Dear Minster and Friends,
I came across someone’s quote on twitter this week which said, “Much of modern discipleship has focused on making believers strong enough to survive the culture instead of bold enough to transform the culture.” I felt incredibly challenged by this not just in my own discipleship but also as I disciple my young children. It made me ask myself questions like: “How am I preparing these little ones to be culture shapers for Jesus?”, “What things can I be doing to prepare them for the persecution that comes when you stand out in truth?”, “How can I help them to be discerning and thoughtful in processing what is true and right in a world that is so confused?”
As I thought about my parenting I began to think about myself: “How am I a culture shaper in each context I enter into?”, “Am I bold in that or am I fearful?”, “Do I whole-heartedly believe that the gospel can bring transformation on every level of society?”
From 18th – 25th November this year we are setting aside one week to be bold, to be culture shapers, to actually put our colours to the mask and ask people in our lives to give some thought to what life is really all about. Over this week entitled “rethink” we will be partnering with St James, Gold Hill and the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics in hosting events across our local Minster area, within our neighbourhoods, within schools, within our work contexts, within third spaces like pubs and cinemas. These events will be specifically focused on opening up conversations about Christianity and whether or not Christianity can hold up to rigorous scrutiny.
For example, minster communities may want to host smaller dinner parties within their area, where our friends are invited to ask any questions they want about life and Christianity. You might be involved in your local school and see the opportunity to host a “parents coffee” morning. Perhaps you are a high school student and see the opportunity to run an event within your school, or perhaps there is an opportunity to run something in your workplace. Over the course of the week we will have access to the wonderful OCCA speakers who really are great and trained at answering people’s questions. To give you an idea of what Apologetics is and how the OCCA speakers are trained in answering people’s questions check out Simon answering a few questions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dke-zi9-gfk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpUs-o8NAeo
For some of us it will be a really scary thing to do, there might be a lot of unknown and we might find ourselves really out of our comfort zone, but imagine what God might do if we boldly believed the power of the gospel to impact this broken world and acted upon that belief?
So what part could you play in that week? Is there an event you could host with one or two others? Do you have an idea for something but need some help thinking it through? They don’t need to be huge events, they could be small opportunities – the important thing is thinking through how can we start little fires within this week?
We need to start drafting potential ideas by 12th August, so even if you have an embryo of an idea please do email it to either Tash, Jane or Dan so we can encourage you and talk you through the next steps. So let’s be praying about this over the coming months. How can we get battle-ready? How can we show our children what it means to really believe that Jesus not only has something to say in the private space but also in the public space? That indeed He is King and Lord over all.
With much love,
Every Sunday during August we will be having BBQs together after the service. Food will be provided and everyone is more than welcome to stay after the service for us all to have lunch together!
Events happening at Beaconsfield URC, Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield, HP9 1LW:
‘Encounter the Healer, Seeing Jesus heal today’ led by Mike Hawkins
Sundays 4:30pm – 5:30pm – 12th, 19th and 26th August
A holistic time of sharing, worship, prayer ministry (for those who desire) and fellowship with refreshments.
‘Sitting in His Presence’ led by Mike Hawkins
Tuesdays 8pm – 9pm – 7th, 14th & 21st August
Thursdays 12:30pm – 1:30pm – 9th, 16th & 23rd August
You are invited to come and sit for an hour in the beautiful presence of God.