On Thursday 10th May we will celebrate Ascension day – when we remember Jesus returning to heaven 40 days after his resurrection. His final command to his disciples was:
‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matt 28.19-20)
A church that is obedient to Jesus is one that is growing – not just in depth of knowledge and understanding of our faith, but also in numbers. We seem to have got used to the news of declining numbers, as if that were inevitable, but a third of churches in this diocese actually grew last year. The diocesan standing committee have set a challenge (or target) to all of the churches in this diocese to grow numerically by 10% this year. For us in Guilsfield that means 4-5 people, So it’s not as impossible as we might imagine at first, but it does need us to take action to make it happen. It’s hard for those of us who are used to coming to church to understand just how threatening church can seem to those who are unfamiliar with services. The main reason people start coming to church is that someone invites them, brings them and sits with them to reassure them of where we are in the book, when to sit, stand etc. Please think and pray about who you could invite.