Saturday, 31 October 2009

Delivering Leaflets

Using leaflets as a way of promoting a Church, or the activities of a Church has a number of benefits and challenges.

  • Delivering leaflets through doors is boring. It is the "plod of God" with every step. You really have to believe in it.
  • Delivering leaflets has almost zero obvious return benefit. The contacts made per hundred leaflets are minimal.
  • Delivering leaflets costs a huge amount of time, and can cost a lot of money too if you can't design your oon and don't have access to a cheap printing firm.
  • Leaflets through doors are a great way of raising the "profile" of the Church in the area you leaflet. They probably won't respond directly, but they will tell the person they know from your Church that they got your leaflet.
  • Leaflets are a way of reaching lots of people, personally, but not obtrusively.
  • A decent flyer makes a giving a personal invitation a much easier proposition for members of your Church. Inviting someone to an event with a faded photocopied bent leaflet just does not hit the spot in 21st Century Britain. People have confidence if it looks the part.
This week we are delivering leaflets. We printed 2500 with all the community week events on and delivered 1800 through doors in our local area and other through our Church ministries and members.

Next up was 1000 Kidz Fun Day Flyers which went out via our Kidz Klub, Barneytots and Sunday morning as well as through local schools.

7,500 fairtrade day flyers were produced. These are going out through doors and in the town centre all this week.

10,000 A5 leaflets about the Church, especially focusing on our two services starting on November 8th have been produced. These are going out everywhere. The 1800 homes near our building are a start. This week we have taken four large estates int he town which have no evangelical witness whatsoever and leafleted them, for the fairtrade day and the Church. A team in the town centre has given out thousands more. We are encouraging cell groups to deliver them near where they meet and for people to use them to invite their friends to Church.

All in all, it is the scatter gun approach. Sowing seeds of information and showing that God's people do exist and are active.

Environmentally, Shrewsbury has fortnightly paper and card recycling so i am very confident the majority of those flyers will be recycled.

Economically, we use Riverside Press in Market Drayton and when 5000 full colour double sided postcards costs £90 it really does start to become accessible as a means of communicating. You cannot even photocopy them cheaper than that. They do national delivery too, tell them Dave at Barnabas in Shrewsbury recommended them.

So in the afternoons this week I have been out pacing the pavements of the estates of our town putting leaflets through people's doors. It is a thankless task. There is no meaningful response. But I know, for someone, somewhere, that leaflet could be exactly what they were looking for, and the start of their journey of faith, which makes it a very worthwhile venture, alongside all the other methods we have of making Jesus famous.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Quiz Night

Quiz Nights are fun!

They are a great, all age social event.

We had 80 questions, and 4 teams tied on 64 correct answers to share various confectionery prizes!

At our last quiz we had just over ten teams. Tonight we had 26 teams, almost all of 6 people or more.

We had set up 15 tables, and had 5 spares, and they kept coming, and coming, and coming.

We did not have another small table left in our entire church centre. Every kids table, toddler table. coffee table, you name it, we used it.

It was such a joy to see many groups of friends come. Friends from work, friends from the neighbourhood and again people from other Churches.

Our cell group had a "baking party" last night to make fresh cakes for everyone and they just about stretched to the numbers. As a group we have done this before, deciding as a group to put on a Quiz night as a way of serving the mission of the Church. It is a great way for all those in the cell to be able to support mission.

Kidz Fun Day

Our Children's fun day was a resounding success.

108 little faces were painted, which means there must have been close to 150 children there plus associated adults.

It was a hive of activity, with loads of great games and inflatables.

What hit me most though was the two blokes I shared car parking duty with. Both in their 40s, both saved and added to the Church in the last two years, both baptised, both already joining us on our mission to bless the community and make Jesus famous.

Personal faith is also being saved into the mission of God.

That is exciting!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Barnabas Unplugged

Last night's event went really, really well.

The venue was a cool music bar in the town centre. The age range was mixed and there were loads of guests, maybe 30% of the hundred or so who were there at some point during the evening.

People came and went, it got very hot, standing room only, it was almost uncomfortably busy, which meant it felt like a really edgy, busy music evening.

Musically we had everything from Green Day to Garfunkel, Snow Patrol to the Lion King.

What really thrilled me was a couple of people from other churches bringing their friends to our event, as part of their personal witness. That makes me really, really happy.

I would love the Church to once again be on the forefront of the music scene, instead of a being a niche market. Hmm, I wonder about next time.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Choosing a life partner...

I personally don't believe in a "one size fits all approach" to this issue, and some of the resources I have seen have been far to prescriptive.

However I was delighted to hear my marriage has a statistically better chance of making it.

Esther is 5 years younger than me and significantly smarter, which ticks all the boxes of that study!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Fairtrade matters

Fairtrade is a growing phenomenon, and rightly so.

Cadburys, Starbucks, the big names are queueing up to join the party.

Why is that?

Because we actually do care, as this article in the Guardian proves.

In a time when people refuse to pay a premium for organic, or even for better quality in some cases, we will pay it for fairtrade, because the message has been repeated and repeated and repeated and modelled until societal change is effected.

20 years ago this would be seen as impossible, now, in the midst of recession it is clear.

What else seems impossible? What next?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Barnabas Community Week

October Half term is our "Community Week" with several events aimed at reaching out into the community and raising the profile of the Church.

First up is our "Unplugged" event which is really exciting and has got different people from the Shrewsbury music scene interested already, to see if they can use our acts in other pub gigs around the town.

Next up is the Kids fun day. these normally attract over 200 children and their parents. these are chaotic and exciting in equal measure. All Kidz Klub families, all Barneytots families, and every child in our local primary school have an invite card.

Our Quiz Nights have developed their own following of local people and church members with their friends. Over 80 were at the last one. Our cell group arrange these as part of our witness, and to bring a larger event into the corporate life of the church as a service to others and their witness.

Then there is our Fair Trade open day which sees Starbucks, Co-op, Shrewbury Fairtrade, Tearfund, Stop the Traffik, Body Shop and other groups come and show what is happening, what they offer and how people can access their producst and services. It is also just in time for a spot of christmas shopping!

Day by day we will be distributing 1000 balloons and about 10,000 flyers regarding our new Sunday format and inviting the town to come to our events.

We will also be offering prayer for anyone who wants, including prayer for healing, out in the town centre.

The t-shirts are ordered, the flyers are ready, all systems go!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Exciting Churches

Dave Warnock is excited about his Church, which is great to see.

It made me think. I am really excited about our Church. Here are some starters.
  1. We are teaching through "Just walk across the room" on Sunday, using the DVDs in small groups, and are in faith that God would inspire our witness.
  2. There are over 20 guests on our Alpha course, several of whom have found us through our website, from all sorts of backgrounds.
  3. We are working increasingly effectively and purposely with other Churches in Shrewsbury. Across denominational barriers we are pushing back the boundaries of what the "body of Christ" really means when it comes to mission. Let's do it.
  4. "Open door" is attracting 20-30 senior citizens every Monday
  5. Our Money Advice Centre is training 4-5 new people to help resource the tremendous demand for the service.
  6. We are hosting a "Community week" with several major events during October half term. Over 23,000 flyers will be distributed, with events at our centre and street / door to door evangelism / prayer for healing. More details to follow!
  7. 3 of our 18 cell groups are close to multiplying. By 2010 we could be 21 and counting... In estates around our town and villages surrounding our town we have Christians meeting to worship, witness, open the word the build community.
  8. Our finances are robust. Our gift day this summer blew away our target and allowed us to make huge improvements to our Church centre to prepare for a period of growth. We have no mortgage on a 400 capacity building. God's people are generous, God is good, Jehovah Jireh is not a distant hope but a daily reality.
  9. We have appointed a new full time "Church manager" to help us sustain the programme / weight of practical outworking our our mission here. Tony is a gift from God.
  10. On November 8th we are moving to two Sunday services. We have doubled all our serving teams and are ready to open the door and say to our community "Taste and see, that the Lord is good!" From 10am we will be 9.10am & 11.20am.
Every single one of these is the grace of God upon us. The unmerited favour of our Lord. We have not earned it. We have not strategised it, or deserve it, but we receive it, and we say "Lord, help us to use all of this to bring you glory, to encourage the body of Christ across this town and to reach people with the good news of Jesus"

That is what makes me excited! Praise God!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Dudley Outpouring on the BBC

The Revival Fires Church got slammed on the BBC this week for claiming healing.

This was BBC 1, prime time, in the west midlands. It is the first ten minutes.

I found it very hard viewing, for all manner of reasons.

On the one hand I believe in healing, that God heals, that some people are healed.

I also know Churches are under the spotlight regarding healing claims.

I think Trevor Baker is a genuine guy. I don't believe he is deceitful. He used to minister near here in Telford and was a real blessing to many people.

On the other hand, some of the things other bloggers commented on regarding the whole approach, such as the way the offering is administered, are ruthlessly exposed and highlighted by the programme.

I just wish there were some medical records available for the BBC. Without them, any healing claims are open to questioning, and add in the cynicism of the age and a bit of cash washing around and it is a perfect storm for a programme like that.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Prayer and Fasting

I think the newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting conferences are the real heartbeat of the movement.

I do not say that lightly.

Many other conferences I go to are great but this is the real hub.

I have not been able to go for what seems like ages because our other two elders always go and I tend to hold the fort. Now our new Church manager is in place it is much easier for me to go, so I did, for the first time in what feels like ages. What a blessing it was.

I think it benefits from the following:
  • TIME: to worship, to pray, to seek God. The agenda is "flexible".
  • RELATIONSHIPS: It is always good to hear what different people are up to, both nationally & internationally.
  • SPIRIT: I love the way the "agenda" moves with the spirit, and we follow where the prophetic / spontaneous contributions go. There were several major encouragements, and none of them were planned, all came by a word of scripture, or prophecy.
I know I will get a CD / written copy of all the prophetic stuff sometime within the next couple of months and it will help shape our movement. The encouragement is not about what people did but what God said. More than that, above human planning we are seriously serious about listening to what God says and acting upon it.

I have missed it.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


The talk on spiritual gifts went well and certainly raised the issue!

We have had several excellent contributions since then, including spiritual songs, and new people contributing. Both are really exciting, as are reports of tongues and interpretations in cell groups.

It is amazing how "charismatic" so quickly becomes "contemporary" and the gifts of the spirit take a backseat.

It is all food for thought, and part of the journey our Church is on.