The Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ
This year the Methodist Church in Britain is encouraging its churches to become places where we tell our stories. The connexion has launched thestoryproject.org.uk - where you can explore how you can encourage the telling of stories and the sharing of testimony within your congregations.
‘I was loved into the Kingdom’.
The Bible Study group I went to not long after we first came to Wesley 40 years ago was led by Tony Hitchen and had lots of wonderful, loving people in the group – some of whom are still with us.
I was an atheist then, and for all the arguments and debates about the nature of God and salvation and miracles and the rest of the theology we covered, it was the people that won me over – and not just the ones in that group but so many other wonderful people at Wesley.
I realised that if their faith – whatever it was (and believe me it wasn’t always clear or consistent) – if their faith helped to make them so loving and caring, then what was I doing trying to resist?
So I wasn’t bribed into the Kingdom by promises of eternity in heaven, nor by threats of eternity in hell, nor by the Bible or church doctrine or academic theological arguments. In fact I had to put most of that aside because it was getting in the way.
We need another language
That we can live on earth
To move us further forward,
To give the Word new birth
(source being sought)
You might think that this is all about religious jargon and that we should stop using words and concepts that mean nothing to those outside the church. And that is certainly part of the message.
A story told to Les
A small step forward…
I heard story recently of two long-time friends; over the years they had shared their stories together mainly of family growing up and covering joys and sadness, hopes and concerns. On one occasion one lady recalled her 'cheese scone' moment. It was a very difficult time and she was not eating at all and spirits were low. The other lady came to visit and brought with her two freshly made cheese scones. When her friend had left the lady was made a cup of tea by her husband with his forlorn question ‘can I get you something to eat…?’ Her totally unexpected response was ‘yes please, I think I would like a cheese scone’
It was many years later that the friend was told about this totally forgotten moment.
As William Wordsworth wrote in Tintern Abbey:
‘The best part of a good person’s life.
The little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.’