Did you know that we are working together with 27 local churches or Christian organisations to help introduce people to Jesus this term! Didn’t think so, so let’s fill you in…
Well, let’s start with the stuff you probably do know. I’d imagine that you know about the John Lennox event that is coming up on Monday 19th November (buy your tickets here and remember your Churchcentral promotional code for discounted tickets). You may even have heard about the Word 1 to 1 evangelistic resource that helps us introduce our friends to John’s gospel. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in on the exciting story behind all of this evangelistic activity and hopefully get you involved.
‘Cosmic Chemistry’ is being put on by IS FAITH REASONABLE?. IFR is a partnership of local Birmingham churches and Christian organisations that has been running since early 2017 and, at least partly, came out of Churchcentral.
A few years ago, I started thinking through how to put on better quality apologetics type evangelistic events. It seems that over the last decade or so, the idea of coming to faith in Jesus has sadly become less of a live option for many people – it’s not something on most people’s radar and many may be openly hostile to the idea. However, at the same time, people, in some ways, seem more open to looking into the big questions of life, the universe and everything. Therefore, whereas an event entitled ‘Who is Jesus?’ may not appeal to as many people as it once would have done, events looking at things like God and suffering, God and science or the concept of meaning are probably seen as more relevant than ever.
We’d put on quite a few of these type of events before and they’d been well received, but I was aware that they could be better, both in terms of the speakers we could get in, and the venues that we could hire. Talking to some friends, I found out that others were having similar ideas and so we joined together with 4 other local churches and Chaplaincy+ (led by Steve Bavington from our West Site) to start IS FAITH REASONABLE?.
And so since November 2016, we’ve hosted two events at Pizza Express in the city centre and two at the ICC (featuring Michael Ramsden and Krish Kandiah).
Krish Kandiah came to the ICC to speak for Is Faith Reasonable?
Cosmic Chemistry will then be the 5th official IFR event, but things have moved on quite quickly in the last two years. For this event, we are now working together with 24 local churches and 4 other Christian organisations , with 2 local schools also expressing an interest to get their A-Level students along.
I love putting on events that can clear away the obstacles that are stopping people investigating and hopefully experiencing Jesus for themselves. However, it has been almost as enjoyable to be involved in something that has been so effective at uniting so many Christians in Birmingham in seeking to enhance the reputation of Jesus in our city.
Psalm 133 begins ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!’ and though this has so far been just a small expression of that, from my perspective it has definitely been really good and most pleasant! The Psalm ends ‘For there (in the place where God’s people are united) the Lord bestows his blessing’. Therefore, I’d ask you to pray that this would happen- that this event would be a blessing to the people of God in our city, both in terms of fostering a continued sense of togetherness and also in encouraging Christians in all our churches to have the joy of seeing our friends come closer to saving faith in Jesus.
Perhaps, some of your friends could be among them, so please consider who you could invite to Cosmic Chemistry, and if you’ve got friends who are already expressing an openness towards spiritual things, send me an email and I’d love to introduce you to the Word 1 to 1 resource to see if that could help them.