‘Go into all the world and make disciples of all peoples…………’

The words of Jesus ring down through the last two millennia, a fundamental command to the church in every age; to call people to know and love God and to enable them to live as followers of Jesus.

We are very much at a pivotal time in the life of our church, prayerfully seeking God’s vision for our future and planning for development in key areas of the life of the church.

Although God’s plan for his church feeds into everything it is and does, it is the area of evangelism and mission which Jesus’ words here speak most directly in to.

A small group or ‘think tank’ will shortly be taking responsibility for this and I’m sure God will show us all sorts of things we hadn’t thought of before; leading us in new and exciting directions.

The first fruits of this will emerge this coming autumn, beginning on Sunday 22nd September; please do get this date in your diaries. That day will be known as ‘Invitation Sunday’ and this will be an opportunity to invite and welcome people who either haven’t been to church in a while or who have never been. This will be a communion service with a theme which will be especially helpful to people who may be with us for the first time, or for the first time in a while.

One of the many things which can lead to church growth is developing a ‘culture of invitation’; where those of us who worship here regularly can invite friends, neighbours and colleagues to a service or an event. Research shows that churches which develop this culture, where many people do receive personal invitations from the church family, do grow. If we don’t ask, then they almost certainly won’t come.

The picture of church growth and making disciples as Jesus says we should, is of course much bigger than just inviting people to Sunday services; but it is a good start.

Alongside this we will be running a 4 session ‘taster course’ in October, one evening a week for 4 weeks. This will be given over to considering some of the big questions in life: Is there a God? If so, what is he like? Why so much suffering? How can I be happy? What happens after we die? This course, known as Puzzling Questions, runs along similar lines to the popular Alpha Course, but it is shorter and asks some different questions. Churches which run ‘courses’ like this find they are successful largely because church members bring people along. There will be more information about this course in the August magazine.

So, as a church family we need to begin to build this ‘culture of invitation.’ Let’s encourage one another to think about who we can invite and then do it!

Invitations to give out will be available from early July for both the service and the taster course. We’re giving plenty of notice – so please do consider who you can invite to the 9.15 service on 22nd September and who you could bring along to ‘Puzzling Questions’ in October.

Let’s join with God as he reaches out to everyone; ‘Go into all the world and make followers of all peoples.’ Let’s start with this and see where God takes us!

With love in Christ,