Dear friends,

Warm and sincere greetings in the name of Christ. It has been great to visit some of you in your own homes as I endeavour to get to know you all better and find my way around this part of Gloucester. Most of you have not received a personal visit yet, but you will do, and I look forward to spending time with you and praying with you.

Clearly one of the strengths of Christchurch is its pastoral care for members and friends. So many people have commented about the fact that the reason they are part of Christchurch is because of the warm welcome they initially received from the Church, and the subsequent pastoral care they have enjoyed. This has been my joyful discovery too. Thank you for the welcome you have given to my family and please keep up the good work with others who will come in the future. We often have new people coming through our doors on Sunday and at other times, and we always need to be ready to greet and welcome with the love of Jesus.

I wonder if you can remember the 4 points of our simple strategy for ongoing evangelism. Do you remember the 4 prongs of the fork? Well, here they are again;

  1. Friendship
  2. Prayer
  3. Conversation
  4. Invitation

Can I get you to think a little more about “invitation” because we are coming to one of the busiest and most exciting times of the Church year. Who could you invite to our Remembrance Service on the 10th November?

Who could you encourage to come to one of our advent or Christmas services? Is there a family you know who might like to come to our Christingle Service? Is there a family with young children who might like to try Boy’s Brigade with our Girls Association? Do you have elderly neighbours who might like to come to T@3 or to the Luncheon Club, or may be to the Keep Fit Class or the Coffee morning? Could you have invited people to the recent Saturday night at the movies social event? Was that a missed opportunity?

Also, are there people you know who have drifted away from Church, but who would probably be open to and appreciative of an invitation to try our Church fellowship. There are literally hundreds of prodigals out there, and people who became disenchanted with Church at one point in their lives, but deep down would like to return to Christian fellowship and to God’s welcoming arms.

Let us think about what we offer to the community as a Church, and who we might invite to the variety of things we offer. Your invitation might prove to be a gateway back into Christian fellowship for someone. Be ready to tell people how much you enjoy the life of our fellowship and what a blessing it is to you. Believe it or not, simple, kind, genuine invitations will become a major part of our evangelism strategy. Be open to the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear, “Invite so and so to Church this weekend.” And when people do come, and respond positively, we know there will be a warm and sincere welcome at Christchurch.

The woman of Samaria (mentioned in John 4) joyfully said to her fellow townsfolk, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ”? She issued a simple invitation which then led on to them exclaiming; “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.”

God bless you all.

Love in Christ