Equip Christians to share their faith

First published 23rd September 2013

Bishop Mike encouraged churches to build their confidence in evangelism at Diocesan Synod and announced an Alpha initiative for 2014 when Archbishop Justin Welby visits the Diocese.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed THE good news of our times. God is always good news; we are the ones who make ourselves irrelevant when we are not. When we are good news, God's people see growing churches.

- Archbishop Justin

Bishop Mike opened his Diocesan Synod address this September with these challenging words from Archbishop Justins first address to General Synod.

Growing churches is totally what we are about in this Diocese, he continued, but what we are after is a numerical growth that is profoundly rooted and grounded in the good news of Jesus Christ and the response of people to his invitation to come and drink from the water of life. And the church must play a vital part in that invitation.

As many churches launch their autumn Alpha courses and others participate in Back to Church Sunday on 29 September, he focused on the task of leaders and ministers in churches: to equip Christians with the confidence to share their faith with others, with people who are seeking for something beyond the everyday, but dont know quite where to look.

The Diocese has had a particular emphasis on equipping Christians to share their faith this year. In March, two Clergy Conferences had focused on enabling ministers to speak about God in contemporary society. This October, ministers are invited to join a course about Reaching the unchurched.

Next year, Bishop Mike announced that we would be stepping out further. Having highlighted the Alpha course as a tried and tested way of helping the church share the Good News he announced that Archbishop Justin Welby will be visiting the Diocese of Bristol from 12 to 14 September 2014 to support mission across the Diocese.

A major focus of that visit will be a new Alpha initiative, a launch dinner in Bristol Cathedral planned for 12 September and a series of events leading up to the visit that will really boost our confidence is sharing our faith with others.

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