Magazine article 2

Vision4Life – dressing up to go out…

A Possible CHURCH MAGAZINE ARTICLE by John Campbell, Principal, Northern College

This article is intended to be a ‘follow up’ article to Lawrence Moore’s article.

john_campbell_webHave you heard of  “Vision4Life” ? Did you read the article by Lawrence Moore in our last edition?

‘Vision4Life’ is going to be the next phase of the United Reformed Church’s  ‘Catch the Vision’ Process.

A group of us wanted to do something to enable the faithful people in our United Reformed Churches (people like you) to find fresh excitement and encouragement in the basic things of our faith – the things that make us who we are. We know that every church is different, with its own pressures and its own delights, but we rather suspect that the very things that should be God’s particular and special gift to us have, for many of us, become a little flat or even a little scary. Can we, church by church, recover some ‘oomph’, risk some excitement, get excited again about dressing up to go out… ?

How would that be, then?

Well, we say that the Bible is important to us, but our historic Reformed emphasis on the central importance of the Bible and an educated ministry means many of us are a bit wary of the Bible, unsure of our own ability to read it aright, happy to leave the study bit to the minister. Can we do anything to enable more of us to ENJOY engaging with the Bible? Can we help people recover their confidence in the Bible and confidence that they have something important to bring to the shared task of making the Bible speak excitingly to us all today?

We mainly have a deep sense that prayer is important, but how much of a help is it with the frustrations, sadnesses, pains and pressures of life? Couldn’t we do better at finding God’s support in the midst of our lives and the lives of the communities around us? Are we sometimes a little confused or afraid of prayer? Couldn’t we change that for the better?

We know that we want to see more people sharing our faith, but many of us are not very good at doing the sharing, even when others seem interested enough to listen. For many of us faith is not something we talk about very often. So, if we got more comfortable talking about our faith with one another, might we be better able to talk about our faith with others in our community – and do it in a way that was true to who we are, not forced or out of character?

That’s what Vision4Life is about. It’s three years where each church is invited to tailor its own programmes from the selection of colourful materials we’ll be putting on offer. We’ll try to give you a great selection of ideas for a Bible year, a Prayer year and an Evangelism year and you and your church get to cut them up to fit who you are. And if we all share in the process, all contribute our own flair and skill and courage, we can all get dressed up, we can all get excited again and we’ll all get to go out….

The whole programme will get started in the Spring and Summer of 2008 with some special church discussions (tailored to fit your church, obviously) and if you decide to go ahead your church can then join in the Bible Year from Advent 2008 and the Prayer year from Advent 2009 and the Evangelism year from Advent 2010 – and remember, your church gets to choose what you’ll wear.

John Campbell                 [  580 words  ]

Note to Magazine editors and publicity people in churches –
Please feel free to ‘clip’ the Vision4Life LOGO from the top of the Vision4Life fact sheet 1 to use in your magazine or wherever else you are presenting Vision4Life in your local setting.

Download this Vision4Life article by John Campbell in Word format