Showing posts with label Colworth (CU). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colworth (CU). Show all posts

19 October 2009

Colworth (CU) - Prepare for mission

Once again, Dudley brought some thoughts about evangelism based on 'A Passion for Life' A Roman clay jarplanned for next March.

This time we considered 'preparing for mission'. Churches vary in culture so although we must be faithful to the truth we may also need to be creative with our strategy. A bit of variety may help here. As with Paul in 1 Corinthians 9, we will need to become 'all things to all men'. However, we must certainly avoid cult methods and marketing methods

We read 2 Corinthians 4:1-10 and considered the fact that we are indeed 'jars of clay' yet we contain such a treasure.

We watched a DVD by Richard Cokin on 'Preparing for Mission'. He explained that the team wants to create as many different opportunities for mission as possible. He spoke about honesty and identified four area in which we need to be honest.
  • Honesty in the message - We must speak the truth about the gospel. There is no room for manipulation, heavy shepherding, or rousing oratory. We must let the Holy Spirit do the work. We must 'crucify' our fine style and language and say things simply.
  • Honesty about blindness - We must accept that people really do struggle to see the light. Evangelism can be frustrating, the evil one clouds people's minds. We must pray for them but also spread the message very widely/
  • Honesty about Christ - he is the message! We must never preach ourselves, but only Christ. People will see the Father in and through the Son, Jesus.
  • Honesty about weakness - the power comes from the Almighty, not from us. We, like Paul, are clay pots. We can't open people's eyes; only the Father can do that.

12 October 2009

Colworth (CU) - a passion for life

Dudley brought some thoughts about evangelism based on 'A Passion for Life' a mission planned for next March.

A Passion for LifeHe challenged us to consider whether evangelism seems a fearful thing to attempt or a natural thing to do. He asked why we thought we should evangelise, and he suggested it should be a major part of our lives as believers. What are our motives for evangelising?

We responded that for the individual, evangelism seems to be hard work, we may be afraid of losing our friends, embarrassment can be an issue for us, and we don't always know what to say. And corporately there may be disagreement over the way to do it, and perhaps we are disadvantaged by the fact that we don't really love one another.

Dudley showed a DVD about the Chamaeleon Principle. This is based on the idea that we tend to hide ourselves in the world. We looked at 2 Corinthians 5:9-19 and 6:1-2 in which we see four reasons for sharing the good news. Our fear of Christ should persuade us (5:11), his love for us should compel us (5:14), he has commissioned us (5:19), and there is an opportunity right now (6:1-2).

Kevin mentioned that we reach out from a place of community. David pointed out that we all have different gifts and we need to work together. I mentioned that we shouldn't hawk the gospel around, but we should always be ready to explain the hope that is within us (2 Corinthians 2:17, 1 Peter 3:15). People need to see that there is something unusual about us.

There are also some useful tools that we can use, Alpha courses for example. But these are good tools, not substitutes for personal outreach.

05 October 2009

Colworth (CU) - Sense of direction

This is the first time I've included notes on the Christian Union (CU) meetings at work. For the changes that made this possible see 'Changing times'.Spurgeon's book

Steph read Micah 5:7-8 and then an extract from Charles Spurgeon's 'The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith'.

This was such an encouragement to us as we understood that we too, like the dewdrops, can be a refreshing balm to those around us. And as we talked we discovered that the four of us who met all felt that Spurgeon's words expressed what we already knew.

We need, not so much to plan and build something here at work in our own strength, but simply to be the Lord's people, guided by him moment by moment. We can reach out to those around us and be a blessing to them just by being there with Jesus expressing his life through us. Meanwhile when we meet on Mondays we can encourage one another as he expresses his life through us jointly.

This thought about our role in the workplace meshes nicely with a Christians at Work bulletin we received just a few days ago. The article was very much about our workplace presence whether we are received well or badly. Sometimes we feel alone, but we are not alone!

We thought about some of those who couldn't be with us today, and prayed for them. And we wondered if we are at a point of changing our focus in some way. Time will tell. Perhaps Father's best for us is not that we should run an Alpha Course or plan some kind of outreach, but that we should just be there for one another so that CU remains a place of equipping and encouraging.

Our Father is wonderful and he arranges things far better than we could ever hope to do. Sometimes I think he loves to surprise us with the dew descending - and then we realise that we are the dew!

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