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October update

 What is the aim of the game?

Before a recent outreach event I was talking to a ‘more mature’ lady from the church who was organising it.  The event was happening inside the church building / sanctuary itself as opposed to the usual church hall venue for it.  She did not seem happy that it was being used for something that was not a service but we talked about that.  She then said “Well they never come to church on a Sunday morning anyway.”  After the event I spoke to someone else who had a similar view.

Is that the aim of outreach – to get people into church?
Is that the great commission?
Was that what God sent Jesus to earth to do, to die for?

Jesus only mentions the word church twice: once in relation to Peter to build on (Mat 16 v 18) and once about sorting out disputes (Mat 18 v 17) – a sign of things to come perhaps?  He talks a lot about something far bigger, something for now and forever for all, God’s kingdom and how He is the king of and the key to that kingdom.  That can only become a reality through Him so faith in Him must be the aim.

Of course faith in Him should be lived out in a faith community, that is the biblical picture.  It is a team game. But that can take many forms, as many as there are team games.

And not all of them happen on a Sunday morning.

September had…

St Michael’s Galleywood Evangelism team meeting – a really encouraging meeting with a clear annual plan for the church identified and an action plan for encouraging personal witness formed.

Meeting with SYM schools team to discuss a possible mentoring program with churches to support Christian young people in schools to share their faith with friends.

Preaching about sharing our faith at Kelvedon URC – some positive feedback from people who found it encouraging and realistic.

St Luke’s Harvest family event had about 20 mums and children who do not usually attend the church.  For the first time a short messy church style service was included which they all happily joined in with which was a big step forward.

Meeting CGC Basildon’s pastor to talk about building momentum in the church following the summer’s mission focus.

October has…

4th October Visiting All Hallows in Bow to talk about possible ways of working together in the future.

5th October St Michael’s Galleywood Evangelism team meeting to plan Christmas (it is already in the shops….).

10th and 17th October Chelmsford Diocese’s Chelmsford area Certificate of evangelism training: I am co-leading these days to 6 people from local churches who want to be encouraged and equipped in evangelism for themselves and their churches.  Topics we cover inc what is evangelism, biblical principles, today’s culture, instant or process and community work.

22nd October Meeting with someone who wants to use health and fitness classes to reach people who are not Christians.  No pain no gain.

Recommended resource: Connect for life

(http://connect4life.org.uk/)

Looking for something for personal outreach that has a more contemporary feel about it than a book or a small group course?  Have a look at the Connect 4 life material.  It targets people who have never connected or lost connection with God using relevant themes, language, quotes and portable technology.  There is also discipleship material for people already connected.

But there is no ageism because of technology – look at the links at the bottom of the home page for the silver surfers…

Recommended read:  Simply good news (Tom Wright)

“In many churches the good news has subtly changed into good advice”
(page 4).

Harsh – but true?  As Tom Wright says, good advice would mean it to be seen as scandalous and foolish as the good news was in Paul’s day (1 Cor 1 v 23).  Good news should be something that is a new development as part of a larger story, a report of something that has happened, that means a period of waiting before being completely fulfilled and that means everything has now changed.

So often the way we talk about the gospel makes it sound like just another way of thinking or a lifestyle choice, “it would be nice if you did.” The truth is the world then, now and in the future has changed through Jesus and His death and resurrection.  It is more of a question do we want to be part of that new reality?

“We need to be good news people” (page 168), to take this good news out so that God’s kingdom becomes a reality in the lives of those around us.  As always Tom Wright is theologically sound and practically challenging.

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