It's not just getting more people into God, it's about getting God into more people.
There are the four Ps of mission
Many churches are doing many fantastic things but in too frenetic a way, coming and going in every direction, often neglecting prayer and guidance.
Prayer is where mission and growth starts. You can have a hundred good ideas, but without energy and inspiration from God it's all energy out without energy in. Prayer has power, let's harness it; after all we're in the business of praying!
Let's pray together, pray for growth, pray for missioners, pray in networks, pray in church, pray!
We need to be known in our community. We need to be present and seen and known. We have so much to offer, let's offer it.
At St Nics we touch the community in the following ways:
- Noah's ark
- school assemblies
- self esteem club
- Wednesday morning
- mothers union
- Sunday morning services
- god Squad
- Focus plus
- people, prayers and potatoes
- healing services
- Babyloss remembrance service
- carols round the crib
- Christmas services
- good Friday Easter garden
- Easter services
- more charities than we can list through our congregation's work
We do this, we touch hundreds of people, we are known as the God people, so let's share God more with the people we touch.
This is the part that scares most people. Why are we so reluctant to share the gospel and what God has done for us with other people?
For some of us it's straightforward, we just can't help telling people about our faith. For many of us we are embarrassed. But if we think about what God has done for us then surely we can find something we want to share. We'd share the fabulous holiday we went on, so let's share the fabulous relationship we have with God.
Of course not everyone will be interested or want to hear more, but some will. Some will want to know more of the good news. [Diocesan Missioners are available to help churches and their congregations do this.]
And it's not just the church people, it's also the church itself. Thinking of harvest services; how much are we making of the opportunity that is with us when the church is full?
We can have proclamation events. How about Christmas tree festivals, or nativity scene displays at Christmas? Or chocolate tasting at Easter? Or book reading for kids after school?
You've been present, proclaimed through a variety of means, now you need to persuade people. Doesn't sound pretty does it? But no one needs to know that they're being persuaded; because they're not, they're being led through a process of growth in a gradual and beautiful way.
This stage needs relationship and conversation; deep, question putting, answer finding activity which helps people grow and commit to faith.