We’ve got a few events coming up to help us introduce people to Jesus. I thought it might be good to explain the logic of the way we’ve planned this.
Sometimes we might have an opportunity for a gospel conversation come right out of the blue – like when a stranger on the plane asks about the book you’re reading and it all just cascades from there, for example. But that kind of conversation is pretty rare, and totally intimidating for most of us! So in the normal scheme of things, the first step is to be growing meaningful relationships with our neighbours and colleagues, where a big part of genuinely caring for them means longing for them to come to know Jesus. And it’s helpful to have ways to engage them in something deeper than the footy before jumping in with the confronting news that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins. And it’s really good to have a place where you know you can bring your friend to hear the gospel unpacked in a clear and winsome way that’s a bit more comprehensive and structured than you might be able to cover off in a conversation. With all that in mind, we’ve been pretty intentional about the next few months around church.
We’re beginning with two fantastic seminars from Engage Work Faith that aim to grow us in confidence to have real conversations with our friends and colleagues, helping them get curious about Jesus. Craig Broman’s great sermon from Acts 17 last Sunday gave us a glimpse of just how good these will be! So put August 13 and 27 in your diary for lunch after church and then a high-value 60 minutes with Engage Work Faith.
Then we’re trying to think creatively about a few events that might be helpful for you to connect your non-Christian friends with your church family and take the conversation a bit deeper. We’re planning a relaxed all-ages hike and hang out at Belair National Park on Sunday September 10. On October 17 Engage Work Faith are hosting a great event for anyone who likes food, as two top chefs cook some great food and share their stories of life and faith in Jesus. (https://engageworkfaith.org.au/upcoming-events/) In late October we’re planning to host a screening of the film The Last Daughter which engages issues such as family, connection, and identity. It’s got great gospel themes without being overbearing as a “Christian” film. (https://www.thelastdaughter.com.au).
But we really want to be able to communicate the gospel clearly and invite people to respond. So in November we will run a fantastic four week course called “Taste And See”. This takes people through the story of the Bible from God’s good creation, our sin, Jesus’ death in our place, and the eternal hope of the new creation – all over four delicious meals. It’s good news with good food and good conversation.
To be clear, this isn’t a production line designed to be ‘one-size-fits-all’, but it is an intentional effort to create opportunities for us to introduce our non-Christian neighbours to our church family (at a bush walk, for example), to create space for deeper conversations (perhaps at The Last Daughter, or the EWF event), and to share the gospel winsomely and clearly.
Let’s be praying that God would bring many people into the joy of knowing life with Jesus.