him with ideas, manuals, and whatever else, we will not bring the life our cities and nations desperately need.
The next morning, Ron Larson from the U.S. reiterated the focus on Jesus, saying we need to become Jesus freaks again. Perhaps the best quote from him was: “we don’t need another manual, we need emmanuel (God with us).” We can get so easily caught up in other things – even good things – that distract us and keep us from Jesus, the very source of life.
The break-out sessions on Thursday morning focused on the prophetic and evangelism. These were much more practical sessions and I attended the prophetic session. Mike provided us some real practical ideas in how we can increase the prophetic in our lives and become more accurate and more sensitive to what God is saying. It was challenging and encouraging.
Thursday night was a real break-through night with a prophetic focus on God wanting to lift off the restrictions of our lives. For many it was a key time as we sang “let it rain” and God challenged deeply. Last night at Central many testimonies were shared on the different things God did over the EQUIP time and Thursday night often came up as the night when chains were really broken and lots of healing took place.
Grant Crawford shared on “Born Again to Live”. His source text was Judges 3:12-30 and he likened how the text can be used to show Jesus and also you and I, how we are to approach the challenges we come up against. The keys here were how your attitude can shape your inheritance, letting God define your inheritance, how God intended for us to work, how we need to live with margin and that we should know that God really does want us to inherit. A key quote for me was, “This is good theology: God is happy.” Profound when you think about it!
On Friday morning, Ashley Bell from NCCB felt it good to share some of the prophetic words for where we are going in our togetherness with the NCMI team and Bruce Benge shared a word about being thirsty. Are we thirsty in our busyness? Are we thirsty for the right things? Are we thirsty for Jesus? A vision will only carry us for so long. We need Jesus. It was deep in its application.
Then there was a kind of question and answer time as Ashley ‘interviewed’ Tyrone and Mike Hanchett around a prophetic word he received over a decade ago around where God wants to take us. There was a lot said and many things clarified. Anyone with questions around NCMI, how we relate to the team, what the team is about and where it’s going will find tremendous value in this session.
The break-out sessions were worship and evangelism. Unfortunately, I had to head off to work at this time but the live-blog link above and the downloads at the EQUIP site will provide all you need there about the session.
Things rounded off really nicely on Friday night as there was a prophetic re-envisioning, especially for older guys – a sense that God was saying there is a huge inheritance for them. Greig G shared a lot around church life – planting, watering, and trusting God to see growth. Many pastors are tired and this was a fantastic encouragement around how it’s God who is building His church, and only God brings life.
To summarise even more
It’s difficult to translate into a few short words everything that actually happened at EQUIP. It was a move of the Spirit, that’s for sure, but that can make it difficult to communicate. Bullet point lists, although helpful, just don’t seem to do the time justice. Talking about prophetic times in a few short sentences really doesn’t convey how God touched, challenged, healed and restored. Mentioning how there was a real sense of unity doesn’t quite convey how relationships were deepened and strengthened.
Perhaps Ephesians 4, which is about how the apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists equip the saints for the work of the ministry, is the best way to summarise what happened at EQUIP. It wasn’t just about giving us knowledge but about deepening our relationship with Jesus and our relationships with each other. Eph 4 says that the equipping of the saints builds “up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of he fullness of Christ… [as we] grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
I really did feel a building up in love over this time. And so did plenty others. Just check out some of the awesome testimonies at the #EQUIPSA Twitter feed!
PS: More – and better – photos will be posted soon!