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Summer update

Where’s God in the world?

Recently at work I was talking to a colleague about life and faith – he and I have frequent conversations about this at the end of work days.  It had been another tough day in a tough environment with teenagers who are excluded from schools and not engaged with their education, which is a whole other issue.  He said “God’s not in here, he’s out there”, indicating to the world beyond the school fence.  Is he right?

Most of us would probably say of course not – God’s everywhere.
But would our actions, diaries, priorities and budgets, as individuals or churches support that?
Or are they focused on the internal, the inward looking, the safe and comfortable?
Some people and some ministries like Street Pastors, CAP and Foodbanks are focused on the dark places, the places we have to be if we are to be the light of the world (Mat 5 v 14).
But are we?
If we are, are we enough if Jesus who we are to follow came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19 v 10)?

“No” I said, “He’s right in the middle of it in here.”

Past

3rd – 5th May – I was the speaker at Broomfield Road Evangelical church’s weekend at home: I led a workshop about their theme for the year (Hebrews 10 v 23 – 25) which challenged their relationships as a church and featured 3 lettuces (let us’s if you look at the text), was a quiz master at a community quiz giving a gospel message at  the end, preached at the Sunday morning service and spoke at a messy church style service without electrocuting a volunteer.

7th May – Met with Saffron Walden Deanery’s Evangelistic preachers to share ideas and plans for Gospel Sunday (see below).

18th May – Final session of Church of England Chelmsford Diocese’s Evangelism enablers training course with some positive feedback at the end from the six new enablers.

Future

6th June – Attending a meeting about possible cross Chelmsford initiatives with other churches and Christians with https://cityvision.life/

15th June – Leading a workshop at Church of England Chelmsford Diocese’s Lay ministry day.

16th June – Leading a service and preaching at Great Leighs church invitation service for friends and family who don’t usually attend church.

30th June – Speaking at two churches in Henham and Elsenham in Saffron Walden Deanery as part of their Gospel Sunday.   They have been encouraged to invite friends and family who don’t usually attend.

Book review:
The Continuing Conversion of the Church (Darrell Guder)

I have thought for a while that the church needs converting so it was good to read a book that was on the same page.  It starts with reminding readers of the importance of mission and evangelism, for example if it is God’s mission, then mission cannot be a sub topic of the church.  Witness defines the missional concept in the New Testament, something else I have thought for a while.  It talks about mission and evangelism together, as “being, doing and saying”.

But then it switches to how the church has not followed this all through and has created a divide between receiving the blessings of God through the gospel and sharing those blessings with others i.e. we should be a witness to others of the blessings we have received and others can to.

Guder makes lots of spot on points big and small with biblical backing.  Some more practical ideas and examples about how churches can be converted to bring the benefits of God’s grace and mission back together would be helpful to take this forward and keep it going forward.

Do you agree?

“The Church is in trouble because it has too often preached a gospel of affirmation not transformation.”

Rev. Steve Haskett (GOD TV, 06/04/2019)

Why do people not share their faith?

Faith pictures, a course by the Church Army, talks about blush, hush, rush, push, gush, mush and crush.

Can you work out what they are?

Which one is you?

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