“This is my first Surrender, and I am loving it!!!” It was a joy to hear this comment often over the Surrender Adelaide 16 weekend as we welcomed many new and long-time Surrender friends to live out Jesus mandate to love God, neighbour and enemy. We were grateful to gather again at Coastlands church in the centre of Adelaide CBD and hear from a diversity of local, national and international voices who inspired and challenged us to surrender our lives to Jesus’ invitation of radical love.
A highlight of the weekend was the Friday night Community Feast, provided by Experience Café. Everyone gathered in groups and shared stories of “what God is up to in our communities” and we tried to avoid using job titles or positions as conversation starters – a great challenge. I loved seeing children, adults, indigenous and non-indigenous brothers and sisters, guest speakers and artists all gather in community with a common heart to see the upside down kingdom of God revealed where they live. There was a real buzz as people shared their stories, hopes, excitements and challenges in seeing Jesus’ love revealed in their local context. Having food and coffee on site this year helped foster this community over the whole weekend.
Over the weekend everyone was encouraged to recognise practical next steps that God may be calling us to take beyond the conference. Speakers, workshop leaders and Indigenous elders identified ways to “dip your toe in, go waist deep or dive right in” as practical responses for us to take. It was beautiful to share these ideas with each other and also see reconciliation and love practiced over the weekend in small and big ways. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed with the darkness in our world and offering these steps helped emerging generations and experienced leaders take action wherever they we are on the journey of following Jesus to the least, the last and the lost.
We are so grateful to everyone who took part and everyone who so generously gave their time and energy to make Surrender Adelaide 16 happen. We pray that as we all go into our cities, neighbourhoods and communities that we can continue to encourage each other to take the radical next steps of following Jesus in loving our neighbour, our enemy and God wherever we live. We look forward to the future stories of what God is up to in your community!