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Summer update

What’s going on 

Dan Walker the TV presenter comes over as really nice bloke, a hard worker certainly, combining BBC Breakfast’s early morning starts with late night sport and a man who lives out his faith, for example not working Sundays.  After the recent media headlines about the Royal wedding sermon – who said preaching was past it? – he tweeted:

“So many people talking about what Reverend Michael Curry had to say at the #RoyalWedding.
There is plenty of preaching like that up and down the UK every Sunday.”

He has got a point hasn’t he?  There is lots of great stuff happening in churches every week that goes unseen and unheard of by the majority of the media and people.  What can we do about it?

  • Have more confidence ourselves in what happens in church, by the church and in who the church stands for.
  • When people ask us what we did at the weekend, tell them about the theme of the sermon, helping the community or raising money for charity.
  • Consider how the church can communicate to people not in the church about what is said and done more effectively – signs, media releases, websites, social media or newsletters through doors,
  • Look at the preaching in our churches – is it connecting life and faith in a way people can follow and respond to?

Past

10th March – led Saffron Walden Deanery Evangelistic preaching training morning for 25 clergy and lay preachers.  We looked at what is the gospel, what is the difference between pastoral preaching and evangelistic preaching and then how to do it.  It ended up with me preaching an example sermon and then them assessing it from what we had considered in the morning.  Tough crowd – but they were very gracious and more importantly, encouraged from the feedback to go and do it themselves – see Future column.
24th March – part of team for St Luke’s family event which had for the first time some families from the local Primary.  Just from putting leaflets into the school for it, as simple as that – see What’s going on above.
30th March – preached at Good Friday service in Chelmsford city centre to a crowd of 500 ish people, including the Mayor, local MP, City councillors and people walking past.  I talked about how Jesus is God in our shoes, taking our place when He died on the cross, and along the way about a French policeman who sacrificed his life to set a hostage free as well as Forrest Gump’s Mum and Cinderella for the shoes theme.
29th April – preached at some friends’ daughter’s dedication service: we should trust God like young children trust adults. That doesn’t always go smoothly though….
16th May – attended a Saffron Walden Deanery College of preachers evening to help prepare for Evangelism Sundays – see Future column.
20th May
– preached at Great Leighs free church about the need to keep doing the weeding in our lives. Had a strong reaction afterwards – at my confession to not being a gardening fan!

Future

9th June – part of a team from St Michael’s in Galleywood, Chelmsford putting on an evening of music and chat with Jules Rendall (sound check at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D05aCpIhQs4) as part of the Galleywood festival. It is aimed at people from the village and friends of the Christian community there and across the area.  It is a new direction for the church the festival so they would appreciate prayer for this.
10th June – Preaching at two Elsenham churches in Saffron Walden Deanery as part of their Evangelism Sundays; one a Book of common prayer service  then a service in the village hall for families.  It will be a sermon to reveal and remind people of the gospel, whether they have never heard it or heard it many times.  Please pray for people to respond to the gospel.
16th June – meeting to plan a possible new style Chelmsford Church of England Diocese evangelism course followed by a lay leaders training day and leading a workshop as part of that.
17th June – preaching at Ugley church (no comments needed) in Saffron Walden Deanery as part of their Evangelism Sundays.  Same prayer request as 10th June please.
1st July – preaching at BREC playgroup service. It has to be a World cup theme surely….
5th August – speaking not singing at a Songs of Praise service on the green with St Andrews in Sandon, Chelmsford and a Salvation Army band.
19th August  – preaching at BREC summer family service.

How is your church’s evangelism strategy?

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and if you can’t find the A team,

try https://nigelbolitho.org 

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