4. Drawing people to Jesus

The church used to be judged on the numbers of people who turned up on a Sunday morning. But Jesus wanted to train disciples – those who would learn in depth from his actions as well as his words, who would get involved and stick with it, even when it got tough. We want to welcome new worshippers in to St Peter’s, and it’s encouraging that a few are joining us. But we want to help them to stick with us, to grow in faith and confidence, and to help others to grow too – even when it gets tough.

Jesus started by preaching to big crowds, but then he spent quality time with individuals who wanted to go further. We don’t exactly preach to big crowds, but the beginning of our call to make disciples is by publicising our activities, and welcoming people in, whether they’ve been before or not.   And when they do come, we have a gentle message for them, linking the activity to the Christian message and inviting anyone who’s interested to take it a bit further.

When people start coming to the services, through our activities or maybe because of a baptism, wedding or funeral, after a bit we invite them to a tea party or a barbeque on the vicarage lawn!   Our hope is that people become friends with each other and with us, as a base from which to grow deeper in a relationship with God.

Then comes the invitation to a Christian Basics course, which for some will lead to formal membership of the Church through Baptism and Confirmation. The numbers of people at this stage are fewer than at the earlier, less demanding stages. But we’re in the business of inviting people, not browbeating or forcing them.

We are learning to enable those who’ve recently been confirmed to take an active part in the church’s life, ministry and even leadership.

Top of the page