Are Christian conferences just an American phenomenon? Across the pond in jolly old England, Christian leaders can attend a conference that involves “teaching” and “worship”. This annual event held in Brighton is designed primarily for Christian leaders, but welcomes students and twenty-somethings. Incredibly, 5,000 delegates from 50 nations attend this annual conference.
According to the official website, (http://www.newfrontierstogether.org/Group/Group.aspx?ID=102585) the four-day event is comprised of two conferences which combine some sessions: Leadership International for those attendees with a leadership role in church and Mobilese for students and those in their twenties.
C.J. Mahaney knows all about this conference because he was the keynote speaker at Mobilese in 2005, which we believe is the year this event first began.
And the name of the conference is — drum roll please…TOGETHER ON A MISSION.
Wait a minute! That sounds an awful lot like TOGETHER FOR THE GOSPEL, which held its first conference in Louisville the following year (2006). Hmmm……
For some, the Louisville conference is a bit longer… Here’s what Deep Throat — OOPS, I mean a “Former Sovereign Grace Pastor (FSGP)” — had to say in Comment #56 over at SGM Survivors just last night:
“With all the mess that has transpired with SGM over the past year, it would be interesting to hear what is presented at the two-session mandatory meeting for SG pastors in Louisville that proceeds T4G. Last time the big news was the reorg that dropped SS and BD from the Fab Four and introduced a business guy onto the A-Team (shades of things to come?). TR looked like the bashful, blushing new bride as he was introduced as CJM’s assistant (but not his ghost writer)…
The boys were invoked to behave among the legions of tea-consuming Baptists and frozen-chosen PCA-ers which most interpreted as “You can drink your ales and smoke your cigars and raise your hands, just don’t do anything to embarrass us. If you get in trouble, say you attend Mark Driscoll’s church”.
This year’s get together is already notable because CJ has yielded his time to let a real suffering pastor, Matt Chandler, address the 5000+ attendees.”
Very interesting… SGM pastors drinking ale and smoking cigars before the official start to T4G. Wonder if C.J. is hanging out with them? Please let us know FSGP.
So glad this former Sovereign Grace pastor brought up Mark Driscoll! You see, Mark spoke at the Together on a Mission Conference in Brighton in 2008. If you’d like to hear what he shared at the conference, check out this link:
In 2006, Wayne Grudem spoke at Together on a Mission, and you can find his name in the left hand column at the above link. Click on his name and his sermon topics will come up.
My purpose in sharing this information is to explain where I believe the concept of “Together for the Gospel” originated. In other words, I believe the Fab Four are what some of us call “copycats”.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to the man behind the “Together on a Mission” conference — Terry Virgo. Terry is a Reformed Charismatic who lives in Brighton and is often referred to as “the father of the Newfrontiers family of churches”. Where have we heard that before — “family of churches”? It seems there is nothing new under the sun… Terry and C.J. Mahaney have been friends for several decades. Stay tuned…
And now there are other conferences ripping off the T4G name – like Together for Adoption.
You know Baptists are ecumenical to a point but the joke around here is that Mohler is really the president of the Southern Baptist- Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
They have these conferences for one reason: Gullible young guys pay money to hear their idols speak and maybe just maybe they can get close enought to actually shake his hand, too. The money is used as another income stream for the celebrity Christian and he gets to see the world at someone elses expense. Not bad for a career.
As Terry Virgo’s close friend of 40+ years and his administrator for 30 years and, in that capacity, the organiser of TOAM I thought you may like a bit more history. We began the Newfrontiers Leaders Conferences in 1996 (I think!) and held them in alternate years until the highly successful Stoneleigh Bible Week ended in 2001 (28,000 attended that year living in tents and trailers/caravans). We then launched what has become TOAM as a combined conference between Christian Leaders and Younger people – a rich and highly effective mix!
I have seen your name in the blogosphere, and we want to give you a BIG hearty welcome from the good ‘ole USA!
In late May, my husband and I are traveling to Europe with a group of high school seniors (including our daughter) who will be graduating from their Christian school in June. We will be visiting London, Paris, Rome, Florence, and a couple other places. We can hardly wait!
Thank you for providing us with accurate information regarding establishment of Newfrontiers Leaders Conferences. I would like to include what you have shared in this post. I tried to research their beginning but couldn’t find the information you have provided. Thank you!
I hope you will continue to follow TWW and check in with us from time to time.
Thank you for providing us with the information. Isn’t the internet great?! My pastor, for many years, was Pete Briscoe, the son of Jill and Stuart Briscoe. He used to tell us many stories that he learned from his parents about the spread of the faith in England in the midcentury.
Blessings to you