Andy's Story

Andy explains why Christmas is a great time to share the Christian message and connect with local schools through music

Andy explains why Christmas is a great time to share the Christian message and connect with local schools through music

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The Evangelical Alliance joins together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals to make Jesus known.
Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.
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Growing up I was fascinated by song writing
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and I believe God's given me some abilities
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and a passion in the area of music,
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so it's kind of natural that I've tried
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to take that to help share the Christian message
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especially at Christmas.
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My name's Andy.
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This is my story.
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So, for the last 20-something years
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we've been working with schools across Suffolk.
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We've been getting them to record
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and film singing Christmas songs
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and raising money for Tearfund.
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The three key aims we had with the projects
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are one is actually sharing Christian message at Christmas.
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Two is fundraising and thirdly
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is strengthening those relationships
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between schools and churches
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and between different schools as well.
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So, for me, Christmas seems to be the one season
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where people are still very open to the Christian message.
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So much of people's expectation is set up
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to almost hear a message,
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so that build up to Christmas
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is absolutely the key time
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to be telling the Christmas story.
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In terms of messaging,
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what we've tried to do is craft the Christmas story
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into accessible, small elements.
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The last but one project
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was called "Waiting for Christmas"
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and it studied the five key characters
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in the Christmas story and how each of them
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was waiting for Christmas in a different way,
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so what we've been doing is using
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existing well-known, traditional, seasonal Christmas songs
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but also writing a whole load of new songs
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that convey the truth of the Christian message
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through the message of Christmas
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and it's just been incredibly rewarding
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to hear thousands of children across this area
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singing those songs.
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And my experience of the way the children react
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to being part of a media experience
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and being part of singing fun, up tempo songs
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has meant that those have been very, very good ways
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of gaining people's interest
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and engaging them and drawing them in.
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Do what you can do and do it well
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because I think doing something that is credible
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is incredibly important and I've seen many things
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where people have tired to do things
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that are too adventurous
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and when you lose credibility
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I think that doesn't help sharing the message.
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One of the amazing things
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that's been an outcome of the project
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is seeing some children and families
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get much more involved in church
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and also come to faith as a result
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of having been involved.
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There's one particular family
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who got involved because their daughter
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was involved dancing and because of that
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they came along to the project,
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they started coming along to church
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and they came to faith as a result of that.
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Jesus is the light of the world
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and I think we as Christians are called
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to share that light wherever we go
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and through these projects,
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this has been a fairly large-scale way
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that I've found in this area
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have been able to share the truth
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and the light of Jesus to these communities nearby.