Saturday, 19 February 2011

Curry Night -reflections!

There was a great turnout at our Curry Night!
When we started doing these special meals for the local community we used to worry that enough people would come ,now we worry that we have enough food!We did ...just!
About 130 people of all ages, came and a large number ,possibly even a majority, were not from the church but from the community around the building.
There were parents of children who come to our Friday night children's work,parents from our toddlers work,people who we had met from our lunch club, and a good number who had just seen the posters or been invited and come along.
There was a great buzz about the place and at the end of the evening people lingered for a long while chatting over tea and coffee.It was a great opportunity to build relationships with our neighbours
Over the course of the evening a couple of people asked when I was going to speak. I think they meant preach! In reality I was speaking all evening, but on a one to one basis rather than to the group as a whole

I was also asked why we do these evenings. It is a very reasonable question. Here is my answer;
  • To bless our local community- we don't charge though there is an opportunity to give to a local charity (last night the local primary school). We want to be welcoming to our neighbours, to say we are not a private club we want to know you,to serve you,to share with you..Churches have known for generations that eating together is an important part of that process.
  • To give people a chance to make an easy invite.-It may be tough for some people to ask people to church but initially easier to ask them to a curry night .It did interest me that a number of spouses of people who come regularly to church were much happier coming last night than they would be to a service.Stepping stones are important sometimes.! Yes ,of course, we want people to become Christians but becoming a Christian is often a process that takes time. That is why it is important to invest in relationships
  • To demonstrate to everyone, including ourselves, that we are about serving the local community.This is not really about the food or whether we like the everything else it is about building relationships through which the love of Jesus can flow
Thanks to Phil Whittal for pointing me towards these words from Tim Keller
 A missional church’s people are outwardly focused, so involved in the local community, and so alert for every opportunity to point people toward Christ, that evangelism happens naturally through relationships.  Because of the attractiveness of its community, the contextual nature of its message, and humility of its people, a missional church will discover significant numbers of people always in the midst, ‘incubating’ and exploring Christianity.  It must welcome them in hundreds of ways.  It will do little to make them ‘comfortable’ but will do everything to make its gospel message understandable."

Thanks to everyone for so  much hard work and making so much good food.We will do it again sometime!

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