‘How can the gospel go viral on estates and schemes in the UK?’
Friday 17th May, 4pm-9.15pm and Saturday 18th May, 9.30am-4.30pm
This year’s conference looks at how the gospel can go viral on housing estates and schemes in the UK. It’s a look at the new strategy of RTU for the gospel going viral in the UK.
There are a limited number of spaces so book your place!
This year the conference is held in Derby at:
St Giles Church
A full programme will be sent out after booking.
I often have very encouraging conversations with people who are not yet Christians. Many of these are people that I have met through door to door ministry. I have a distinct advantage in that I have known many of these people for somewhere in the region of six or seven years. My first visit, in some sense, was “cold.” But going regularly to the same people means that people get to know me and notice when I am not around. They sometimes complain that I don’t call often enough or they tell me who else I should be visiting.
Some people I have met through door to door visitation have become a part our church, others have been content to talk about spiritual matters in their homes and a few have read the Bible with me.
We are looking for long term relationships where we love each household individually – and we want to take opportunities to share the Gospel that are genuine and go to the heart.
I know that people sometimes want privacy – and it is important to respect this. If people are busy I can always go round another time. But a wonderful privilege in this work is that people have actively invited me into their homes and into their worlds and have spoken openly about the struggles that they face. The degree of openness is sometimes overwhelming.
We want to build genuine relationships in which to share the Gospel. So the last thing I want to be is a door to door salesman that is only interested in his commission. I want people to know that there is a community that loves them, that there is a saviour who loves them. Going round to their flats opens the door to many, many gospel opportunities that are genuine and effective.
It is also true that many of these people will never meet a local Christian unless we take the first step to reach them.
John Stott, in his book “The Living Church” (2007), says this:
Local church evangelism can claim to be the most normal, natural and productive method of spreading the gospel today. First there is the argument from scripture …
Secondly, there is the argument from strategy. Each local church is situated in a particular neighbourhood. Its first mission responsibility must therefore be to the people who live there. The congregation is strategically placed to reach the area around it…
Thus biblical theology and practical strategy combine to make the local church the primary agent of evangelism.
My personal view is that door to door ministry, done sensitively and regularly, can make a contribution towards fulfilling this ambition.
Getting Started & Keeping Going:
Building estates ministries with enduring gospel impact
In the estates of the UK new churches are being started, established churches are being renewed, and forgotten communities are being reached. Yet there remains so much to do. How do we get started? And how do we keep going?
Getting Started & Keeping Going is a weekend of discussion, prayer and teaching for all those with a heart to see enduring gospel impact on UK estates.
You can find more information and book your place here, or watch the conference trailer above.
Video produced by 2V design
Watch the last of the sessions from this year’s conference, by Pete Jackson.
To watch the rest of the videos from the weekend, go to the 2011 conference page.
Watch the first of the sessions from this year’s conference, by Andy Mason.
To watch the rest of the videos from the weekend, go to the 2011 conference page.
Guest post by Martin McNeely
Not long ago I was asked to take part in a seminar organized by the Urban Mission group of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland entitled “Keller Unplugged”. It was not, as it might sound, a performance of acoustic tunes extolling the virtues of New York’s Presbyterian pastor, author and teacher! Rather, it was a gathering of like-minded church activists who wanted to see if Keller’s ministry could teach us anything in urban and missional contexts closer to home.
At first glance, some would bypass Tim Keller. He’s working in a context far removed from the UK, particularly our estates and unreached areas. Redeemer Presbyterian concentrates on Manhattan urbanites, post-modern younger professionals in a cosmopolitan and socially liberal city. Without doubt, Keller’s ministry and philosophical style reflects this.
But deeper appreciation of Keller gives us good ground for a study of his teaching, not least because his formative ministry development was forged in Hopewell, a blue collar Virginian town. It was there, for the first ten years of his ministry life, where Keller learned to preach. It was in that setting where his theology of evangelical social conscience was worked through, via his DMin studies at Westminster Seminary.
So what did he learn? In a recent exploration of his life at desiringgod.org Keller shared three main influences. The first was the Covenant theology taught at Westminster by Meredith Kline. Keller has also been influenced by and closely associated with the approach of Ed Clowney and his desire to share Christ in Old Testament preaching. I find this emphasis on covenant, or as others may term it, ‘Biblical theology’ most helpful. In our broken, dysfunctional society it is so helpful for the preacher to know that God does have a plan and that He does not break His promises to His people. What a challenging message in a society where promises are broken all the time.
Secondly, Keller emphasizes the doctrineof Justification by faith. He argues from his reading of Richard Lovelace in Dynamics of Spiritual Renewal, that justification has played a role in every major revival of God’s Spirit in Church history. And again, in our society what a Gospel of hope! Broken people in sinful situations can be forgiven and declared blameless by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Finally, Keller speaks much of the importance of works as a result of our having experienced mercy. The key influence here is Charity and it’s Fruits by Jonathan Edwards. Tim Keller particularly expounds the Good Samaritan parable as evidence of not only God’s great mercy which saves, but of our response as mercy showing people. In his book Ministries of Mercy (P&R), Keller argues that good works provide a “plausibility structure” out of which Gospel relationships and conversations develop. His recent work “Generous Justice” is an extended exposition of the wider Biblical arguments.
Now, I’ve neither studied all of the above names or profess to be an expert on Tim Keller. But neither do we need to be in downtown Manhattan to appreciate him. I find his balanced teaching very helpful in my context. I hope you do too.
Martin McNeely is minister of Ballykeel Presbyterian, a community church based in Ballymena, NI.
Gospel discipleship over the long haul
Council estates, urban priority areas, low income households: the gospel is powerful to save anyone, from anywhere, but what does making disciples look like in the ‘hard places’ of our country, where progress can seem heartbreakingly slow?
For more details and to book click here, or watch the conference trailer below.
Massive challenge for church leaders:
The world and the culture in which we live is this: Marriage is the issue. From gay marriage to divorce to adultery – people need to know how to love one another, and live together and raise kids and finish well.
And here’s the hard, cold, sad truth: you’re gonna take your marriage, and you’re gonna put it as the most important human relationship in the church, you’ll make it the epicentre of the culture that you create, and from there, everyone else is going to photocopy your marriage.
So if your marriage is jack you will have a church filled with jack marriages. If your kids are not loved and led, you will have a church filled with kids who are not loved and led. You will get a church, but you’ll get just another poor, dysfunctional, unhealthy church.
We don’t need more of those.
Watch the whole talk at marshillchurch.org
I came across the great quote from B.B. Warfield in John’s Piper book, Don’t Waste Your Life …
Now dear Christians, some of you pray night and day to be branches of the true Vine; you pray to be made all over in the image of Christ. If so, you must be like him in giving … ‘though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor’ …
Objection 1. ‘My money is my own.’ Answer: Christ might have said, ‘My blood is my own, my life is my own’ … then where should we have been?
Objection 2. ‘The poor are undeserving.’ Answer: Christ might have said, ‘They are wicked rebels … shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.’ But no, he left the ninety-nine, and came after the lost. He gave his blood for the undeserving. (continue reading…)