The good news is that many people come to church for the first time, or return when someone invites them. Specific invitation to a service, either in person or in writing, is a great way to re-engage a household that may have stopped connecting with worship and discipleship. To this end, the Mission and Comms Teams have been working together to serve the parishes of Southwark Diocese. We have created two simple template invitations that parishes can fill in with their name, details and the kind of service or event that people are being invited back to. (We have initially created 2 designs – one with pictures of adults and another with pictures of children and young people). You can download the document of your choice, and then fill it in and print it off using your chosen print method.
Jesus sends us out into the world to both be and share good news where he has placed us. The vision of the Mission and Evangelism Team is that every Christian in Southwark Diocese might have the confidence to sensitively communicate the difference that God has made in their lives.
We long to see every parish develop a clear strategy for communicating the Gospel so as to awaken faith in others as part of their Mission Action Plan. All these resources have been chosen to envision and equip us for that joyful task which belongs to us all.
Resources for hosting conversations
- Table Talk – read more about this game of conversations for different ages and seasons.
- Puzzling Questions – find out about this six-week course to explore life’s deeper questions.
- Happiness Lab – comprises six discussions about what makes people happy.
- Soularium – engage in spiritual conversations with non-believers with this set of 50 images and five simple exploring questions.
- Death Cafe – find a safe space to talk about death and dying via this non-religious website supporting gatherings where you can eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.
- Grave Talk – Church of England alternative cafe space to talk about death, dying and funerals.
Resources for exploring spirituality
- The Soul Spark course is aimed at those who are interested in spirituality and meditation (Grove Booklet S96).
- The Essence course is suitable for spiritual seekers who may not have a Christian faith.
- Try Praying is a seven-day prayer guide (available as an app or a booklet) for people who don’t go to church but are open to trying prayer and seeing what happens. There are versions for use in children’s and youth ministry, as well as banners and posters, making this a simple but effective resource for a whole-church initiative around prayer and mission.
- Jesus Deck – find out more about this retro set of 1970s educational ‘playing cards’ that have become a unique spirit-led tool for evangelism (Grove Booklet EV112).
- Prayer spaces in schools has all the resources you need to run such a prayer space, plus plenty of ideas you can adapt to other venues.
Resources for conversations among Christians or those on the edge of Church
- Faith Pictures is a free course developed by the Church Army to help Christians talk more openly and confidently about what they believe.
Books for inspiration and to shape material for a series of conversations
- Unapologetic: why despite everything Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense. Francis Spufford.
- Finding Happiness: monastic steps for a fulfilling life. Abbot Christopher Jamison.
- Finding Sanctuary: monastic steps for everyday life. Abbot Christopher Jamison.
- The Consolations of Philosophy. Alain de Botton.
Websites to explore Christianity
- http://christianity.org.uk/ – an excellent website that also allows people to ask questions directly.
Enquiry courses on the Christian faith
- Pilgrim – the four booklets in the Follow Stage, ‘Do you turn to Christ?‘, can be adapted to explore the Christian faith in an open and accessible way.
- The updated Alpha and Alpha Youth film series is made up of 12 episodes designed to engage young people in conversations about faith, life and Jesus. It’s free to download.
- Twelve steps to spiritual wholeness: a Christian pathway was developed by a Catholic priest in the 1990s and follows the 12 Steps as a conversion journey.
Mission resources for churches
- HOPE is a catalyst for local church mission, with lots of resources and ideas for mission.
- Season of Invitation is an initiative from Back To Church Sunday with resources for five invitational services. See also a similar initiative for a Rhythm of Mission produced by HOPE where the church calendar provides significant mission opportunities.
- Deo Gloria Trust has high quality hand-stitched textile banners which are available for short-term hire to churches.
- Thy Kingdom Come provides materials which contains creative ideas for prayer that are also accessible to the general public.
We welcome your feedback. If you wish to share your experience of using these resources, please contact us.
We are also in the process of building a small resource library at Trinity House so you can come and look at materials before purchasing – please e-mail to make an appointment.