THE AUTHORS, Ruth Adams and Jan Harney, are passionate about meeting non-Christians where they are – and their book gives masses of ideas on how to do so.
Based around a house, it shows how we all have resources, interests and talents that we can use to build bridges of friendship.
AND SO it was… in anticipation of an inspiring and practical evening, that around sixty people from various churches in the area, entered Eastwood Baptist Church one (very wet) Tuesday in April, to listen to Ruth Adams, Chief Executive of Activate and co-author of ‘Unlocking the Door’.
Ruth communicated some of the themes of the book, with an accompanying visual presentation. The importance of building relationships with those around us, was key. We were asked to consider our network of people…maybe neighbours, work colleagues, family, mums at the school gate or any others we come into contact with, who are part of what was termed as “our circle of influence”. We cannot expect these people to walk straight into our Church buildings if they have never been before, but inviting them into our homes is a much more comfortable way of developing valued friendships.
National events such as Macmillan coffee mornings or calendar events such as Christmas, were promoted as great opportunities to build meaningful relationships and get to know each other better.
Ruth outlined “ten steps to Christ,” focusing on those preliminary stages leading up to an individual’s desire to attend church, or something like an Alpha course, and then finally coming to know Jesus for themselves. Speaking later to a new Christian in our Church, she said how exactly she identified with these steps.
Ruth told inspiring stories of those who had built meaningful reciprocal relationships with people, who had later come to believe, because of their honest and open chats in the context of friendship. She reminded us that Jesus had not invited people to Church, but had gone to visit them in their homes.
There was an interval during the evening for drinks and, of course, a bit of chocolate (no Activate event is complete without it!) as well as much conversation. The evening passed very quickly and everyone had lots to think about, afterwards.
So, if you are looking for creative, natural and practical ideas to inspire you as you build relationships with people in your community, if you have the contacts but are not sure what to do next, if you wish you had more confidence to try something – and if you long for your friends to start a journey towards faith, contact Caroline Thompson (email@example.com) and find out how the ‘Unlocking The Door’ presentation can be brought to your church.
Unlocking the Door by Ruth Adams & Jan Harney ( ISBN 1-85078-645-3) is published by Authentic Media and is available from the Activate Office – firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding Activate please visit the website address quoted on this page.
MANY THANKS TO CAROLINE THOMPSON OF EASTWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH, FOR HER HELP WITH THIS NEWS ITEM