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November update

What message

What message are we supposed to be communicating to people about Christianity – be nice, be good, God loves you, go to church, love people or what?  As part of preparation for some training I am going to be doing, I have been looking at different ways different people summarise ‘the gospel’.  It is in as many ways as there are grains of sand on a beach. Here are some of the ways:

Simple way e.g. it is good news, that’s what the word gospel means.

Biblical way e.g. “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ” (1 Cor 15 v 3,4).

Wordy way e.g. “God has provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His son to the world. He suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will accept it. The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement” (The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopaedia).

Alternative way:
1. I’m a complete idiot.
2.  My future is incredibly bright.
3.  Anyone can get in on this.

See the link between them all?
Different ways. Same message.

 What’s happened

Preached at an end of holiday club service at Great Wakering evangelical church using the story of Jonah and some of it dressed as a donkey (the theme of the holiday club was animals…).  Not many people not from the church were there – but one family has started going to church as a result of that week which is always a great result of holiday clubs!

Led the service at North Ave URC about God’s grace: is it fair? with lots of discussion during the service (it was facilitated, it was not heckling) and afterwards which is always encouraging.

Took workshops at UEC’s church day (a network of 15 churches) about bringing friends to church and to Jesus.  Some really good contributions from people and gave them a small card to write on names of people to remind them to prayer and share.

Spoke at Saffron Walden’s Church of England Deanery synod about why evangelism is essential.  Some good feedback about people feeling more confident about sharing their faith afterwards, how I had made it sound doable – which it is!

Met with St Luke’s Evangelism team to plan an outreach event and consider how to grow relationships more with people.  Encouraging they are talking about how to support the growing parents and toddlers group.

Part of a team for a Shadows tribute band community event at North Ave URC – never been involved in one of those before!

What’s happening

25th November – Part of the team for a Christmas Advent family event at St Luke’s Moulsham.  Please pray that people will get involved in the travelling crib (families take turns to ‘host’ a knitted nativity set before passing it onto another family) that will happen after it and come to the crib service in December.

3rd December – Preaching at Great Leighs Free church on Advent including Christmas cracker jokes such as what did the man get who stole an Advent calendar?  25 days….

10th December – Preaching at Broomfield Road Evangelical Church playgroup service on ….yes you guessed it… Christmas including guess the distance between heaven and earth.  Some interesting answers to that on Google.

12th December – Meeting a local church leader.

9th January – Meeting with Saffron Walden’s Deanery Evangelism team to plan a training morning later in the year about how to preach the gospel.

10th January – Speaking at a Chelmsford Churches Together Civic breakfast at Hylands House.

You might find useful….

Has your church signed up to Hope 2018 to make Jesus known?  It gives a good rhythm of mission for the year with ideas what to do when.  See http://www.hopetogether.org.uk

Do you or do you know someone who would appreciate some help into preaching for everyday life?  Access to films and input to help reflection, discussions and action at https://www.licc.org.uk/resources/preaching/

If you would like regular evangelism ideas for you and your church, please sign up to receive the monthly update.

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