A former sales and marketing director turned church leader from Horsham was among the speakers at one of the country’s newest Christian festivals last week.
Andy Robinson, lead pastor at Kings Church Horsham, his wife Hazel was among the seminar leaders at the Devoted festival in Newark.
They headed up a lifezone entitled Life in the Spirit, drawing on experiences in their church community.
Andy, 49, of Southwater, said: “God’s done some amazing stuff here at Kings and we’ve seen the presence of God so evident every Sunday and starting to see the miraculous more and more.
“It’s great releasing the presence of God and moving in the gifts of the Spirit on Sunday but if it doesn’t make a difference on Monday it doesn’t make a difference.”
For Andy, leading a church and speaking at Christian events was a world away from his previous work.
A Christian since the age of 12, his early career was in computer programming. He later became sales and marketing director for an international software company. But things changed about 10 years ago when Andy took a step of faith to fulfil a calling on his life that he had known was there for about 20 years and joined the church.
The father of two sons said: “I’d known since I was about 19 that God had clearly spoken about being in ministry. It was a very clear call from God along with a 70-plus per cent pay cut. God’s so good and we’ve never felt we’ve gone without or been left out by God.”
In 2009 Andy became a church elder and the following year took over the job of leading the church’s eldership team.
A visionary whose day job now sees the church team following his lead, Andy is keen to serve other people’s visions too. This led him to help with set up at the Newday Christian festival near Norwich. It was there that he linked with Graham Pyman, a key figure in ChristCentral Churches and the team behind last week’s Devoted festival.
He and Andy both believe God has helped them change and develop Kings Church Horsham.
Andy said: “I had these massive encounters with God which totally unravelled me when I realised that God’s primary purpose in sending Jesus wasn’t to forgive my sins but my adoption as a son.
“If people don’t like me or don’t agree with me it doesn’t alter God’s view of who I am.
“We began to change the culture here keen to be pursuing the presence of God, encountering God and experiencing our theology.
“God was really breaking out in a great way. Graham was watching that and felt that was something he was hungry for.”
This eventually led to Jeremy Simpkins, host of Devoted, inviting Andy and others from the church to share their experience and knowledge at the festival.
Andy said: “It’s about releasing the Spirit into every area of our life. I’m passionate for us to experience the theology that we hold. We believe in the Word and we believe in the Spirit. I’ve never been convinced that we’ve allowed those to collide in a way that creates experience.”
Andy was looking forward to taking part in the festival, which launched last year. He said: “It’s a massive privilege and I’m really humbled at being given the opportunity to be there. I love all things new and shiny.”
The 350-mile round trip to Newark certainly should not have been a problem for him. In his spare time the self-proclaimed born-again motorcyclist enjoys long adventures across the world.
He said: “I drive a nice big fat BMW, which I like to drive to the remotest parts on Earth I can find. I last year rode 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle just for fun. Next year I’m planning to drive down into the Sahara and places in north Africa.”