Several local churches in the Spelthorne area (the least posh bit of Surrey) have enjoyed several years of gospel partnership and so it was a great joy to have over 100 people from 10 different local churches descend on Ashford Congregational Church at the end of Nov 2023 for a half day Confident Christianity conference.
After a short devotional on John 3:16 and a rousing singing of Crown Him with Many Crowns, we settled in for some tremendously stimulating and challenging stuff. Andy Bannister spoke first on ‘How to share your faith without getting fired or cancelled’ and then Sharon Dirckx spoke on ‘Am I just my brain?’ Then after a decent coffee break, lots of inter-church mingling and encouragement, and brisk trade done at the book table run by Canaan Ministries, we settled in for the second half. Sharon spoke on ‘Why would God allow suffering?’ and then took questions from the attendees. The questions were handled graciously and wisely by Sharon and folk were heartened by what they heard.
Then Andy spoke again, this time on ‘Understanding and Answering our Atheist Friends’ and he too followed this with a question time. Once again, the questions were of a high quality and sensitively dealt with and extremely helpful. We wrapped up by singing ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ and giving thanks to God for our time together.
As local churches we agreed to underwrite the cost of the event and therefore it was free for all to attend. As a church pastor, I was massively encouraged that so many people gave up their Saturday mornings in order to become better equipped in evangelism and encouraged to give the reason for the hope that we have in Christ. More than a couple of people asked me at the end, if this could become a regular event. Happy shoppers indeed!! As local churches, we have to keep evangelism on the front burner, and one of the ways of doing this, is to regularly provide our folk with help and encouragement in evangelism. The Confident Christianity conference is an extremely useful tool in accomplishing this and I wholeheartedly recommend it to others. Keep up the good work at Solas!!
Keith Wilson (Pastor, Ashford Congregational Church)