Hungry at New Wine….

I have mentioned the Hungry venue a bit at New Wine but I felt it deserves a post all of its own.

The Hungry venue for the morning session (9.15 bible teaching) was new for 2012. Up until now you had Venue 1 which is the main venue and holds some 4-5,000 people. Aimed at the mainstream Christian. Then there is Venue 2 which holds about 2,000 people and aimed at being more cutting edge – certainly in terms of the sound of the worship. Each of these two venues has a very similar pattern. You have worship for 1/2 hour followed by a talk of 30-40 minutes followed potentially by some prayer ministry.

Hungry is different for a number of reasons. Firstly, its aimed at connecting with a more urban, inner city congregation. The woman hosting it is a pioneer minister on an estate in London. The talks through the week were from Andy Hawthorne of the Eden project based in Manchester and who works (along with teams) on the most deprived estates in Manchester. The format of the sessions was different too. The format included some worship (but less than 1/2 hour), testimonies from people on the estates, cutting edge drama from a team from the Message Trust followed by a 15-20 minute talk from Andy Hawthorn.

Indeed the drama by In Yer Face – especially on the last day – was really good and hard hitting. The final drama looked at the story of Hosea and Gomer within a modern urban setting. Very powerful look at love and relationships.

Very often at New Wine the worship is semi-professional and really awesome – but it can lead to a feeling of “I wish that we could bottle it up and take it home”. But the reality is that unless your a church such as HTB or Hillsongs then you are very unlikely to but also would you really  want to? How would you bring on and develop new people? How could you not end up excluding people by saying “your not good enough”?

The worship in Hungry was more what you could imagine a local church putting on. It was led by young musicians. One of the really awesome things about it was the percussion section of the band. The video below shows the percussion section of the band playing.

What was great was that they were using dustbins to play on – but the live effect was awesome. There was a real rhythm and beat to it and I have to say that although there were some more “professional” bands about at New Wine these guys win my vote for the most awesome worship.

I really hope that New Wine encourage and develop this venue and encourage the multi-cultural element that it is beginning to bring to New Wine. I hope that next year we will see its leadership also more multi-cultural and beginning to start reflecting the people to whom the church is reaching out to, especially in London.

I didn’t start off at Hungry this year. The first two sessions I spent at Venue 1 with Francis Chan teaching; but Sue and Jean kept talking about Hungry and so on the third morning I went along and I must admit I was totally hooked. It was noticeable that by the end of the week that quite a few Springfield people ended up there! If your going to New Wine next year do make sure to check it out. It may not be for everyone but it is a brilliant alternative.

Finally, I put this other short clip in another post but it is still worth it. Another clip of music from the great worship group at New Wine. Just wished I had video’d more of it.


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