Living and speaking the Gospel of Christ
Grace Church Muswell Hill is part of a group of churches journeying together as they seek to equip and commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life. Philip Sudell writes:
“Well it all sounded so clear and coherent in church on Sunday – I knew exactly why trusting in and seeking to follow Jesus was the best thing for me to be doing – but when it came to telling my work colleague on Monday morning somehow the words deserted me, I couldn’t put two sentences together and to cap it all my knees were almost audibly knocking at the thought of how they might react!”
If that rings any bells with you then you are amongst friends at least here at Grace Church in Muswell Hill. When the London Diocese shared its Capital Vision 2020 of being Confident, Compassionate and Creative, the aspect of being “..more confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” was something that really resonated with us and tied into some thinking we had already been doing about how to better equip ourselves to share our faith with friends and family and colleagues.
It felt to many of the church family that while their Christian Faith was still often positively received by those they encountered Monday to Friday whether at work or at home there was also an increasing possibility of meeting a negative, sometimes even hostile, response to Christian faith lived out and particularly when articulated verbally. How to be more confident in living and speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ was a question we wanted to find answers to. So when the opportunity arose to be part of the pilot group of churches for The Ambassadors project we were glad to be included.
The input and the materials from LICC (London Institute for Contemporary Christianity) was exceptionally helpful in getting us to think about how reaching out was for everybody, for the everyday disciple not just the gifted few.
We were really challenged by the 10/110 insight – why focus so much on the 10 hours that at most we might give to church related activities and meetings when God has given us 110 hours in any week (after time for sleeping!) where we are in contact with people on our “frontlines” and have the opportunity to live out and speak out the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As so often we went in looking for easy answers and a quick fix but have learnt over the course of the year that just as ”Rome wasn’t built in a day” so we need to change the way we think about this bit by bit, little by little, changing our direction and heading as a church community from being all too often inward looking to being focussed outwards on those who don’t yet share our faith in Jesus Christ in one degree shifts – making sure that we are regularly asking on Sundays, over coffee and in the main meeting, what we are doing This Time Tomorrow. Making sure that emphasis and intention is there whenever we gather, in meetings and midweek groups and throughout our gathered life.
This year as a pilot church has turned out not to be an end in itself but the beginning of an ongoing process which encouraged and directed by God’s word and empowered by his Spirit will help shape us to be the Ambassadors that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to be.
Philip Sudell is Minister of Grace Church, Muswell Hill. This article also appears on our Ambassadors 2020 website.