Should we stay or
should we go?
It’s a good question, as The Clash (1980’s punk rock band – showing my age but not my taste in music) similarly sung. Their lyrics also said “if I go there will be trouble, if I stay there will be double”. That’s probably true.
In a church meeting in the summer we had a discussion about whether to repeat an event where people who were not Christians had been invited to come along to it. Some had come along to the last one, but it had more been them finding it by accident than coming along by someone inviting them. They usually do events where they go to where people who are not Christians are and try to engage them there. After much discussion we realised that if our aim is to engage people who did not believe in Jesus (as it should be), it is much better focusing time, resources, prayer and effort on where those people already are rather than inviting them to something different with all the barriers that brings. It is better that they are comfortable and we aren’t – we have God to trust for that, that’s His specialty.
There are two basic models for evangelism – come and see and go and tell. We see Jesus endorse both of them – come and see in John 1 v 39 and go and tell in Mark 5 v 19. So it is not either or but both and. But increasingly in a culture where people don’t and won’t come to church, are suspicious of Christian events and have little knowledge of the true Jesus, we need to focus on go and tell where people already are.
Have a look at http://www.churchatcarbootsale.org.uk/ for a good example of this: where could your Church go regularly where there are two thousand plus people?
Coming up in September….
1st St Michael’s Galleywood Evangelism team meeting – putting together an action plan for the team and therefore the church to be more focused on the priorities.
3rd Meeting with Chelmsford Church of England Diocese’s Mission and Evangelism Advisor.
13th Preaching about sharing our faith at Kelvedon URC.
16th Meeting to prepare to deliver Chelmsford Diocese’s Certificate of evangelism training next month.
19th St Luke’s Harvest family event – this will include a short service which these events do not usually have as the Church wanted to give people more to think about now relationships are growing.
In addition to these diary dates, it would be great if you could also pray for:
Some leads I have recently followed up with churches about possibly working with them in the future.
Linked with the above, balance between Evangelism consultancy work, school work and general life.
My own witness to my friends and family.
Thanks very much for all your interest and support with the work.
What do I say if someone asks me about……what is Christianity?
We should not expect to have all the answers to all the questions someone could ask us about Christianity. But I have found it useful to have in my head a short, simple, visual summary of what Christianity is, the heart of it, the key things for someone to hear, hopefully remember and think about. In other words, what the Gospel is. As 1 Peter 3 v 15 says, we should be prepared to answer the question about why we have the hope for life now and in the future that we have.
Here are three examples: two are classics I have used but I have been amazed over the years the number of Christians I have told these to who do not know them, and one I have recently found.
Two ways to live:
Each one of these has strengths and weaknesses. I do think something visual is good as you can draw it as you talk to someone, discuss it with them and then give it to them to take away (or send the web link to them) when the conversation is done so God can keep working in their lives through it.
If you know of other good, visual Gospel outlines, please let me know!
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