Was it a good Roots?
Yes but it was not an easy and there are two sides to the impact of the event. Corporate and indiviudual.
In terms of where the event fits into assisting and enabling the UK Salvation Army as a corporate body in renewal and mission this years Roots was edgy. The leadership team were determined that the descent into a fellowship weekend at the seaside mentality be halted. As a result there were a number of disgruntled people who didn't get want they wanted to consume.
There are others who really think that Roots needs to get back to its early reputation for having a radical edge and want boundaries pushed much further in the styles of teaching and worship. 13 years on the debate about what is meant by radical rages more fiercely than ever. There are still others who are passionate about the Army being renewed and returning to effective mission but who feel a disquiet that Roots is too culture led, too influenced by what the wider church is teaching and doing and not endorsing Salvation Army distinctives such as holiness and soldiership enough.
Consequently there was some flatness and some tension initially. As far as those looking for entertainment are concerned I believe there is no point in them coming next year. Roots as an extentsion of New Horizons or whatever it is called is over. But what its future looks like I just don't know. At the end the day the future renewal of the SA does not depend upon Roots. However Roots really could continue to inspire and facilitate it if there is real discernment through prayer of where the Spirit is leading.
Despite all I said above. God worked through the event in a powerful way just as he has in the past. Sunday evening saw a massive response to the altar call. Candidates for officership came forward throughout the week-end. Cafe Church worked really well, the children's and youth events all reported significant responses in terms of people getting saved and in moving forward in their experience.
For the first time I was part of the prayer team and it was a privilege to pray with people seeking God's way and for those who needed to find comfort or freedom in Christ. It was so good and we had a great team.
Roots 2008, will I be there? It's more than likely.