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April update

Holy heckling

I have experienced 2 examples of “holy heckling” recently – neither by Robin to Batman as in the old TV series (although I have been Batman a couple of times in the past, tights and all but that’s another story….).
But by children.

The first one was at a family outreach event when I was telling a version of the parable of the lost son and asked who was God like in the story.  A 5 year old girl said out loud “Well how do we know what God is like?”

The second one was at a parade service with the Girls Brigade when I asked “Do you trust Jesus to get to God?” and an 8 year old girl said out loud “No I don’t.”

Jesus in Mark 10 v 15 said we need to be like children to be part of the kingdom of God.  So how should we be like these 2 holy hecklers?

For example:
How should we encourage questions in our churches?
Are we trying to answer questions people aren’t actually asking in our programme themes?
Are we ready when people want to ask about the next step in their faith journey?
Do we ask people we talk to questions – about how they know what they say they know is true?

Happened:

28th Feb met with St Luke’s evangelism team to plan the next family outreach event.  Really encouraging to
hear also plans for them to join in Community fun days in the future and to follow up Baptism families more personally.

11th March part of the team at Church open day at North Ave URC.  Over 100 people from the community attended during the day with some in the church building for the first time.  To compare, there are usually no more than 20 people at the Sunday service, so this was really encouraging.

25th March spoke at family outreach event at St Luke’s Moulsham about Mums, an alternative version of the parable of the lost son and how Jesus builds a bridge for us between us and God.

26th March led and preached at Great Wakering evangelical church’s parade service with the Girls Brigade.  Lots of Mums who do not usually church were there.  One woman said afterwards how she wished she had invited her non – Christian to the service.  I have been invited back to speak at their end of Holiday club service in September so hopefully he will be there then!

Happening:

23rd April leading and speaking at Great Leighs Free church
29th April, 6th, 13th, 20th May leading Chelmsford Diocese’s Certificate of evangelism course with a group of 5 people from local churches who want to be equipped to share their faith more and encourage their churches to.

14th May speaking at Broomfield Road Evangelical church

25th May – 4th June Encouraging local URC churches to pray for people to come to know Christ as part of https://www.thykingdom.co.uk/

Help to connect Sundays to Mondays?

LICC have produced a range of resources to help churches help people to connect our corporate worship with the rest of our lives including resources to use with the whole church on a Sunday.  So for example have pictures of work places and communities as backgrounds to song words rather than the usual nature pictures or have a sign saying you are entering a place of worship as people leave the church building.
https://www.licc.org.uk/resources/whole-life-worship/

Help to share our faith and pray for people to know Christ?

Thy Kingdom come is a global movement from 25th May – 4th June to pray for people to come to know Christ.  It has some good ideas for families, churches and individuals to encourage prayer at https://www.thykingdomcome.global/prayerresources
For example I am planning on using the piece of string with 5 knots as a reminder to pray for 5 people idea with local URC churches.  There is also a connected good short practical film to encourage people to talk about Jesus that could be shown in services at https://vimeo.com/207618406

Help to think about evangelism biblically and practically?

I have always found this series of short booklets a useful read: https://grovebooks.co.uk/collections/evangelism
I have read one recently about listening more in evangelism – we usually think of talking with evangelism – and the impact that can have in our church’s outreach and also read one about conversion with a review of scriptural, psychological and social models – all in under 28 pages.  Other titles include ones about using social media and giving testimonies.

Help support an outreach to 300+ people a week?

Chelmsford churches have for 6 years served coffee at a local car boot sale, meeting and talking with 300+ people a week in the summer.  Recently they had most of their equipment stolen – could you help replace it?
For details how you can do this: http://www.churchatcarbootsale.org.uk/

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