I had the privilege of being asked to speak at a church’s carol service at their local pub in December. To try and keep the pub culture, I (bravely / foolishly) asked the people there (a mix of Christians, their friends and family who don’t usually attend church and pub regulars) for their questions about the Christmas story.
I was expecting who were the wise men / why is it 25th December sort of questions but got more like:
- What did Mary and Joseph do with the gifts from the wise men?
- Why apart from Mary are there no women in the story?
- Why did Jesus come at that time?
- At what age did Jesus know he was the messiah?
- If Christmas is about love why aren’t Christians more loving?
With the collective wisdom in the room (to try and keep the pub culture again) we managed to at least suggest answers but a reminder that people are still thinking and asking questions when given an opportunity.
Do you give people that opportunity?
Challenge: what did you do at the weekend?
How often do you ask or get asked this question? I think most of us do a lot. So how many times do our answers include we went to church in some way? If we go to football every week I reckon we would say. So my challenge is: get it in there! Say something about what what happened there e.g. we talked about the refugee crisis or we heard a story about a prayer being answered – something that could be interesting to the person you are talking to or even just that you went to church to see their reaction. It will take courage, prayer and preparation to think after church – what could I say to someone about today? But it is an opportunity.
Please let me know how this challenge goes via email / comment on the website / Twitter or Facebook. I will be doing it too!
Know people who would consider themselves as spiritual but not religious? Who struggle with parenting? Who struggle with health? (the 2 can be connected….).
http://www.soulsearch.org.uk/ is a new website that I have come across which offers support and reflection for people like this online. They are openly Christian e.g. they say on the homepage that use wisdom from the Bible and want to engage with people who would not think normally about engaging with Christians.
Although not an App man myself, the iTruth App has short films and music clips to help people consider their lives and God. It’s free and could be useful to highlight to people who want to find out more after an outreach event. See http://makejesusknown.com/itruth2/ for more details.
Recently I have been highlighting useful websites at the end of outreach events if people want to find out more as people are much more used to finding out more that way, for example christianity.org.uk or rejesus.co.uk.
18th Dec – Spoke at Broomfield Road Evangelical Church’s (BREC) carols @ the pub (see above): please pray for those who heard about Jesus there but who don’t know Him.
9th Jan – as a member of SYM (schools and youth ministries) board, we met and agreed a special week in schools in Chelmsford in October with an out of school event at the end of the week where young people can find out more re Christianity. Please pray for the practical arrangements, schools involved, churches to get involved and the young people who will hear about it.
28th Jan – outreach event (free food!) at North Avenue URC church. I have been attending here for a while now and it is a small church with an uncertain future but this is to try and build more links with the local community. Please pray we will get to know people more and more people.
5th Feb – preaching at morning service at BREC on God’s forgiveness and it’s transforming impact then in the afternoon at their messy church style service on God’s transforming love. Please pray especially for the people who attend the afternoon service who don’t attend any other time.
13th Feb – Meeting BREC’s leadership team to review their outreach focused vision plan that I was involved in forming 18 months ago to see how it is going and plan for more! Please pray for clarity for future plans.
If you would like to keep more up to date with how the things I am involved with are going plus get some more evangelism resources and thoughts, you can on Twitter (NigelBolithoEC) or Facebook (Nigel Bolitho Evangelism consultancy).
My diary has room to help more churches with evangelism so am contacting a number to offer – please pray for this and let any churches you know who might want some help where they can find me!
Thanks very much as always for your support.
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