Church in the heart of their community

Over the weekend I was part of the outreach team with Chipping Campden Baptist Church who join the annual Dover’s games and get in the mix of their quintessential English community in an extraordinary way.

The baptist church seems to have a knack of making disciples, mainly through their regular Alpha courses, from which they have baptised over 200 people.

This success I believe comes from their ease at engaging with and sharing their faith in their community. They know their community and their community know them and there are always plenty of people to invite to investigate the Christian faith through a course like Alpha… as they so untwined with their community!

It’s this knowing people and engagement with their community that I joined in with over the weekend with Sam, Wendy and Joy, students with The Light Project.

First off we took part in the Dover’s games, a family fun filled community event that has music, Morris dancing and ancient games (like shin kicking!) and the church put in a team for the Olympic type events and they ended up winning!

After the games the church opened their doors to anyone and everyone for free tea and toast! While this went on Sam and I did some prayer paintings for people. Some of the responses where deeply humbling as people connected with the good news.

On the Saturday the church building was open once more serving lunches and cream teas for the crowds that gathered in the town centre. While this went on I painted for people outside and 8 people took paintings that resonated with them and I was able to have some good conversations about faith.

On the Sunday the 3 churches in the town had a joint open air service where I was the speaker. While the service was similar to one you would have in a church building, I aimed my talk at the people on the fringes of the gathering, visitors and tourists as well as those in the hotels and pubs that would hear me.

I’m incredibly encouraged through my experience of working with the church. It was a reminder again of how we can make new disciples of Jesus: get in the heart of your community and have a heart for your community!

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