Soulnet 2014

3 Feb

For those that are interested, here are the notes I took at this past weekend’s SoulNet conference. The speakers were Mike Pilavachi, Ali Etheridge and Jasper Rutherford.

Session 1 – Mike

Matthew 13:31-32
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

The best things often start small. The most fruitful things are often, at their start, the smallest.

Luke 1:8 – Zechariah told about having a son by God.
Compare to Mary receiving the news from Gabriel.

Zechariah refused to believe when told about having a son. Mary accepted it unconditionally.
Nazareth was so small that until 100 years ago there was no evidence of it’s existence.
Mary could have been as young as 12, a peasant girl.
Mary didn’t question the news, though she was curios as to how?
Jewish engagements included building an extension to the groom’s father’s house for them to live in – links to Jesus saying he goes to prepare a place for us (John 14:2)
Being fruitful means saying yes. Not 1 big yes but lots of little “yes’s”.
From the moment Mary said yes, life got hard. Saying yes to God doesn’t mean life gets easy!
Focus on the little yes’s

~ ~ ~

Session 2 – Mike

What helps us keep going in the hard times

God will always love us:
God cannot deny His nature. He is honour bound to love us. We are all His favourite!
God has made a covenant with us, first with Abraham (Genesis 15). If He breaks the covenant then he suffers. If we break the covenant then He suffers. The covenant is not about us but about Him, His faithfulness and not ours.

God wants intimacy with us:
We never stop being God’s children, but we need to grow up to become His friends as well!

God wants us to have friends, not just colleagues:
“Love one another , as I have loved you”
“Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
We need to have people to share the adventure with.

Song of Songs 2:9-10
“My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.”
God comes all the way for us and then gives us an invitation to join Him.

~ ~ ~

Session 3 – Jasper


The little things matter. Mustard seeds and yeast are so small they can’t be seen, but Jesus points out how important they are.
Our character is defined by what we do all the time.
We can have all the physical, mental and spiritual gifts in the world, but that does not mean that our character is in a good state.
“Who do you become when the world dos not unfold the way you intended/wanted it to?”
When we follow Jesus we do not become less human, but more human!

Character is a corporate affair
Character depends on others and their input. It is not a solo project that we work on on our own, we need others to be involved.

Our natural response to life should be to act as Jesus. The way it becomes like that is through practicing.
The church should be the school where our character grows.

Character takes time to grow.
It doesn’t happen by absorbing character from others, it takes effort and hard work.
We also need to be spotting good character traits in our young people and encourage them in it.
Matthew 11:28-30 – Jesus tells us of His character.
Ephesians 4:17-24 (Message) – The old way has to go
“And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”

~ ~ ~

Session 4 – Jasper

Lots of us like to do things for Jesus, but are we LIKE Jesus?
We should be praying that people would honour the Jesus that they see in us.
Luke 4:1-13 – Temptation of Jesus
We are tempted to be relevant, but being relevant for the sake of it is not what we are called to.
We are tempted to seek power, but we are called to be humble.
We tempted to be spectacular, but we are called to surrender.

Living out a character after Jesus’ encourages hope and faith in others.
We have a God who sees us and knows us.
God knows what we do and who we are and tells others about us.

~ ~ ~

Session 5 – Ali

Courage is a quality that enables us to stand against fear.
“Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage without fear.”
“When there is diminishing courage there is diminishing vitality.”
1 Samuel 16 – David called and anointed
When God looks for His leader He is looking for courage.
1 Samuel 17 – Saul shows that he is no longer courageous. Yet David had the courage to step up against Goliath.

Young people surrounded by fear. Fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of the unknown etc.
Fear limits our vision and the reality we experience.
Fear can lead to rejecting those who don’t understand the fear.
Courage gives us the strength to move beyond the ridicule and rejection, to honour God above all else.
Fear often tells us that we are not able to do things, that we don’t have the ability or the qualifications compared to others.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – God’s power is made perfect in our weakness
Fear can lead to compromise, rather than following the will of God. Walking in someone else’s “armour” can lead us away from God’s plan. Courage means that we rely on God.
We are called to lead into adventures, whether as youth workers, parents or simply as people. Leading in courage helps others to overcome their own fear.

~ ~ ~

Session 6a – Mike

Ambition is the desire to achieve something.
Being ambitious to succeed in other people’s eyes is bad. Being ambitious to succeed in God’s eyes is good.

~ ~ ~

Session 6b- Mike

Raising up young leaders

Jesus’ model for raising up leaders was “doing life” with them.
He showed the disciples the miracles, then let them join in, then let them loose to do them.
The heart of any good ministry is relationship.
What people need to see is authenticity. Sometimes that means seeing failure and mistakes.

When raising up leaders there is a 5 fold method:
– Identify them (pray and ask who God is raising up)
– Recruit them (give them a role and make that role clear to them)
– Train them (get them to have an active role in what is going on)
– Release them (let them loose to do the job on their own, trust them to go out and allow them to make mistakes)
– Monitor them (remind them to rejoice that they are in the Book of life, support them without taking control, offer advice etc)

~ ~ ~

Session 6c – Mike

Leading ministry times

It has to be more than the sum of our own abilities. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to move in us and through us.
If nothing happens, no one dies!!!
Step out and trust in God!
Look for what God is already doing.
The more you do it, the more it happens. The anointing is in the doing!


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