Welcome to Connect Expo 2018!
The buzz of people’s voices filled the air in the auditorium of Christian Leaders Training College (CLTC). All different church denominations and ministries were together. People gathered in groups discussing the topics presented that morning by our keynote speakers. The annual Connect Expo was happening!
What is Connect Expo?
At Connect Expo, our aim is to encourage communication and partnership between the churches, as well as the churches and other ministries. By bringing different church denomination’s leaders and many ministries to a one-week conference, there is a tremendous opportunity to grow in unity.
Brian had a major role in putting this Expo together. He communicated with participants and resource groups. With other stakeholder’s input, he also put together the schedule.
At Connect, he made sure everything ran on time. He even found time to teach a morning session, ‘Building Leaders’, and ran a workshop, ‘Mobiles and Social Media in Ministry’. Needless to say he was crazy busy.
Our Key Note Speakers
Dr. Ray Bartell (a missionary in PNG for 5 yrs.) spoke on ‘Governance for Change’. It was exciting to have someone who has studied this topic in depth. He didn’t bring a western system to be implemented in the PNG churches, rather with his knowledge of PNG he identified and explained governance that directly applies to the cultural values and makes sense! Governance (board and leadership structure), being a weakness in many organizations and churches, made this topic crucial for us participants.
Andrew Kwimberi, another of our keynote speakers, has a background in law and currently is involved as a member of Judicial Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution. Andrew impressed on us that change in the country starts with the churches “and then goes down to Port Moresby and the government.” It was a good reminder that every prime minister, judge, etc. has had a pastor and/or mentor. And that pastor and mentor has tremendous influence.
The days started off bright and early at 7:45 with a devotion led by CLTC. The mornings were full of discussion times and sessions presented by our key speakers all around the theme of ‘Leading with Skill and Integrity’. Mealtimes were a great time for church and ministry participants to have further discussions around great food and steaming cups of coffee and tea.
After lunch, workshops began. The workshops offered a time of smaller group discussion and learning about practical topics such as:
- Biblical Stewardship and Report Writing
- The Mission of God
- Technology in Ministry
- Sanguma Accusation and How the Church Will Respond
- Walking With God With Our Whole Hearts
Each evening had a different activity after dinner:
- Learning about the different resource groups (ministries and organizations that support the church) and the services they offer
- Viewing ‘Senism Pasin’, a movie about domestic abuse and how we can make a difference
- Specific discussion time with topics chosen by the participants
On Thursday night, I , Grace, loaded a hundred USB stick full of Christian resources and audio recordings of the lectures and workshops from Connect!
We pray these resources will be shared from one person to another all over PNG.
“Connect is a gathering where all churches can come together. It’s a chance to learn many good things not just from the speakers, but from each other also.”Rev. Dr. William Longgar
-Principal of CLTC, Christian Leaders Training College
You can pray that the relationships and connections that were grown here, at Connect, will continue to have fruit as these pastors and ministry leaders go out to all parts of PNG.
- Pray for unity in churches
- Pray against church politics
- Pray for partnerships between churches and churches and ministries.
What Does the Bible Say About Connecting?
Can our bodies function effectively when we are missing members, like our fingers and legs? Paul likened the church to the body and stated we all members of the body (church) of Christ. Each of us are different, but we also can’t function well without the other parts of the body.
When it comes to church why do we think we are different and can do everything on our own?
Eph: 4:16 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Romans 12:4 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Unity is more than just not fighting with each other, it’s working together and being a part of each other’s lives. Ultimately, we have the same vision and goal. Imagine how much more effective we would be if we communicated and worked with each other.
Psalms 133:1 1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!