The Jesus brings initiative and campaign comprises a set of messages and resources we can use  to share the message about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus; to help us place Jesus before our community and contacts and the gospel word in their hands.

Around 150 churches in Sydney and the Illawarra will be using this theme and the resources being made available. Participating churches have been invited to mobilise around two ‘seasons’ in particular: Easter and August 2014.

Easter 2014
Amid the march towards secularisation and commercialism around Easter, there is still recognition in Australian society of the unique importance of the Christian Easter message and celebration. And although many people take the opportunity of a holiday break over Easter, many churches report a resurgence in numbers and visitors around the Easter season. Our desire is therefore to use Easter 2014 and the surrounding weeks for maximum gospel-effect.

Specifically, we will letterbox drop the parish in the lead up to Easter with an invitation to Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. At the same time we will distribute a church brochure with information about our other regular activities including Christianity Explored courses.

In the lead up to Easter we will use some of the resources we have (see below) to speak with Playgroup, Kids Plus and School Scripture children about Jesus and the good things he brings to kids.

August 2014
In August there will be some larger scale mission opportunities across the Sydney and Illawarra region, as a way for churches like ours to again focus our own local mission activities and benefit from the excitement that larger events can bring. However, the focus will be on a number of more local opportunities to invite people to connect with church and explore the Christian message. Over the coming months we will plan specific events and let you know more about the activities that will take place in August.

The Jesus brings initiative and campaign doesn’t include broad-based TV or billboard advertising. However with so many churches in Sydney using the same theme there is a good chance it will register in the minds of the general public in a way not possible for one church alone.

Resources

There is a ‘pack’ of resources we have purchased as a church to help us during the course of the year.

The Search. The Search is a gospel of Luke with QR codes scattered throughout. That is, it combines the text of Luke’s gospel with evangelistic web-content accessed via smartphone device (e.g. using an app like Quick Scan). Inviting an enquiring approach, this resource is like a gospel and an evangelistic course rolled into one! Scanning the QR code built into the pages of the gospel will open videos that people can watch, either as individuals, or you could sit down with someone and watch them together. We have 900 copies of this version of Luke to give to people during the year.

The Search ‘language edition’.  This is a 4-Language version of ‘The Search’ (in the one publication) featuring: English, Chinese, Arabic and Korean. The video resources are only available in English but the word of God is not constrained by our explanation of it. We have 250 copies of this multi-language version of Luke to give away.

Jesus brings good things to kids DVD. This is a video produced by QuizWorx that explains to kids (targeted at primary school aged children) how Jesus brings friendship, forgiveness and foreverness. It features puppetry, drama, claymation and quick-draws to provide 50 minutes of learning for children. We have 400 copies of this DVD to give to children during the year.

Promotional items. In addition we have a range of items to promote the Jesus brings theme. These include banners, posters, promotional cards, even a few T-shirts and baseball caps. These will be used to raise awareness around the Jesus brings theme and events both within and outside our church.

More information about The Search gospel resource can be found here.

Pray!

Please pray for this initiative and campaign, for the 150 or so churches participating, and especially for opportunities in our local area and amongst our family, friends and colleagues. Pray:

for opportunities to speak about what Jesus brings,
that God’s Spirit would work in us to give us the courage to invite people to church and events,
that many would be saved in the series of Jesus brings talks in the lead up to Easter and through the evangelistic courses we will run through the year,
that people might be able to read the Bible with their friends, just one on one together.
Simon Roberts.