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August update

What can we learn from England’s World cup

  • Good guys can be respected and win i.e. Gareth Southgate.
  • Waistcoats can be worn.
  • You need to prepare for pressure situations i.e. penalty shootouts.
  • England can win penalty shootouts.
  • Set piece plays are key so good to put some training in.
  • Players can be open and ‘normal’ i.e. playing darts with the Press and sharing books with each other.
  • People still want to come together to share experiences i.e. the fan parks for England games.
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to others for big questions i.e. VAR.
  • England can go from apathetic to enthusiastic in a short space of time.

What might we be able to learn from this about sharing our faith as individuals and churches in England?

Is it coming home?

Diary dates

10th and 17th June – preached at churches in Saffron Walden for their Evangelism Sundays.  More opportunities are to come so please pray for this Deanery as it looks to reach its communities.    .

16th June – co – led a Chelmsford Diocese workshop for Evangelism enablers – a recognised lay position to encourage evangelism.  Please pray for these 5 people, 2 of whom I trained in a course last year.

1st July – preached at Broomfield Road Evangelical church’s playgroup service. I did not make any children cry when doing a penalty shootout with them (theme – what are we aiming for?).  Please pray for the links this church has with the community to develop into spiritual growth.

5th August – spoke at a Songs of Praise service with St Andrews in Sandon, Chelmsford to 200 people most of whom were from the local community and not from the church.  Two good life and faith conversations afterwards.  Note to self for the future: don’t have bits of newspaper to talk about the news from when you are speaking outside in the wind….

16th September – preaching at Great Leighs Free church on passing on the message of God from Jonah.

18th September – meeting with all the preachers from Saffron Walden’s Deanery Evangelism Sundays to discuss another one next year and a possible regular meeting of evangelistic preachers in the area.

8th October – meeting with Broomfield Road Evangelical church’s leadership team to review their evangelism.

13th October – attending commissioning service at Chelmsford cathedral for new Evangelism enablers.

Tools and tips

Consider organising
in your community a Why on earth….course (https://whyonearth.me/Groups/294090/Church_Army/ms/Why_on_earth/Sessions/Sessions.aspx) which looks at life’s big questions like science v faith, why are some Christians judgemental, why do good things happen to good people and why bother with Jesus using a short video, reflection activities and discussion.  Could you run it in a pub?  Coffee shop?  Community hall?

Listen
out for people saying things like “People should be free to believe what they want to believe” when it comes to faith.  Would we say that about other areas of life like what people believe about motorway driving and maths?  Say something with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3 v 15) along those lines – see what happens!

Start a conversation
with people you have a coffee with Think box (http://mystudentlife.org.uk/the-think-box/ ).  Download the pictures onto your phone and ask them which photo would describe their life and spirituality?  Do it yourself first at home and think about what pictures you would chose and what you would say about the reasons why you chose them that might connect with the person you will be talking to.

Pray
for the nation to be transformed as part of a national call to pray for this on 29th September (https://ctntp.uk/vision-2018/).  Evangelism and prayer go together – one is talking to God about people and the other talking to people about God.

Read and recommend
Making sense of God (Tim Keller).  This looks at the key life issues including meaning, happiness, identity, freedom, morals and hope comparing secularist and Christian world views.  It is aimed at sceptics and looks at old and new arguments from different sources, philosophy and theology.

Someone recently asked me about what they could do for their son who is a Doctor and has turned away from their faith to come back.  As well as praying and faithful example, I recommended this book as ideal.

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