Every year Life Church in Bradford, UK hold a men’s conference called Xcel where thousands of guys of all ages gather to worship and learn more about God over a 24 hour time-scale. This year was the first one I have attended.
The first session of the conference was set to begin at 7:30pm on Friday night inside the main church building, we had to queue outside for a while till the doors opened, once the doors opened all the guys rushed in to get a good seat. Myself and my brother managed to get lucky with two cool guys sitting at the front giving up their seats for us to sit in them, we also managed to reserve these seats for the whole conference!
Xcel kicked off with a video being displayed on the main screen which you can see in the above picture, followed by some really good worship, then Paul Scanlon gave us a warm welcoming to the event, giving us a run-down on what would be happening in the next 24 hours of the conference. Trust me, their was plenty for us guys to do at this event, from eating hog roasts, playing Fifa13 on a big screen and table tennis during break times.
On the Friday night we had a Pastor called Joe Champion come all the way from Celebration Church in Austin Texas, USA. I had never heard of him before but he preached to us a great message on Eutychus, ‘who became very sleepy until he eventually fell asleep and fell from the windowsil he was sitting on as Paul was speaking’. (See Acts: 20:9)
Once the first night came to an end it was time to head back to the hotel for some rest.
Saturday morning was kicked off with some worship songs, followed by prayer and a short introduction on what would be happening throughout the final day.
Paul Scanlon then brought a message to us about how sometimes as men we need to just chill out a little and play instead of always being on the go all the time, because God gifted everyone with playtime, not just for younger people. One of his quotes was:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
He also started kicking footballs around the building along with huge balloons which when burst showered confetti all over the place, this was quite entertaining but also fitted in well with his message!
During the afternoon session we started with worship then Joe Champion preached again this time he preached on the meaning of Xcel and what kind of men, Xcel men are. He gave good points by sharing with us some great examples of Xcel men in the bible like David who stood up against the giant, Goliath. Joe also preached a little on how we need to be aggressive men of God, instead of being passive. We then had a some great praise and worship time, the band did a pretty good job!
With just one more session to go before the 24 hours had come to an end Paul Scanlon preached the last message. Paul preached on how we need to develop as Christians he gave examples with a picture of a caterpillar being transformed into a cocoon until it finally becomes a nice looking butterfly.
The most important part of the process is being stuck in the cocoon, this is when we tend to work our way into becoming something great. He went with the story of Jonah being stuck in the whale all alone, with just him and God, once the whale spat Jonah out he started listening to God, instead of doing his own thing.
Overall I really enjoyed the conference and got a lot out of it, I met some great people such as Dave Niblock and Steve Gambill along with some other cool guys. Hopefully if all is well I will be attending again next year. If you are interested in going to Xcel 2013 check out the Life Church’s website for more information. If you are a woman, don’t feel left out they also have a woman’s conference every year called Cherish.
Hi. I'm Phil Lusted, the guy who designed and runs this blog. Here I will be sharing with you my life, faith and hobbies. Thanks for taking the time to visit!