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March update

Ladders

Ladders used to be a game I first played as a young youth leader – I am sure it must be banned for health and safety reasons now (young people running over the legs of lots of other young people sitting on the floor?!).  But that’s not the ladders we are thinking about:

“The church that has the low rungs on the ladder and is the most welcoming, that has the best reputation in the community, those are the ones that will be doing
the most evangelism”
(Andy Stanley).

Is this your experience? How low is your church’s ladder?
Too often we have it too high whether it is in terms of:

  • The focus being on Sunday worship – which is not suitable for everyone all the time.
  • The focus being on closed groups – for those in the know where, when and what they are.
  • Not challenging peoples’ misconceptions about what church is, who Jesus is and what following him means for everyone’s life.
  • Not giving people time and opportunity to experience God’s love, God’s people and God’s life.

By having low rungs to meet people where they are we will be showing we care before we share and that will create the reputation with others that Acts 2 v 47 talks about, with hopefully the result it talks about: The Lord saving people.

Gone down

28th Jan – outreach event at North Avenue URC church.  Much to the church’s amazement, thanks to targeted promotion, free food and God’s grace the church was packed for 2 hours with 85 people. We did the event with the help of Oasis church (church’s working together – shocking) with two thirds of people from the local community with links through toddlers group, cafe and youth centre with the church. People were asking when the next event was (see next column!); I had 1 conversation with someone about church and God.

5th Feb – preached at BREC’s morning service about how God doesn’t just forgive us but credits us with Jesus’ righteousness.  In the afternoon, I spoke at their messy church style service on God’s love.  I multi tasked (surprising I know if you know me), building a bridge out of bricks whilst telling the story of the lost son to show how God builds a bridge to him for us through Jesus. There were 40 adults and children there, most of whom do not go to church at any other time so it was great to talk about this to them!

13th Feb – Met with BREC’s leadership team to review their outreach focused vision plan. It was really encouraging to see what they had done in 2 years and they said they found it useful to be reminded of some old things and talk about some new things to action so the momentum continues.

21st Feb – met with David Gilbey from Chelmsford 24 7 prayer (https://chelmsford24-7.org/) to talk about Thy kingdom come week in Chelmsford (https://www.thykingdomcome.global/ which is focusing on praying for people to become Christians.

Coming up

28th Feb – meeting with St Luke’s evangelism team.  This is to plan the next family outreach event on 25th March but will also be to talk about some of the ideas raised at the last review meeting in September to see how progress is going.  The church has limited resources and is waiting for a new vicar to be appointed but wants to make the most of the links it has in the community.  Please pray for wisdom in decisions for the way forward.

11th March Church open day at North Ave URC.  This will hopefully build on the last event to show people what the church does during the week – youth activities, after school clubs, senior citizens fellowship, prayer plus free food of course! Please pray that we will see some of the people there last time to build relationships with them, that they will connect with some of the things they see and want to get involved more.

12th March leading and preaching at North Ave URC on being reborn (that it is about believing in Jesus not coming to church) and telling re born to others (that it is imperative to tell others re Jesus not an option).  Please pray for people to have ears to hear this message as it is a message for the moment for where the church is – by ‘Godincidence’ from the URC lectionary.

25th March family outreach event at St Luke’s Moulsham (see above).

26th March leading and preaching at Great Wakering evangelical church’s parade service on Mothers day.  Please pray for the visitors who attend this once a month service to want to find out more about God’s love for their lives.

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