Four12 Conference Day 3: The A-Z

Shaun Brauteseth
October 8, 2015

A is for Aware, Alert and Awake.
Andrew Selley kicked the morning off with two sessions on not being unaware of the devil's schemes, taken mainly from the book of Revelation (see: R). Sobering.

B is for Bret Bevan's Beard.
Some call it a beard, some call it awesomeness escaping through his face.

C is for Coffee.
Let's be honest: We're all preparing ourselves to joyfully endure the confiscation of our property and the loss of our freedoms, but if someone took our coffee away there would be a full-blown violent riot.

D is for Dancing in worship.
Not really dancing; it's more like hopping up and down on the spot. Out of time. But it works for us.

E is for Equipping.
Every session this week was about equipping the body, and that's what Ephesians 4:12 is about. It's not about leaders looking great, it's about the church being mobilized.

F is for Four12.
What an honour to be partnering with these churches, and all for...

G is for the Gospel.
That good news that turned our lives around. May we always live up to it.

H is for Hosts.
Josh Genners, you're awesome. Thank you for hosting and feeding us. Hope you don't mind that we took your towels.

I is for Ivan van Vuuren Sr.
80 years old, and he's just planted a church in Hoedspruit that's grown from 0 to 55 people in four weeks. Retirement? Not when there's hill country to take.

J is for Joy.
No matter what. And that joy is Jesus.

K is for Kids.
As a first-time father, I was at the back during the conference with all the parents. High fives all round, moms and dads. But not too loud - it'll wake the kids.

L is for Lanyards.
Don't forget to hand them in so they can be re-used for next year.

M is for Mike d'Offay.
Knocked it out of the park in the morning's third session with a preach about wisdom. "The wisdom of God is found in the person of Jesus and the cross of Jesus."

N is for NIV vs. ESV
Here's Mike on reading from the NIV version of the Bible on the screen, and not his usual ESV: "I'll go down a notch - down to Andrew's level." Zing! Your move, Andrew.

O is for "Oh, isn't Mike d'Offay from PE originally?"

P is for Pit.
More specifically, the armpit of South Africa. That's what Mike called PE when describing where he was from. You cut us deep, Mike. Real deep. And we have long memories.

Q is for Quote of the day:
"Love Warns." The antithesis to the Love Wins movement, and far more accurate.

R is for the book of Revelation.
When we were younger, it used to be that weird book at the end of the Bible. We're seeing many things in it beginning to happen, though, and knowing it is more important than ever.

S is for Sunningdale.
The setting for the conference this week, and home to townhouse complexes that look like they're from the set of a Disney movie. Has anyone else noticed this?

T is for Timothy Ministry Training.
Before the evening session the TMT promo clip was shown on the big screen. Seriously, it's brilliant.

U is for U should come to the conference next year.
It's gr8, and not 2b missed, k?

V is for Volunteers.
Parking, ushering, helping, directing - and all with big smiles. Champs, all of you.

W is for Will Marais.
Took the final session, and didn't throw any sugar to the birds. We're blessed to know the guy, never mind hear his insight into the things of God. And if you missed it, ask him to explain the background of Psalm 23. It'll blow your mind.

X is for Xylophone.
An instrument not found on the worship team, and with good reason. No one has ever said, "I feel that as you play your xylophone, God is going to bring breakthrough."

Y is for YouTube.
That's where you'll be able to watch the preaches from this week, except the parts with controversial content. Not saying whose preaches that would be, but his name rhymes with Schmandrew Schelley.

Z is for Zero.
That's how many blogs I have left! The 2015 Cape Town Four12 conference is over, and it was fantastic to be together. The great thing is that our relationships continue, and our hearts are always together.

Four12 Conference: The Best of Day 2

Shaun Brauteseth
October 7, 2015

Best accent:
Euan MacRae, hands down. The debonair Isle of Manner could read through the terms and conditions of an iTunes update, and I'd be captivated all the way through.

Best spiritual firecracker:
Brad Verreynne preached the first session on seeing the power of God through our lives by knowing the authority that Jesus has. When Brad speaks, you feel like you can smash through a wall for Jesus, and us Port Elizabethanites couldn't be more grateful for him.

Best quote:
"Four12's values are not Four12's values. We're trying to live according to the New Testament's values." That was Andrew Selley, sharing on the distinctives that God is calling our churches to live in. Also this zinger from Will Marais as we headed into worship in the afternoon session: "I know some of you are watching the clock for when the Springbok game starts, but I've got news for you: In about 30 seconds God is arriving."

Best metaphor:
If you know Will, you'll know that when he wants to show that he's not paying an insincere compliment, he says, "I'm not throwing sugar to the birds." If throwing sugar to birds was something Will actually used to do, I'll wager that today there are some diabetic pigeons waiting to get their revenge on the windscreen of his car.

Best curveball:
In Chris Staples' excellent evening session preach about making sure our churches are a bride prepared for Jesus, he told the story of his daughter's wedding day. As her new husband made his speech about her beauty and his love for her, God's love immediately just filled the whole room. As Chris shared the story, you could almost feel every man's bottom lip quivering, and every woman beginning to dab her glistening eyes... until he finished it off by recounting his reaction: "Yeah, we'll see if you feel the same in ten years." Love that guy.

Only one day left of the conference, but there's a real feeling that what God is activating in our hearts is going to have a wide-reaching effect in our churches and beyond.  

Four12 Conference Day 1: 7 Things I Learned

Shaun Brauteseth
October 6, 2015

The first day of the Cape Town Four12 conference is done and dusted, and it was a good one! Here are 7 things I learned today.

1. Remember the tent with the free pastries from last year? Still there. Still free. But there seemed to be a few more left over than last year by the time the first session started, which is possibly the Banting effect, but also possibly because the PE people hadn't got to them yet. Sometimes having only one mouth is very limiting.

2. When you start a conference with worship, and just spend time singing the name of Jesus, it's going to be a good conference.

3. Jonathan Stanfield is a champ. Without him, the Isle of Man would just be called the Isle. First preach of the conference, and it was about partnering and how churches need outside apostolic gifts if people are going to come into their destinies. Solid stuff.

4. If you're going to let your sneeze out, like your mom always told you to do, don't do it loudly during a dramatic pause by the person preaching. The sound will be mistaken for a demon manifesting.

5. Epigenetics is a word. Andrew Selley preached the second morning session, explaining how we can open the door to sin, let it master us and change our DNA, and even affect future generations. It was a classic Andrew preach: Equal parts scary, profound and fascinating, but always pointing to hope in Jesus.

6. If you're preaching about trying to overcome sin and giving an example of say, struggling to stop sleeping with your girlfriend, you shouldn't say, "I was battling to put that thing to bed." People will laugh.

7. If you're the legendary Russell Fraser and you're preaching about leadership in the evening session, people will respond with quiet admiration to your statement that "the original eldership team that was in Josh Gen 17 years ago is still here." Then you will say, "with the same wives," and everyone will applaud. The wives will wonder why that's so much more impressive, and you will move swiftly on. 

So that was the first day, and God is doing much work in hearts already. It's great for so many of us to be together, and all for the beautiful name of Jesus. Bring on tomorrow morning...