outreach

Resource of the Month: Living on a Prayer


Living on a Prayer booklet

What is prayer really all about?

 

Written especially for the National Prayer Weekend, by Carla Harding with Pete Greig from 24-7 Prayer, this little booklet offers a contemporary and honest look at how effective prayer can be in a person’s everyday life.

Living on a Prayer addresses the questions Why pray? and How can I pray? It invites people to think about prayer in a way that relates to everyone’s ordinary lives, to think about the point of prayer, why they should pray and how to go about it.

This is an excellent resource for you, your small group or your whole church to give out to friends and neighbours to help them discover what prayer really is, providing an introduction to prayer and praying and a focus for thoughtful reflection and discussion.

‘God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)’

Living on a Prayer is available in individual packs of 10, or discounted with bulk box orders.

 

Also available: Why Pray?
Why Pray? is an easy-to-read booklet looking at the most famous prayer in the world, The Lord’s Prayer, trying to answer some of the most burning questions about prayer, including why we pray and who is listening. Find out more…

 

NPWJoin the nation in prayer - 29 September – 1 October 2017

At the heart of the National Prayer Weekend is the desire to see people in our local communities know and encounter God through the power of prayer. Local people praying for their local neighbourhood can transform the nation. One life, one street, one community at a time.

Find out more and Join in with the National Prayer Weekend on 29 September – 1 October 2017.

National Prayer Weekend 2017 – Join In!

The National Prayer Weekend is an opportunity for Christians to show God’s love to those around them in a real and tangible way, as small groups, churches and communities unite in prayer for their local area. The National Prayer Weekend is inspired by CWR’s roots of personal and national transformation through prayer and Bible reading.

The idea is simple. Ask people in your local area whether they would like prayer. Gather prayer requests together and pray for the requests during the National Prayer Weekend 29 September – 1 October 2017.

You can hold your own prayer weekend and pray with your small group or whole church. And you won’t be alone. We’ll be making available free resources to help you plan your weekend, including a How To Guide, which includes useful hints, tips, fun ideas and more.

We believe that local people praying for their community can change lives. Make God’s love known to the people around you. Your street. Your community. Your prayers.

Get involved and sign up for the National Prayer Weekend 2017 today.

 

 

 

 

 

Reaching out at Easter

‘There is a hope that goes beyond the grave.’ This phrase is an awesome reality for Christians, but a bit of a strange one for people who don’t yet know Jesus! Why do they care that there is eternal hope when they don’t even realise that we all need saving in the first place?

Reaching out to connect with the local community where your small group meets is a great idea at Easter. When better to share the ‘good news’? But it needs to be approached with the Christian blinkers taken off and using words and actions that people can relate to. There’s no point running gung-ho into your local park and telling everyone about the ‘blood of the lamb’ – people will probably think you are more than a little strange.

It is weird. We celebrate a man who was brutally killed 2,000 years ago coming back to life. Christians obviously celebrate this as an incredible miracle, but you can understand why those who don’t yet understand the story want to keep a wide berth.

So here are some ‘Outreach at Easter’ tips and ideas that will hopefully encourage you to share the amazing Easter story with people around you without them crossing to the other side of the street.

Easter cards – spend some time together in your small group praying for friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members. Ask God to prompt you with an idea, encouragement or Bible verse to share with them and send it in a card.

Easter egg hunt – invite the children (and parents!) from the neighbourhood where your small group meets, or around your church, to an Easter egg hunt. Pair the eggs up with Bible verses to share. Choose verses full of hope that share the love of God and His promises of protection, eternal life and provision.

Invite friends to church – there are so many special services, events and family celebrations going on in churches over the Easter weekend. Don’t just go to them to enjoy yourself, but use them as opportunities to invite people who don’t yet know Jesus. As it’s Easter time you’ll find a lot of people want to go to church anyway, even if it is just for the sake of tradition.

Spring clean – take your small group out into your community and pick up litter, offer to mow lawns, paint fences, clean cars… Physically and literally show God’s love to people by blessing those around you.

And… PRAY for the people and places around you, ask God to give you opportunities to chat to people in your community about Him.

Happy Easter!

 

About Emily Owen

Emily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.

Fresh ideas for… outreach as a small group

Autumn is in full swing. There’s no crueller reminder that you need to dig out your scarves and gloves than the chilly foot-shuffling, hand-rubbing dances you see commuters doing as they try to warm up whilst waiting for their morning buses and trains. However, just because the temperature is dropping and the nights are drawing in, that doesn’t mean you have to hide away inside as a small group – autumn is as good a season as any to be active and present in your local community.

Here are a few simple but effective ways to use the autumn season as an opportunity to engage with people around you and your small group:

  • Why not start this weekend with Bonfire night? Does your local village, town or church have a community bonfire, or fireworks display? As a small group, you could take the opportunity to each extend an invite to neighbours and friends, and meet socially before or after the display, introducing them to one another and the idea of meeting as a group.
  • You could hand out bacon rolls (vegan and vegetarian options are available!) to the commuters waiting at your local train station. Why not also hand them a copy of Why Pray? or Living on a Prayer, two of CWR’s informal and short booklets  introducing people to the idea of prayer.
  • Invite your neighbour to Sunday lunch – everyone knows how great a warm and hearty roast dinner is on a cold day. You could even suggest meeting after attending a church service together.
  • Christmas isn’t that far away (eek!), so how about writing Christmas cards to people in your local community with an offer to pray for people over the holiday season. Add a contact number or email for people to get in touch and who knows what connections or friendships could start. It would also be a great way to strengthen your small group as you pray and reflect together on any requests you may receive.
  • You could invite people to your church’s carol service. Carol services are great events to invite people along to as carols are often familiar and attract lots of people who wouldn’t normally go to church every Sunday.
  • Or you could take your group to visit a local nursing home for an evening (best check with the nursing home beforehand).

Outreach seems like a scary thing, but it needn’t be. It’s simply loving the people around us like God already does. When people ask you why you’re visiting, helping out or inviting them to an event, you don’t have to share your testimony right away or hit them with some well-timed scriptures. You can just explain that you wanted to do something nice; to share some of the incredible love that God has lavished upon you.

And remember, you’re not alone – your whole small group can get involved together.

About Emily Owen

Emily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.

For or against: should you invite non-Christians to your small group?

Small groups are something that you are likely to be encouraged to get involved with as a regular church-goer. Hopefully, if run well, they offer a safe space for Christians to grow together and they help to deepen both friendships and understanding of God. But what if you are not a regular church-goer? What if you don’t call yourself a Christian? Is a small group the ideal space for people to be introduced to God, perhaps for the first time?

FOR:

1. The most obvious argument, and potentially the trump card, is that Jesus told us to go out and make disciples, to share the gospel with those who don’t yet know Him. We should use our small groups as places to connect not yet Christians with Jesus:

‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ Matthew 28:19

2. A small group is a safe and potentially less intimidating space for people to ask questions than a church environment. People who are not familiar or comfortable with the format of a church will feel more at home with a smaller group of people and are therefore more likely to ask questions, get involved and be open to prayer.

3. The Christians in the group will learn more. Someone who doesn’t yet know much about God approaches faith with a freshness and innocence that others can learn from. Doubts provide questions for Christians to explore and answer.

AGAINST:

1. A small group is for teaching and building up Christians, for fellowship with like-minded people who can encourage each other and pray together. If you invite non-Christians into the group, they could feel left out and not fully benefit from being surrounded by Christians.

2. People could feel held back and frustrated by having to go over the basics of their faith if they had to teach people who might not know anything about the Christian faith. What about people who are in the group because they want to study the difficult passages and topics in the Bible that don’t often get discussed in church – wouldn’t that just put non-Christian people off?

3. Inviting people who are not yet Christians to your group would change the dynamic so much that it might not be the comfortable, friendly, supportive place you’ve created with friends.

CONCLUSION:

I’m not going to give you a conclusion, that’s for you to decide. Every group is different and I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all rule as to who should or shouldn’t be in your small group…

But I hope this ‘for and against’ exercise has got you thinking. Are you getting too comfortable in your small group? Do you have room in your small group to invite non-Christians to join with you? Either way, we need to make sure we are constantly seeking Jesus and asking Him what’s the point of our small groups and what should we be doing within them.

 

About Emily Owen

Emily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.

 

Let’s talk about National Prayer Weekend

With National Prayer Weekend on its way, we’ve been out and about interviewing people who joined in with the National Prayer Weekend last year and also friends who are getting involved with 2016. Watch the video for a taster of the great stories, thoughts and hopes that they shared with us, and remember to share the video with your friends on Facebook.

 

About National Prayer Weekend

The idea is simple. Inspired by CWR’s roots of personal and national transformation through prayer and Bible reading, the National Prayer Weekend is an opportunity for Christians to unite churches and communities in prayer for their local area.

Working with churches and organisations all over the country, including Hope, 24-7 Prayer, Neighbourhood Prayer Network, Evangelical Alliance and Gather, we are asking individuals, groups and churches to pray for their communities. To gather prayer requests from the people around you in your local area and introduce them to a God who loves them through the power of prayer. We want to bring Christians together to unite communities across the world in prayer for their local area.

If you would like to join in, click below.
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Resource of the Month: Living on a Prayer


Living on a Prayer booklet

What is prayer really all about?

 

Written especially for the National Prayer Weekend, by Carla Harding with Pete Greig from 24-7 Prayer, this little booklet offers a contemporary and honest look at how effective prayer can be in a person’s everyday life.

Living on a Prayer addresses the questions Why pray? and How can I pray? It invites people to think about prayer in a way that relates to everyone’s ordinary lives, to think about the point of prayer, why they should pray and how to go about it.

This is an excellent resource for you, your small group or your whole church to give out to friends and neighbours to help them discover what prayer really is, providing an introduction to prayer and praying and a focus for thoughtful reflection and discussion.

‘God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)’

Living on a Prayer is available in individual packs of 10, or discounted with bulk box orders.

 

Also available: Why Pray?
Why Pray? is an easy-to-read booklet looking at the most famous prayer in the world, The Lord’s Prayer, trying to answer some of the most burning questions about prayer, including why we pray and who is listening. Find out more…

 

NPWJoin the nation in prayer – 23-25 September 2016

At the heart of the National Prayer Weekend is the desire to see people in our local communities know and encounter God through the power of prayer. Local people praying for their local neighbourhood can transform the nation. One life, one street, one community at a time.

Find out more and Join in with the National Prayer Weekend on 23-25 September 2016.

I found faith with the help of small groups!

I am very new to faith, only having been confirmed in March 2016. My journey to faith took a couple of years, helped by consistent support and love from the small group I have been blessed to meet. I am hoping my testimony will encourage and help you to support and encourage others in their journeys.

A little over two years ago, I didn’t know many people who openly practiced their faith, whatever it may be, and none who openly discussed it. If I ended up in a conversation on faith I often lost interest and tended to be cynical of it.

When we moved house, my wife expressed an interest in finding a local church as she wanted to rekindle her faith. To prevent her from getting lonely I went along with her, and I promised to be open minded. We visited a local church and to my surprise people made an effort to speak to us and welcomed us warmly. I continued to accompany my wife to church each week. I didn’t always understand what was going on, which sometimes made me feel uncomfortable.

After a short while my wife joined a small group and after a few weeks they invited us both to a group dinner. This was just a relaxed evening to share in fellowship and was not an evening to discuss faith. Everyone again made time to talk to us and welcome us. At most parties, friendship groups stay together and it is tough as the new comer to the party, but this was different!

After some months I was beginning to ask questions and decided to attend an Alpha course. This was arranged into small informal groups, in a safe, friendly environment. Around this time I started to join in with the small group my wife belonged to.

It was in these small groups – where I could ask basic questions, discuss and challenge things – that I really began to understand not only what bits of the church service meant, but what it was really all about. The friendly, safe environment allowed me to understand what faith is about and eventually to choose God. I was never made to feel that I had to come to faith; I was allowed to participate and was always welcomed. It was this welcoming, to someone who was cynical of faith, allowing me to ask questions in a safe environment, that helped me to find my faith.

If you know someone who hasn’t come to faith, try inviting them along to an informal event which isn’t about faith, but where there are others of faith. Hopefully they will see something different that makes them ask a question and support them in that. Hopefully in time they too will find God!

 

About Chris Garner

Chris is an accountant for a large oil and gas company. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and friends, as well as a spot of DIY and the odd cycle ride. He recently started to support his local church in a variety of ways, including volunteering at the creche during Sunday morning services, running cinema clubs for children and organising walks for older people.

Lent – acts of generosity

Lent is a funny one. It’s one of those times that everyone in the church seems to be aware of but no one really understands. It makes me think of giving up chocolate or wine and I’m not even sure why.

I understand the concept and recognise that Lent traditionally is about sacrifice or resisting temptation – to remember Jesus resisting temptation in the wilderness. But I don’t really want Lent to be associated with feeling miserable or resenting giving up my favourite foods.

That’s why this Lent I’ve been inspired by the organisation Stewardship who run a campaign called ‘40 Acts of Generosity’. The idea isn’t to give something up, but to live a bit more sacrificially throughout Lent, to be generous to the people around us and hopefully share some of Jesus’ loving, generous character with them.

Looking around my small group, we have all sorts of people working in a variety of places. All those people have families, colleagues and friends who we could reach for Jesus by being more generous.

You don’t have to stick to it day by day or even follow the 40 Acts of Generosity version! You and your small group could set a challenge each week and collect your stories to share the following week. Challenges such as: write a thank you note to someone who doesn’t realise how appreciated they are; wash your neighbour’s car when you’re planning to wash yours, or maybe pay for the person’s coffee in the queue behind you at the coffee shop.

My challenge to myself, and to anyone else reading this, is that during this Lent don’t give something up for the sake of it, but challenge yourself and your small group to make little daily sacrifices for others. Being generous to others seems like the perfect way to remember Jesus’ sacrifice at Easter – God sending His son to die for us and save us has to be the biggest act of generosity there ever was!

About Emily Owen
Emily Bio Pic sm Emily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.

National Prayer Weekend 2016 – Join In!

We are excited to invite you to join with us for the National Prayer Weekend on 23–25 September 2016 as we gather together to pray for our local churches and communities.

Last year, more than 1,300 individuals, groups and churches joined in prayer to cover the nation.

Central to National Prayer Weekend 2016 is the heart to see people in our local communities know and encounter God as their Father through the power of prayer. From the head teacher at your local school, the staff at your local supermarket, to your next-door neighbour, we want them all to discover the love of Jesus through the blessing of prayer. You can make a difference in their lives as you pray for them!

You won’t be alone. We’re inviting churches, groups and individuals from across the country to engage with their communities in prayer, asking for prayer requests from individuals, organisations and institutions in order to transform their lives through personalised prayer on this special weekend in September. We’ll also be making available free resources to help you prepare and hold your weekend. These resources include free invites, flyers and letter templates which you can print to help you communicate with your community.

We believe that local people praying for their community can help transform the nation. One life, one street, one community at a time.

Get involved and register for the National Prayer Weekend 2016 today. We’ll keep you updated with news and let you know when free resources become available on the National Prayer Weekend website.

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