Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The year ahead and why

A new year has ensued and it's probably time that I started updating this blog a little more often than I do.  I find that at times I have much to say and at other times I cannot even face looking at the icon on the computer screen that taunts me and tells me that i have not written for ages.  I decided before Christmas that I would start again in the new year and so here I am.  Anyway on with the post!

I am currently looking at a few events that the community of RFC can enjoy together.  The idea of the events is to provide an environment where people can socialize together, get to know new people and feel free to invite others in. They are not outright evangelistic but do provide a chance to showcase the talent that is in the church and further afield.  We are looking at another acoustic night, a choirs evening and a comedy night, spread throughout the year.

There will be two Alpha courses this year; one starting in April off the back of Easter Sunday and one at the end of September.  Alpha has always been the prominent way in which God has moved amongst us in salvation power.  Being in a place where people can feel free to ask questions and disagree, knowing that no one is going to judge them, is a wonderful thing in our culture.  When we stop seeing fruit we will stop doing Alpha, but for now we continue.

We are inviting a couple of guest evangelists to some and be with us this year one in either half of the year.  They are yet to confirm availability but I will of course let you know when I do.

This year sees the diamond jubilee of the queens coronation.  The council have asked if the churches of South Reading can put on some sort of event to feed the local community. We would like to put on a street party down Northumberland Avenue if the council agree the road closures.  We will be working with the other churches of South Reading to cater for some 4000 people over a 3 hour window.  This is such a great opportunity to serve and get to know the people in whose community we meet.

We will also be looking to put on a couple of Saturday mornings this year to do some training in evangelism.  We will look at some basics on why and some practical things that we can do.  Dates for this are to be confirmed.

Why do we do all of these things?  Why do we want to help others know this Jesus that we love and follow?  Because he told us to, well yes he did, but who ever did anything because they were told to and did it with a good heart?  We do it because we know that it is only in Jesus that we found true acceptance, significance and love.  We do it because we, like God, should want none to perish.  We do it because someone once loved us enough to introduce us to Jesus.  We do it because we are loved and we love.

None of these things save anyone, Jesus does, but we need to bring them to places where they can first have their presuppositions of Christianity eroded and then introduce them to Jesus through Alpha, visiting speakers, baptism meetings, father's day and mother's day, Easter and Christmas meetings and of course our Sunday gatherings.

I am looking forward to a year where we see salvation and I am praying we will see it like we have never seen it before.  When the carol singing season starts again this year, i am trusting that many more will be singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing not because it is a twee song to sing at that time of year, but because they firmly believe in the one the song is about.  My prayer is simple - LORD, USE ME!  Is yours the same?

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