Pastor’s Letter – August 20th

Pastor’s Letter – August 20th

G’day Church,

We had such a great time at the Engage Work Faith seminar last Sunday that I I thought it’d be good to sum up some of the most helpful moments from the seminar. At the bottom of this email are a few key diary dates coming up.

The seminar got us thinking about how we grow in our ability to get to know our non-Christian friends and colleagues. I think we could all appreciate how important this is in loving our neighbours well, rather than simply turn them into a target for our project. As part of this, Craig reiterated the point that he’d made in his cracking sermon a couple of weeks ago that if we want to talk to our friends about God, we need to start talking to God about our friends. Prayer undergirds mission.

Craig shared some helpful ways to take conversations a little bit deeper and a great summary was given in the 5 levels of Conversation:
1 – Cliché (Hi, how are you?)
2 – Facts (Gee, it’s cold today isn’t it!)
3 – Opinions and thoughts, ideas and judgments (I can’t believe how wrong the weatherman got it… I was expecting sunshine today)
4 – Feelings and emotions (I feel like it’s been such a long winter. It’s hard to keep fired up when we seem to be bouncing from one flu to the next!)
5 – Intimate, completely open (Actually, all of that got put into context when I found out yesterday that my brother has been diagnosed with cancer)
It was great to consider how we might helpfully move our conversations deeper one step at a time. It was also good to realise that at times we might be moving too quickly and our conversation partner is getting uncomfortable. We need to consider where they’re at and lovingly seek to engage with substance rather than steamroll over them.

We also reflected on the significance of ‘worldview’: The way people view the world and make sense of their life. Often people haven’t thought deeply about their worldview and have pieced it together over time, with contradictions and inconsistencies just beneath the surface. But most people will find blunt statements of fact pretty uninspiring and even confrontational (eg “That doesn’t makes sense…. How can you think A and B at the same time?”) However, there can be a lot of power in sharing stories. Stories often illustrate a perspective or opinion in a more indirect but engaging way. So being willing to share our own stories of life with Jesus can be incredibly powerful.

Summing this all up, we recognised that often we don’t know our colleagues and neighbours very well. Craig gave us four big ‘worldview’ questions to ask ourselves, and then to consider whether we knew how our friends would answer them:
– What happens when we die?
– What is the purpose of life?
– How do we know what is right?
– What are some key stories in your life?
I found it pretty challenging to realise that I couldn’t say how any of the neighbours on my street would answer any of these questions. And I’d love to think of ways to start taking our footpath conversations a few steps deeper into the more meaningful things of life.

I’m really looking forward to the second seminar coming up after church on Sunday August 27 when we’ll be kicking around some practical tips and hints on helping our friends get more curious about Jesus. I hope you can be there too!



Upcoming Dates:
Sunday afternoon August 27 – Lunch and Evangelism Seminar part 2
Sunday afternoon September 10 – Invite a friend to join us at Belair for a hike and coffee
Thursday evening October 17 – Engage Work Faith event
Friday evening October 20 – (To Be Confirmed) Private screening of The Last Daughter
Thursday evenings from November 2 – “Taste And See” gospel overview course.