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January update

Review and Preview

Thank you for your interest, support and prayer for my Evangelism consultancy work in 2019.  As always with an awareness of and focus on God, it has been a fascinating year.  Personally, the biggest change has been a change of job with leaving management in full time education in the summer and starting marketing at Oak Hill College.  This is a very different challenge of course, with the need to train more people for gospel ministry in the U.K. and beyond, and has brought a much-needed different rhythm of life.  We never really know the impact of our work, but highlights of this year include speaking at Broomfield Road Evangelical Church’s Playgroup service (see below), training more Evangelism enablers for the Chelmsford Diocese and helping Street Pastors in Chelmsford and Billericay think about the why, how and what of their ministry for the present and future.

Looking ahead to 2020 (without 2020 vision), there are a number of interesting possible opportunities ahead:

  • Hope 2020 – a focus for churches across denominations across the country (https://www.hopetogether.org.uk/Groups/318984/HOPE_for_all.aspx). Please pray that this will create a focus and a force for Christ for individuals, churches, society and the media.  Connected with this is:
  • Advance 2020 – an initiative to encourage evangelists.  Please pray as I consider what this might look like locally (https://advance2020.org/).
  • Chelmsford – there have been lots of conversations recently between Christians, churches and organisations about how we might work together more to change the city more.  Please pray for unity and clarity as we aim to join in with God’s mission here.
  • Evangelism consultancy – after a time of being more reactive and restoring with my job change, I will be seeking out more opportunities to hep God’s church communicate Jesus to people who don’t know him,  Please pray for these, for more people to tell more people about Jesus as a result and look out for anyone or any church you know who might need help in evangelism.

What’s happened

Spoke at Chelmsford and Billericay Street Pastors retreat days – both groups responded brilliantly to reflecting on the great work that they do now and how it could develop in the future as we looked at the incarnational mission of Jesus.  Please pray that they will consider all the ideas that were shared and continue to develop their work which meets people where they are.

Met with Saffron Walden Deanery’s Evangelism team to discuss how we can encourage churches to invite more people to the summer’s Gospel Sundays.

Spoke at UEC Faith matters day – there were some good questions and points made by people as we considered the Word ministries that a few of us, some of us and all of us have.  Please pray as this group of churches looks to communicate God’s word to it’s communities.

Preached at Broomfield Road Evangelical Church’s Playgroup Nativity service – it was great to speak to a church so packed with visitors that regulars had to stand at the back.  It was especially good to see lots of young men visiting there – a rare sight in most churches.  People might visit churches at Christmas for all sorts of reasons but it is up to us to make the most of the opportunities.  Please pray for this church as they aim to do just that.

What’s happening

6th January – meeting with David Gilbey, Chair of Christians Together in Chelmsford.

8th January – meeting with Saffron Walden Deanery’s Evangelism team.

19th January – Preaching at Holy Trinity, Rayleigh to encourage evangelism.

8th February – attending meeting with Bishop of Chelmsford and Saffron Walden Deanery churches about encouraging evangelism.

Meetings tbc about possible new work with 2 local churches.

How would you summarise the gospel in 1 word?  3 words?  30 words?  

I recently read (Re)Union by Bruxy Cavey that does just that.  He does start by saying that many gospel summaries that are used in evangelism training traditionally, like the 4 spiritual laws or the bridge picture, are too limited in that they reduce the gospel to ‘just’ good news about being saved from the consequences of sin.  Salvation he says is much bigger than that, notably it means being part of the kingdom of God, not getting into heaven but “heaven into us” (page 75).  I know what he means but the consequences of sin is the bottom line problem of humanity so if you had to summarise the gospel in brief to someone, best go for that one.  But of course gospel summaries are restricting as they are trying to summarise what the Bible describes in at least 59 ways (my own research) and describes as a mystery (Colossians 4 v 3).

So what are the 1 word, 3 word and 30 word summaries?  Have a think and then either read the book or message me with your answer and I will message you back with his plus some of my thoughts.  I remember being challenged in my early days of Evangelism consultancy – people need to know what they are to communicate before thinking about how they are to communicate it.

How to communicate the gospel in 1 word

For me it is intentional.  Now working in a Christian environment full time, having spent years getting busier at work so reducing relationships with people outside of work, I have realised I need to be more intentional in building up relationships with people who are not Christians to keep my head in what is the real world for most people and to show and tell God’s love to people who need it the most. So that means time and effort to meet up with people, keep in touch with people and pray and look for opportunities to talk about their lives, my life and what the impact of faith is for me and can be for them.

Do you need to be intentional too?

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