Across England, Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland, thousands of Christians from hundreds of churches are gathering and preparing for a focused month of mission called ‘Life’ in March 2022. Operations leader Le Fras Strydom writes:
Under the banner of A Passion for Life, over 650 churches are now involved – and more are joining each week. From Brighton to Belfast and Edinburgh to Eastbourne, hundreds of churches up and down the UK and Ireland are already using A Passion For Life’s personal evangelism training resources to get equipped, enthused and excited in preparation for the month of mission and a lifetime of evangelism beyond.
Confidence is growing
It has been wonderful to see how everyday believers are already growing in their confidence in making Jesus known, as they think intentionally about how they can reach those around them with the gospel. Meanwhile, churches are beginning to plan what a month of mission might look like in their context – from pub quizzes to testimony talks, to games nights, the possibilities are endless!
We asked Christians and church leaders about their preparations so far and what they’re most excited for as we approach next year’s mission – read what they said below.
What is Life?
Life 2022 will invite people to explore the lasting life that is found only in Jesus. It will encourage people to pause and contemplate how short and fragile our lives are, and welcome them to discover eternal life in Christ.
The campaign has been purposefully designed to draw people into a place of contemplation and reflection – encouraging them to stop and think about their lives, and revealing that the lasting life of Jesus is closer than they might think.
From January 2022, churches will be able to order evangelistic resources and promotional materials to support their mission. These resources will point to a new website findlifethatlasts.com which will link enquirers by postcode search to participating churches.
So, will you join us in reaching every community across the UK and Ireland with the gospel next year?
Pray: the first and most urgent priority is that we cry out to God together – so please join us in praying!
Prepare: equip and encourage your church family in making Jesus known by picking a couple of sessions from the 21 free, interactive and accessible training sessions
Plan: get mission ready with resources and ideas gathered from around the UK and Ireland.
In order to find out more about the upcoming March mission, register your church and get mission ready with us at apassionforlife.org.uk
And in Ireland, evangelicals are coming together under the banner ‘What’s the Story?’. Here, Donald Coulter, chair of the steering committee, tells us more:
Who are we?
What’s the Story? is a Christian evangelistic initiative organised by a collaboration of evangelical believers in Ireland. Our committee is made up of church leaders and representatives of several major Christian organisations on the island: Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EIA), Aontas (formerly the Association of Independent Evangelical Churches) One Mission Society (OMS), and Operation Mobilisation (OM). We are thankful for the unity we’ve found in Christ to work together in the Republic of Ireland to make Him known.
Statistics tell us that evangelical numbers have grown in the Republic of Ireland over the past ten years and now stand at around 0.75 percent of the population though, according to Operation World, this is still the lowest percentage of any country in the English-speaking world.
What are we about?
‘What’s the story?’ is a sentence often used among people in Ireland. It’s a sentence that represents connecting together and hearing from one another. Stories are a powerful element of the Irish culture and people love to hear life stories which inspire and challenge. This brings together our goal with What’s the Story? We want to help Irish believers to connect with the people in their community, share their stories on how Jesus has changed their life, and inspire and challenge people with the ultimate story: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We do this because we want to see many more people in Ireland added to the Kingdom for the glory of God. In order to do this we are organising a six week mass-marketing campaign, starting on 1 March 2022. During these six weeks we aim to get people’s attention and stir their hearts to think about six major life questions that run like red threads through many life stories. This will be done through as many different media as possible: social media, radio, local newspapers, billboards, etc. People are then directed to our website, where they’ll find an interactive map of Ireland full of participating churches who are ready to engage with them on these questions through different events. Churches can participate and are free to organise whatever is suitable for their congregation and community around the theme of the six questions. You can think about a series of Bible studies, coffee mornings, movie nights, street evangelism, etc. We are developing different resources that can be used for answering these six questions.
• Bible study material using different stories in the Gospel of John
• High-quality video portraits from people sharing their life story
• Apologetics material
What have we done so far?
We’ve surveyed almost 1,000 people across Ireland about their views on faith, religion and life. With the help of a statistician we uncovered through these surveys the six questions which now form the content of the campaign:
1. Is there anybody out there?
2. Is there any hope in the face of death?
3. Christianity: the problem?
4. Guilt and shame: will I ever be good enough?
5. Does my life really have purpose?
6. Can we make sense of our suffering?
We launched the What’s the Story? initiative in May 2021 and worked hard to spread the news far and wide in Christian Ireland. We’ve been very encouraged to see many church leaders interested, as well as individuals and organisations keen to help out or partner with us somehow. Some examples of these collaborations are with A Passion for Life (APFL), CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) and Apologetics Network Ireland. Through monthly Zoom meetings and newsletters we’ve connected with many believers across Ireland to keep them updated on the progress in the project and pray together as well as equip them to engage well with the campaign. We believe these connections and this training will be valuable far beyond Spring 2022 and give churches a renewed sense of purpose and unity after the difficult season we’ve been in due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can find out additional information about the initiative at: www. whatsthestoryinfo.ie
We are praying that a new chapter will be written in the history of Ireland.
Will you be a part of this story?