05 October 2016
Reaching the world on your doorstep
Christians encouraged to reach out to their neighbours of other faiths.
There are more than five million people in the UK who are part of a non-Christian religion; Christian agencies are coming together to equip churches to respond to this incredible opportunity for building relationships and sharing the good news of Jesus.
The Evangelical Alliance, London City Mission and Global Connections are together hosting the 'Reaching the world on your doorstep' event, which takes place on 23 November at St Mellitus College, west London. The day will bring together teaching, training, and encouragement, as well as times of prayer and sharing resources and ideas to help churches and individuals to engage with people around them of different faiths and cultures.
Gavin Calver, director of mission at the Evangelical Alliance, said of the forthcoming event: "We don't need to travel far to meet people with different beliefs, that's part of what's so wonderful about living in Britain today. In the past our missionaries went overseas, today we just need to go next door, down the street or round the corner.
"The challenge is that while the world is on our doorstep our methods of outreach and evangelism might need refining. It's a privilege to work with London City Mission and Global Connections on this event, and our hope is that we can all learn more about reaching out and sharing the good news of Jesus with people from other faith backgrounds."
Steve Uppal, senior leader of All Nations Church in Wolverhampton, is speaking at the event and reflected on his family's faith journey: "My family came to Christ from Sikhism simply because an English lady knocked our door in Wolverhampton and asked if she could come in and share something important with us. She understood the Indian culture and customs and respectfully spoke about Jesus Christ. That one conversation led to me and my whole family becoming believers.
"I am very excited about this event because it offers the Church insight and help in reaching the world on our doorstep."
Usha Reifsnider, is one of several speakers at the event on 23 November who became a Christian from a different faith, said: "My journey as a Christ follower began when my local primary school teacher reached out to our immigrant family. We lived in an industrial area where most immigrants felt excluded from society. We were deeply honoured that an English lady, a Christian, would care for us.
"Like all Hindus I longed to please God so I could one day find eternal peace and oneness with God. I gradually realised that no amount of effort on my part could deal with my separation from God. Hindu or not it was my own wrongdoing, my sin, which was the barrier.
"I found through reading the Bible and spending time with Christians that God had made a way for me to find eternal peace and be a part of the Body of Christ."
Calver went on to say: "This isn't just a day to learn about other faiths, but a chance to provoke ourselves to action and come away equipped to build relationships that reflect Christ to our neighbours who may have never heard the good news."
Ahead of the event a short video telling the stories of Christians from Hindu, Sikh and Muslim backgrounds has been released and can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/181480707
Find out more and how to book by visiting: http://www.globalconnections.org.uk/events/reaching-the-world-on-your-doorstep/161123
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
- Gavin Calver, Steve Uppal and Usha Reifsnider are available for interview
- The Reaching the World on your Doorstep event takes place at St Mellitus College, St Jude's Church, 24 Collingham Road, London, SW5 0LX, 10am-4pm 23 November 2016.
- Workshops will take place during the day on: Islam; Hinduism and Sikhism; Mission on the Streets: Bookstalls; Mission on the Streets: Prayer; Multicultural Church; Refugee Ministry; Youth - Parents' Faith, My Faith; Understanding Culture; Building a Multicultural Leadership Team; Reaching your East Asian Neighbours; The Changing Face of London
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK's two million evangelical Christians. For more than 170 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We're here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it's celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across more than 80 denominations, nearly 4,000 churches, 600 organisations and thousands of individual members and supporters. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org/join
London City Mission
London City Mission was founded over 180 years ago, on 16 May 1835, the Mission's mandate to 'extend the knowledge of the Gospel among the inhabitants of London and its vicinity (especially the poor).' The missionaries were to 'Go to the people of the District assigned to you, for the purpose of bringing them to an acquaintance with salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and of doing them good by every means in your power' - something we still strive to do today.
Over 180 years later, we still take our mission to take the gospel to the least reached very seriously. We can be found on the toughest estates, talking to gang members about Jesus. We're going into prisons to run Bible groups. We're showing love and hospitality to immigrants. We're welcoming homeless people to our drop-in centre.
Right across London, we're stepping out to share God's love with people who are shunned, ignored or overlooked.
The passion and purpose that prompted the missionaries to step out all those years ago still fires us in 2016.
For more information please go to: www.lcm.org.uk
Global Connections is a growing, vibrant network of over 300 UK mission agencies and colleges, plus a wide range of churches. Our vision is to see "mission at the heart of the church, the church at the heart of mission" Global Connections members include organisations of all sizes, working in countries all over the world and with a wide variety of projects including evangelism, education, relief and development, and humanitarian projects, as well as establishing new churches. Drawing on this wealth of experience, together we seek to address the key challenges in mission today. For more information go to: http://www.globalconnections.org.uk/