Making space to discover Jesus

Making space to discover Jesus

Philip Greenwood

Phil is the vicar at St Barnabas in Stoke, and married to our Children & Families Enabler, Greta.

Making space to discover Jesus

a man stands at a dinner table speaking

Discovery started with a realisation. While Alpha courses have been an incredible way for people to explore their faith, we wanted to create a more accessible option for those who may find committing to the full ten weeks challenging. So the idea of Discovery was born – a shorter, more open and flexible experience that anyone can join at any time.

Every Wednesday evening in June we’ll be gathering for dinner and a series of stories about encountering Jesus and the profound impact it has had on different people’s lives. I’m hoping people find it a safe space where questions about faith are not only welcomed but celebrated.

And it’s all happening the context of our church's preaching series called "Everybody Talking Jesus", equipping the congregation with practical tools and resources to confidently share the message of Jesus with their friends.

We're fostering a culture where everyone in our congregation is encouraged to share faith and invite others to experience the transformative power of Jesus. To show that it’s not impossible, but can be a beautiful and courageous act.

Each week of Discovery will serve as an example that sharing our faith and telling our stories is not only impactful but also contagious. We’re also hoping to form a few small groups from it that will continue the conversation through Alpha.

Already, the response has been encouraging. People are getting excited about the opportunity to extend invitations to Discovery. I've had people come up to me saying, "I've invited someone, and they want to come!"

The vision is compelling: if 50 people bring 50 others, what kind of impact could we make? With a church of 150 members, even if a third of us extend an invitation, that's 50 people right there. And imagine if the 50 of them find faith through this journey – what would that look like?

Along with all of this, we have started a prayer meeting, and have been encouraging everyone to pray for the one person they would love to come along.  

While I hope to see many people meet Jesus through this experience, I’m really excited to watch our congregation's faith being reinvigorated as we witness each other's courage and commitment to sharing the good news.

Together, we can make a difference, one invitation at a time.

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We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.