Sometimes a seed of an idea germinates, grows and bears fruit. That’s what has happened with #doyouknowhim in our market town of Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales. What began as a conversation around our theme for Easter 2017 at Skipton Baptist Church has become an initiative which has captured the heart of every church in our town and outlying villages. Each church is following the same sermon topics looking at Jesus and knowing him better (we are each doing this in a way that suits us – some using the lectionary and others focusing more on the topics). Every Saturday there are creative events where groups of people from all the churches are reaching people with love, kindness and encouraging them to get to know Jesus a little more. We have been praying together for our town and the activities – prayer at different times and in different locations but always with a really mixed group of church affiliation. We are also holding inter-church small groups studying the themes in more depth together.
We have huge banners up on every church, t-shirts to identify ourselves in the market place and mugs for our coffee as well as an on-line presence where people (some quite well known) have answered the questions “How did you get to know Jesus” and “What difference has he made?”. Each Sunday on our web page one of the ministers in town provides a video introduction to the theme and then after the services 2 of the ministers are videoed in conversation talking about how they have approached the theme and what they have learned about Jesus.
#doyouknowhim is a powerful tool in both evangelism and discipleship – everyone is included in needing to continually wrestle with that question. We have found that as we have united around knowing Jesus more and more people knowing him we have found increased depth in our relationships cross-churches, people being released in gifts they didn’t know they had and an increased presence in our town. I have lived here for nearly 24 years now and have never seen such unity and commitment to working together amongst the churches – and Jesus is at the centre of it all.
Lisa Holmes Lead Minister Skipton Baptist Church