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March update

Work, rest and play

Work and rest.  Rest and work.   What order should they be and does it matter?  Reading Making new disciples (Ireland and Booker), I was challenged by the example of Jesus (nothing new there).  He had time to speak to people, for example the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4 v 7 – 26.  He was not rushing around ticking off his to do list, catching up on his messages or updating his status.  He took himself off to pray, for example in Mark chapter 1 v 35.  He was not too busy to pray, too tired to get up early or too distracted to focus.  They summarise it as “work from a place of rest.”

Do we do that?
With work? With the busyness of life?  With Church life?
So we have time for God, time for others and time for us.
So we do things well.
I know I don’t often.  I often work until I need to rest.
It is easier said than done of course, especially in the culture we live in, where there is pressure to be and say we are, busy.
But that’s Jesus’ way.

What’s been happening

8th December / 9th February co – led Church of England Chelmsford Diocese’s Evangelism enablers training course with six people who are training to encourage evangelism in their churches.  We have considered what is the gospel; the order of believe, become, belong and behave; shared stories of new evangelism experiences on placements; and considered how to engage with our local communities.  Please pray for them as they finish their training and start working in their churches in their new role.

22nd January supported Saffron Walden Deanery’s Evangelistic preachers meeting to prepare for Gospel Sundays in June, where the gospel will be preached in every church in the Deanery and people encouraged this year to bring friends / family who don’t normally come to church.  We looked at an example of an evangelistic sermon (surprisingly hard to find one online) and discussed some key questions about it.  Please pray for the people in churches to pray and invite people not in churches.

4th March met with Great Leighs Free church’s leadership to discuss making the service I am preaching at there in June an invitation service for friends / family who don’t normally come to church.  Please pray for the people in the church to pray and invite people not in church.

5th March met with Chair of Christians Together in Chelmsford to hear about possible links with City Vision to transform Chelmsford for Christ (https://cityvision.life/#overview).

What’s going to be happening

1st April – meeting Broomfield Road Evangelical church’s Pastoral leader to discuss Church weekend:
3rd – 5th May – Broomfield Road Evangelical church’s weekend at home: with the theme of Hebrews 10 v 23 – 25, I am leading workshops, giving a gospel message at a quiz, preaching at the Sunday morning service and speaking at a messy church style service.

7th May – Saffron Walden Deanery’s Evangelistic preachers meeting.

18th May – co – leading Church of England Chelmsford Diocese’s Evangelism enablers training course.

Recommended resource:

Soulfood is “about offering people the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects in bite-sized thoughts sent straight to a phone or inbox.” This is a good resource to recommend for following on an evangelistic event.  You can get small leaflets for people to take away with details about how to sign up for it based on a variety of subjects like parenting, exploring and praying.  See https://www.soulfood.me/

Recommended read:

I recently heard Paul Goodliff, the General Secretary of Churches Together in England, say that working together with other churches should be our first thought, not our last.  A Gathering Momentum by Roger Sutton highlights many examples where this is happening in this country, for example in The Gather network (http://www.gather.global/).  It emphasises the key to do this is being relational, prayerful and missional – are our churches all three?

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