What can we do about the lack of confidence that exists among UK Christians?
Take Mrs Average Christian. Most people know she is a Christian, but she’s only ever had conversations with about half of them about her faith, and she felt nervous and awkward doing so.
It’s been almost six months since she last heard of someone becoming a Christian through the work of her church. Despite the majority of churches having an invitational model of evangelism, it’s been over a year since she has invited someone to a special event or evangelistic course.
She feels like her church is great at helping her connect with God and other Christians, and at increasing her understanding of the Bible. But she’s not so sure it really helps her transform her life to be more like Christ, use her skills and gifts to serve God, engage in social action or equip her in personal evangelism.
This is what our research has revealed, and that’s why we are working with 13 churches, of all shapes and sizes, to find out what small changes can be made to boost people’s confidence in the gospel and nurture a culture where evangelism happens naturally.
These churches are part of a learning community being facilitated by Lead Academy. It’s an opportunity for them to meet together to refocus on their visions, be equipped with insights and tools and benefit from each other’s experiences.
Developing gospel-confidence is not just about equipping churches with evangelism techniques – it cannot be viewed in isolation. That’s why this programme is honing in on four aspects of church life – confident culture, confident leadership, confident discipleship and confident mission.
We’re halfway through the process and with such a variety of churches taking part, we’re hoping that you’ll identify with one of them, and be able to learn from their experiences. Over the coming months, we’ll feature the churches that are part of this learning community, so you can discover how they boosted their confidence levels.
Are you interested in being part of the next ‘Building Confidence Churches’ learning community? Find out more.
Churches that have taken part in the course
Hoddesdon Baptist Church
Context: Hoddesdon is a small town in Hertfordshire, a few miles north of London
How they describe themselves: "We are a group of ordinary people, who are learning to love and trust one another as we explore what it means to live out the Christian life in the 21st century."
Size: 70 adults, 20 children and young people
Context: Sutton is an urban area in south-west London
How they describe themselves: "We believe that the purpose of our church is the investing of our lives together with God for the welfare of others."
Size: 375 adults, 170 children and young people
Broughton Community Church
Denomination: Church of England
Context: Suburban - Broughton is a neighbourhood of Aylesbury
How they describe themselves: “If you want an informal friendly, Bible-based church, with a flavour of the Church of England, then Broughton Community Church is for you!”
Size: 40 adults, 15 children and young people