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November 06 Church Army

A recent survey on faith revealed that home mission is valued by 76% of Christians, yet 47% often feel ill-equipped to share their faith or just never get round to it. That means the Church is missing out on almost 5 out of 10 opportunities to share the Gospel.

Church Army’s Chief Executive Mark Russell comments: “ We need to show people Jesus’ love in practical ways. It’s easy to talk about it and go to church on Sunday – our work is about getting off our pews and getting our hands dirty for mission, and that is what giving the gift of time is all about.”

On Board: let’s go together and make disciples

Two days at a County Show can make a difference for mission. Rob Barker, took The Church Army Bus Project and a team from St Thomas Church Ellesmere Port along to the Cheshire County Show to try to reach out to people where they are.

More than 80,000 attended the event, and conversations were started with a number of young people who wanted to see what the bus was all about. One group of youths were moved as the story of Jesus was presented to them right there, and joined Rob in a prayer to receive the forgiveness, love and grace of Christ.

Rob was also contacted by a youth leader based in Wallasey asking how he could move their youth work deeper towards Christian spirituality – it turned out this was the youth club the young people who prayed at the show had some tentative links with.

Rob comments: “Other great conversations happened over the weekend and I am convinced that we have a God-given opportunity to share the Gospel if we dare to be faithful.”

The Bus project was also awarded a special rosette by the High Sheriff of Cheshire for an outstanding contribution to the show – we don’t have to wait for heaven to get all our rewards!

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Befriending the outcasts

Sue* runs The Chocolate Box, a project to help female sex workers in a city in the north of the UK. She works to reach and support vulnerable women with the good news and takes all that is good and enriching about Christian community to them.

Her objective is to train a group of volunteers who will work in teams of three, offering friendship and simple refreshments to women on the street, as well as running a drop-in to provide a safe place for chat, and within it a ‘sacred space’ which offers a suitable context for prayer.

Sue and her volunteers are driven to offer care and love in this practical way because they are inspired by the example of Jesus Christ, who included the most needy among those to whom he brought the Good News of a transforming relationship with God.

The Chocolate Box is a fresh expression of Christian community. Because of the understandable difficulties that sex workers would have in relating to a traditional church, local Christians have made a decision to go to them, offering them the transforming love of Jesus Christ, and creating a place where their spirituality can come alive in the context of a safe and supportive community.

This is a way of sharing the love of Christ with a group that is misunderstood, stigmatised, and would be beyond the reach of the Gospel if it were not for Sue’s unique vision.

* Name changed for safety reasons

Why your help is needed to give the gift of time

Church Army is committed to those who have never had a real engagement with a church or with the Christian faith.

We believe that Christians need to do more than simply inviting people to join an existing church congregation, as we encourage Christians to go beyond the walls of their churches to meet people where they already feel comfortable, and to seek ways to create new Christian communities that are culturally appropriate to those for whom they are intended.

Church Army creates the circumstances in which this work can take place, in partnership with local churches, as part of our vision for communicating the Christian message among people who have no meaningful connection with a church.

This work is tough and takes prayer, spiritual development, training, resources and most of all time. Can you help support the time of those who work in full-time Christian service for the sake of the Gospel by giving the ‘gift of time’ for mission this Christmas or for a birthday, confirmation, baptism or wedding gift?

Your help will make a direct impact by funding time to be with people in need at all stages and ages in life, who have never heard the good news of Jesus.

You simply choose a ‘gift of time’ from 12 different project options and Church Army will send you a card with details of your ‘gift of time’ for you to personally sign and give to your friends and loved ones. Church Army will also let the evangelist know that you care enough about their ministry to give this precious ‘gift of time’.

Your gift of £5, £10 or more will go directly to meeting the costs of supporting each evangelist or project you select.

For more information see where you can read more about the gifts of time available and order yours. You can phone Church Army on 020 8309 3519 or e-mail for an order form.

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