Jeremiah 29:5-7 (NLT)
5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
5. Make Disciples: Bolder in personal testimony
“And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” We are reasonably good at being visible in our community and have a good reputation with people outside the church community except with some of our ECL neighbours. We recognise that everyday conversation and authenticity play an important part in our testimony. People have felt that practising`our story` during church services has been helpful.
We sense that the numbers of people coming to faith are lower than they should be.
By 2020, we will have grown and act more like Jesus within Godmanchester and beyond so that our lives will give weight to our words as we deliberately speak about Jesus in everyday ways.
What are the priorities?
We should be loving, caring, transparent and trusted by the places we which we live. We should can build relationships in which sharing testimony can be natural and routine. We should help people understand that other people’s negative responses do not validate our commitment to see people come to faith in Christ.
We need to increase the skill level of everyone to be able to give testimony to their faith. We need to help people see how personality fits with different styles of sharing testimony.
We need to continue to make a difference in the local community and to provide supportive programmes e g FoodBank, Lunch Club, FNP, Explorers, Littlefoot, HAMA, Parish Nursing, The Club mental health support. However, we need to find better ways to share testimony in those settings.
What`s the path from here to there?
We will continue to give opportunity in services and small groups for people to share testimony. We will continue to provide opportunities for people to learn how to share their testimony and grow in confidence. We will make available a variety of resources to help take the next steps in sharing our faith with others.
We will value people and small groups whose primary focus is to build relationships outside of GBC. We will not expect everyone to be focussed on GBC activities.
We will encourage people to reallocate their time to give greater opportunities to meet others, and by belonging to a missional community.
How should we (re)allocate time, people, plant and money do this?
We will use small groups to encourage each other in our efforts to share testimony with others and focus on life issues.
We will encourage a strong positive welcome at all our events and encourage everyone to speak to someone they don’t know before they speak to those they do.