Shanklin United Reformed Church

High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. PO37 6LA
Registered Charity No. 1130459

A member of the Evangelical Alliance

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The Minister's Monthly Message

The View From Number 10 (Dracaena Gardens, Shanklin that is!! J)

You will be my witnesses…

I have been encouraged by the variety of input and inspiration for prayer over the recent Thy Kingdom Come prayer season leading up to Pentecost. It was an enjoyable journey as we prayed for friends and family in various style and approaches to prayer.

A video interview with Rev Canon Chris Russell, Mission and Evangelism adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was especially good, exploring the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

The last part of this focussed on how we are all called to be witnesses to Jesus. He pointed out the word is a noun not a verb – a witness is what we are, not what we do. It should become part of our DNA as we walk in the Spirit. We may not all be gifted as evangelists and have the confidence to lead people to salvation in Jesus Christ, but we can and must be witnesses. A witness doesn’t have to understand everything – they simply tell others what they have seen and heard or experienced.

Peter in his first letter explains that we must all be ready and prepared to give an answer when people ask us about the hope we have. This is not an invitation for Bible bashing but a chance to explain our faith with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15-16).

Our lives need to exhibit the change that faith brings, and this is as important as any words we may speak – it has been said that your life may be the only Bible that some people will read. We need to be people of integrity; it is a crucial part of our discipleship

Let’s pray for one another as we seek to be authentic followers of Jesus who can tell our personal story without embarrassment. It is ours to tell - and a unique and distinctive contribution that no one else can replicate.

But we can also work at becoming better at sharing our faith and talking to others that we meet, while leaning on the Holy Spirit for guidance and inspiration. He’s there, right up close, to help.

There will be a precious opportunity next month to grow in confidence in personal witness, as we are hosting three training afternoon sessions with Christ for All Nations (CFAN). This is linked to the Lionheart Festival and will take place on the three days leading up to the event – Wednesday 24th - Friday 26th July. CFAN are once again partnering with Lionheart and part of this is to run this training in seven locations across the Island. Look out for details and do try and come along – to one, two or all three sessions. They will each have a different emphasis as we explore together how to be effective in our witnesses to Jesus. Let’s grasp the opportunity!

Every blessing for a wonderful summer season,

Page Last Updated 22 May 2024

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