I went to an evening at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity recently (www.licc.org.uk) about atheism, with an atheist (I try to practice what I preach). He really enjoyed the lecture and the questions and answers session (he asked the first question – brilliant) but afterwards said the curved ball, the unexpected thing, had been the prayer at the end.
The prayer had been short, relevant to the evening and said in a conversational style. Yet it had still been a curved ball to my friend, one that I had not seen coming. If that had been a curved ball to an intelligent, open minded guy, what do we say or do in our Church life with visitors around or in our conversations with people who are not Christians that could be seen as a curved ball? It does not mean we should not do it, it’s more about how we do it.
Last month included:
Celebrating Parenting Party at St Luke’s Moulsham: 6 new families came with all saying they enjoyed it and would like more events plus 6 adults saying they would like to know more about Christianity. There are plans for family mornings and offering different ways to find out more in the autumn.
St Michael’s Galleywood Festival Weekend: New families and ones that go to Mums and Toddlers group went to the storytelling day. Some new people attended the Festival Service on the Sunday.
St Johns Hospital Site outreach: With churches in South Chelmsford we decided on a regular first Sunday in the month 7pm meet up at The Fox and Hounds Pub to chat with regulars and meet people as they move in.
Meeting with a Church minister about starting a new youth work in the area and helping to start up a cafe style church service.
This month includes:
3rd August 10 am Preaching at Broomfield Road Evangelical Church, Chelmsford
3rd August 7 pm The Fox and Hounds Pub, Wood Street for first ‘pub church’
4th August 3 pm Meeting with the Chelmsford Diocese Mission and Evangelism Advisor
24th August 10.30 am Promoting The Fox and Hounds evenings at Church of the Holy Spirit
26th August 8 pm St Michael’s Evangelism Team meeting re Mission Weekend in September
Please pray for the new people these churches have met, that relationships with them will grow and develop into relationships with Jesus.
Sharing Jesus (by Hope and Sharing Jesus International) – a packed guide to help “put faith into words” with some recognised and different approaches. http://www.sharejesusinternational.com/product/sharing-jesus-book/
Men Needing Work
In “Sharing Jesus” (see recommended resource), there is a startling statistic: if you introduce a Mum to Jesus then 17% of the time the rest of the family will follow. If you introduce a Dad to Jesus then 93% of the time the rest of the family will follow. Even if the statistic is 50% wrong, that is still quite something.
Of course every one person is important to reach with Jesus. Every one person has an impact on those around them when they come to know Jesus. But churches have often struggled to reach men. So here are a few traditionally angled, but not exclusive to, reaching men ideas for you and your church:
Be practical: whether it is something to do with the church building or helping someone in the community, ask friends and husbands who don’t go to church to join in with DIY / gardening type jobs.
Be social: have evenings at the pub for men on the fringe and friends but why not introduce some discussions using table talk? http://www.theuglyducklingcompany.com/#/table-talk/4566159032
Be big kids: have a day playing golf, bowling, karting then pool or going to a theme park. Real kids optional.
Be sporty: Have an evening with a former professional footballer, e.g. Linvoy Primus to hear his story: http://www.lighthouseagency.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=13114
For lots more ideas about working with men have a look at http://cvm.org.uk/
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