On Pentecost Sunday evening, Chris Densham gave a wonderful word to the churches of Telford. I summarise it below:
In 1 Chronicles 12v32, the writer describes the men of Issachar as ones “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” Today there is huge ignorance of God’s story and a huge gap between our secularist society and the Christian: we are no longer in Christendom (for its good and bad) but are now in a missional context. This requires insight.
Historically, the church has operated best at the margins of society, with dynamic mission-orientated followers of Jesus who are ready to be radically different. In Jeremiah 29v4-14 the people are called to seek the good of where they now live for the long haul: it will be their grandchildren who benefit in 70 years time (“I know the plans I have for you”)!
Many churches have significant contact with children and families. The questions we have to keep asking ourselves as churches are (i) what is our plan to make disciples? and (ii) is it working? God’s call for us in Telford today is to sacrificially invest for the young people.
The Engage project is to link with the secondary schools, run youth clubs and share the gospel with today’s teens. It is in Telford and for Telford. It is to increase our engagement, not from a power base, but from the margins. We need to act on the basis that, “the kingdom of God is near” and “is among us” (Luke 10v9 & 17v21).
I was encouraged and I would encourage you to join the Shropshire Hope Conference if possible (see below …)
May the Lord enable us by his Holy Spirit to be those “dynamic mission-orientated followers of Jesus”,
With much blessing,