We are pleased to report that a number of networks and groups of churches have now come back with proposals for how we might use the visit of Chris Duffet to NWBA in January 2013. The overall vision is that this should be a weekend that engages in, and stimulates evangelism within NWBA churches. It has always been recognised that the overall programme would not necessarily entail Chris being in every location where things are happening, but there would be a degree of symbolism to his visit that would itself stimulate vision and activity.
While we still have some way to finalising his exact itinery, there is a basic shape emerging, which we hope more churches and groups will begin to connect with as the basis for their own participation.
We are increasingly drawn to the proposal that wherever possible this should stimulate the coming together of small groups of local churches to do evangelism together. We would particularly invite an approach that involves larger and better-resourced churches coming alongside less-resourced churches to assist in something that would benefit the smaller church. This obviously needs to be approached with sensitivity and must not become a matter of larger churches imposing themselves or “doing their thing” in someone else’s context, but enabling that local church to “do its own thing”.
Chris will be joining the NAM Conference at NBLC during Thursday to work with and encourage the Ministers there.
We want to encourage churches to use Friday as a preparation day. This might involve:
A number of “commissioning” events as a prelude to activities on the Saturday and Sunday. Chris and/or other NWBA team members might be present at some or all of these to provide a sense of cohesion and NWBA identity.
Prayer gatherings along similar lines to above – these may involve churches and individuals who are to be directly involved in activities on the following days, or simply those who want to use this weekend to intentionally pray for their own community and the activities which others are undertaking.
The production of prayer resources, outlining some of the activities and vision behind the weekend which individuals and small groups could use in their own local context, without necessarily organising a specialist event.
We would encourage churches to organise evangelistic events and activities to be undertaken. This might include one of the patterns that Chris has adopted of a short training session followed by on the ground activities.
Potential organisers are reminded that Light Project Team members can be made available to assist with local activities.
A major training conference will also be arranged in the Rossendale area which Chris is likely to lead.
There is still the option for some sort of evening evangelism event if a group of churches were open to arranging this.
Sunday morning we would encourage activities along the lines of Saturday
Sunday evening we would seek to organise some kind of celebration event that would highlight the work that had been done on the previous two days.