For my money, there are a number of reasons to be excited about – and praying expectantly for – ‘A Passion for Life 2022’. Not least, though, is the added confidence boost that the members of our church family will get from feeling we’re part of something bigger.
At our church in Glasgow we recently spent time in Luke 17, looking at Jesus’s hard-hitting teaching about the unexpected, unmistakable and decisive day of his return. In conversation afterwards, I was struck by how hard members of our congregation find it – even when they hold to these convictions personally – to sustain a ‘culture of invitation’ with their friends. Our friends seem so far away from Jesus’ words. We get weary from being knocked back – often just by apathy rather than hostility.
Connecting with ‘A Passion for Life’ makes our outreach less hard. By operating under the banner of a national initiative, with a bigger profile than we could ever create ourselves, and quality resources to adapt and share, it just becomes so much more straightforward to cross the pain barrier in a conversation with a friend.
“I don’t suppose you’ve heard about it, but have you come across this nationwide initiative? Churches all over the country and some in our city are inviting people to take a fresh look at the Christian faith. At our church we’re [insert what your church is doing here]… Are you interested? What do you think?”
I for one will certainly still feel nervous as I invite. And the spiritual battle will still be there. But I’m sure that, in our local context, we’ll take heart from knowing we’re stepping out in mission like this, alongside brothers and sisters, as part of a national movement. So I’m thankful for the benefits of this partnership for our local situation, and praying it will turn up the spiritual temperature as we head towards Easter 2022.