‘God our Saviour…desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.’ (1 Tim.2:3-4)
We all share that desire with our God. We want to see the power of the Gospel changing lives and bringing hope into our communities. We want to see Churches of God growing numerically and being living, vibrant, Spirit-led testimonies to the grace of God.
We want to see these things happen, and the results of our recent outreach survey amongst UK Assemblies showed that there is a real appetite to reach out to communities with the Gospel; but that at the same time we often need help with outreach ideas or manpower or resources to initiate the contact with our neighbours that can help us build relationships and trust with them.
‘REACH OUT’ on 28 September 2013 at Lymm High School was designed to:
The day was divided into two sessions of exhibition-style displays set up around the school campus demonstrating the many examples of how our Churches are currently engaged in different outreach activities, and two sessions of seminars that covered the main stages of outreach as we see them … Connect, Relate, Challenge, Teach and Serve. The exhibition sessions really emphasised to us how active Churches of God are in so many different areas of work.
There were over 40 stalls covering a wide range of activities: from one-man pottery outreach to helping those in debt get back on their feet through ‘Christians against Poverty’, and from ladies’ nights, mums’ and toddlers’ groups and coffee mornings to Festival outreach stalls and live music-based outreach. The seminars were a further opportunity to discuss and learn together, incorporating personal testimonies and examples that tied into the identified stages of outreach. Each seminar session included a focused time of prayer to plead before the Lord for help in making us more effective in reaching the lost.
Karl Smith gave challenging opening and closing talks, firstly using the example of the Lord reaching out to the man with leprosy - ‘moved with pity he stretched out his hand and touched him’ (Mk.1:41); and then to Peter …. believing, but struggling, ‘Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him’ (Matt.14:31) - before giving us warnings based on lessons of fishermen who may stop fishing. When we stop fishing:
The positive challenge was left with us to launch ‘out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch’ (Lk.5:4). As a committee, we would like to thank those who prepared exhibits as well as those who took part in seminar sessions and told their own stories of their experience of outreach. We would also like to thank Ruth and Ange Seddon and their willing band of helpers for another excellent effort in feeding the 261 people who gathered on the day. We now look to the Lord to bless our outreach efforts going forward. We have surely been given the encouragement and momentum to go forward and reach out in faith.
As a committee, we would like to thank those who prepared exhibits as well as those who took part in seminar sessions and told their own stories of their experience of outreach.
Listen again to the keynote ministry from Karl Smith at the Reach Out event:
Reach Out Resources Booklet
Click here to view the Reach Out resources booklet and other materials
Reach Out Photo Gallery
A small selection of photos from the event: