Diocesan synod members endorsed a challenge to every congregation member to bring one friend to church. This is one key way we can work towards our vision of seeing a bigger church to make a bigger difference with more people knowing Jesus and more justice in the world.
The idea behind bringing one friend is rooted in simplicity. As they endorsed the principles of this idea Synod members reflected that this is not new but a strong push to reaffirm what has worked in the past. We are all aware of the significant change that Back to Church Sunday and the seasons of invitation have had on church culture encouraging a greater emphasis on invitation.
Synod endorsed this exhortation at a time we have plenty of opportunities to make that invitation. Advent and Christmas bring wonderful services that resonate with the popular imagination making it easier for us all to find something to bring one friend to.
The aim is simple. If every one of our 30,000 regular worshippers brought one friend then we would have the ability to double our size, both in the local church and across our diocese. This would give us an opportunity to extend our reach and to start the important job of building more disciples.
Synod members acknowledged many churches and individuals already do this but many need encouragement.
Archdeacon Pete Spiers commented that many church notices for events don’t include a call for the congregation to invite someone. “Every week we need to be saying this is happening would you like to come and would you like to bring someone.”
In his presidential address,
Bishop Paul commended the call saying “You have heard of our aims, bring one friend, - one friend to come to know Jesus. This is in line with what we’ve been saying for decades and saying in these words for the past few years. The culture of invitation, the sense that each and all of us can bring a friend - bring someone you know to something you love. The sense that each and all of us can put into action the hope and prayer of our heart, that the world might be changed for the better.
We want to encourage all congregations to rise to this challenge. It will benefit your church. It will enable you to show your friends what you get from being part of a people who know and love Jesus. So we will be posting lots of encouragement and resources to support each other as we work to bring a friend this advent and Christmas.