Five things I loved about One Event
1. Being part of a large Christian camp.
Anytime I get the opportunity to spend time with other Christians, whether it be Spring Harvest, Opwekking, Soul Survivor or a normal church weekend away, I’m there. I love it. Love spending time with Gods people, love going away with friends, and love hearing different speakers that I’ve not heard before.
2. Authentic tent
One thing they had at One Event was a tent set up for 18-30s which was a hang out place and served drinks and had live acoustic artists on the stage. It was really cool to chill out there with friends, and just laugh and relax. They have a similar place at the Dutch Opwekking festival called De Keet, those sorts of venues easily attract me to them. When I set up a small ministry called Late Lounge about 5 years ago, it was that type of vibe I was trying to achieve, and we didn’t do too bad a job on our very tight budget. I think any church should seriously think about having this type of hang out place at least once a week.
The exhibition area had many different organisations promoting themselves, such as Compassion UK, Message Trust, CLC bookshop and many more. It was great to find out more about some organisations I hadn’t heard of before. I was particularly proud of my small church Shoreline for contributing 3 stands to the Expo, with Green Pastures, Mission Europe and SMC present. It is a powerfully statement that says no matter how small you, just like David (against Goliath) you can make a difference in the world.
I really should have gone to more seminars because they are so beneficial, but I only made it to one. (And it was entirely be accident because we walked into the wrong venue and were too embarrassed to leave once we realised!) It was led by Jeff Lucas and he spoke on Transformational Preaching. To be honest, it was really very useful and I made plenty of notes. The Q&A was also really interesting.
5. Deepening friendships
Although I knew everyone pretty well who went from our church, I still think I got to know a few people a little better. Our Youth Leader Alex and his wife Sarah continue to be a source of inspiration and encouragement, and long-term friends, and I loved spending every minute with them. We did a trip to Lincoln on the bank holiday Monday, where we got to visit the cathedral and see the (outsides) of the castle. We also managed to gate-crash a Steam Punk festival – which not only confused us, but after chatting to the castle security guards, had confused them as well. Quite what it was all about I have no idea, but it did feel like we’d walked onto the film set of a Tim Burton movie.
Five things that weren’t that good
Not the fault of One Event, but my travelodge room was a 25 minutes drive away which had a toll bridge along the route. I had thought it was slightly closer when I booked it, so it did pile the miles on my car doing that twice a day. The toll bridge was only 40p to get over it, but it was a bit of a pain making sure you had the cash available each time as they didn’t except card. The travelodge itself however was superb. Next time I think I’ll camp.
2. Add on fees
When you spend £100 to attend a 3.5 day event you would hope everything is included but we had to pay for extras, for example, the programme guide (£1) and for the Hillsong worship event on the Saturday afternoon (£2). I don’t why event organisers do this. It’s small sums of money but it’s just annoying and makes you feel like you’re being ripped off. I don’t know why they don’t just increase the overall event fee by £5 and then remove all these extra little costs that annoy.
3. Taking an offering
Another small complaint is at a paid-for event they took offerings at each evening service with a target of raising £150,000 over the course of the weekend for Ground Level Network, the parent organisation of One Event. I wouldn’t have minded if they had done an offering for a different organisation such as Compassion or TearFund, but when you’ve paid £100 to be there and then they ask you to “think of what you want to give and then increase that amount” you just think what is this? Where is this money going? Tell me more, surely £100 per person is enough to put on this event considering the thousands that attend. They also don’t seem to factor in that you might come from a church that isn’t wealthy, and needs my money more than a big event like One Event. I don’t like being made to feel guilty by not giving much into their offering, the should rethink this idea.
4. More church attendance from my church
It was a disappointing attendance from the adults and families at my church, I would have hoped that many more people went. I think about 30 attended but the majority were young people/kids. One of the cool things about church weekend aways is you get to know people you didn’t know very well before. Well that didn’t happen this time because hardly anyone came, so next year I would encourage all my church friends and families to attend! If finance is a problem, start saving now!
Jeff Lucas was the best (although his slow, comedic style annoys me a bit, but the 40+ demographic seem to find him hilarious). The other speakers didn’t really connect with me, probably because I’m not really a Pentecostal but attend a Pentecostal church. That really is not the fault of the event, it’s my issue to deal with! I think most other people probably enjoyed the talks.
On the first night a woman from Fusion called Miriam spoke. I really didn’t want to like her talk, because when I was at university ten years ago, Fusion had just arrived on university campuses, and they basically caused so much disunity on our campus between the Christian students. Years later, I still find it hard to forgive that organisation and get over it. Of course this was not Miriam’s fault, it was years before she even became apart of Fusion, but as I listened to her talk I was thinking about the years of hurt and frustration Fusion had caused on our campus. I was (regrettably) hoping she’d be terrible. She wasn’t. She was very good. Well done Miriam.
Overall, I’m glad I went, and I’m actually excited to go next year. Mainly because the speakers are much more ‘up my street’ with J.John (Philo Trust) and Steve Clifford (from the EA) booked to speak. That really excites me. I hope my church plans on going next year, and this time with more families from our church. If we could get 50-60 people going that would be great.