The ‘From Embers to a Flame’ conference was organized by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) and held at Knighton Evangelical Free Church in November this year. I was privileged to attend on behalf of Carley.  

The aim of the conference was to present a strategy for nurturing the spiritual vitality of a church. The conference was spread over three days, with teaching sessions and small group prayer times. The conference consistently emphasized the need to revitalise the work of a church and lead the church from just being Embers to a flame. This is a vital issue that affects us all. The main speaker was Dr. Harry L. Reeder who is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He has been a pastor at four Churches, three of them being Presbyterian. He has considerable experience in dealing with different church situations from new church plants to revitalising old established churches.


Our churches need to be a healthy or well - church showing Worship, Evangelism, Loving and Learning. In one of the early sessions we were reminded of the need to keep the cross central to all the teaching and preaching in the Church. It is so easy to become like the church in Ephesus and leave our first love and this was in a church planted by the apostle Paul, and pastored by Timothy and John (Rev 2:4). We need to look at the past and celebrate it but not let the church become just a monument with a maintenance ministry. We need to take out any stumps of old problems that are affecting our church life and ministry. This may well mean we have to repent and ask for forgiveness.


Meal times and break times were an opportunity for informal discussions between delegates from all over the country. A prayer team were busy praying for the conference using prayer request cards we had filled in on the first evening.


The question is where now? The deacons all have a copy of a work book from the conference suggesting how to promote and encourage Church growth; we will be looking at these to see what could be used at Carley.


This was an enjoyable experience to receive training and teaching and to hear from other churches. One pastor from Northern Ireland who has a church not in FIEC, commented on the honesty of the sharing and warmth of the fellowship during the conference. 


C J Baines



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