Church must change how it communicates good news, says missiologist

The leader of evangelism strategies for New Wine says the Church must change its way of communicating the good news about Jesus if the nation is to be changed.

John Coles was speaking ahead of a new mission shaped ministry course being launched by Fresh Expressions in north London this month.

The yearlong, part-time course gets underway on April 17 and will teach Christians how to reach those not currently being reached by traditional churches.

It is designed for lay and ordained leaders and pioneers who may already be involved in a fresh expressions project or who are committed to exploring the idea.

Mr Coles said that where the course had run previously it had helped many Christians reconnect with God’s heart for the nation, and the church to find new ways of reaching the 97 per cent.

“If 97 per cent of the nation is not in church every week it’s either because they are not interested in spiritual things, or because ‘church’ is not sufficiently interesting or interested in them,” he said.

“If the nation is to be changed, the Church has to change its way of communicating the good news about Jesus.

“I thoroughly recommend [the course], but be warned, it might change your life as well as your view of church.”

Other course teachers include the Rev Jenny Ellis, Spirituality and Discipleship Officer with the Methodist Church, Jonny Baker, of the Church Mission Society leadership and discipleship team, and the Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church.

The Rev Dr Stuart Jordan, one of three District chairs for London, added: “Church life in London is too fluid and diverse for labels like ‘fresh’ or ‘traditional’ – but it all needs to be mission-shaped!

"I welcome the opportunities offered by this course to explore what that might mean in different contexts.”