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28 October 2018 | Vicar Writes

Pray Engage Gather

By Terry Wong

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.  John 1:41,42

This week, the Senior Staff Team is setting aside two days for planning. With the coming Celebration of Hope rallies (COH) in May next year, we are having a different take to the shape of this period. We want to work out the details of the three PEG cycles.

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PEG stands for Pray, Engage and Gather.

Pray. We start by praying for those with whom we want to share the Gospel. This person can be a family member, a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance or even a stranger.  We pray regularly for him or her. Praying also clarifies our motives. It is not about meeting a “target” or trying to “win” a person for Christ. It is not a numbers game or to convert a person to our side. It is about giving this person an opportunity to meet Jesus (see John 1:41,42). As we pray, may the Spirit fill our hearts with God's love for those around us.

Engage. Our prayerful desire moves into loving action as we seek to engage or connect with others. It can be an invitation to meet up for a chat over a meal, attend a concert, a birthday or Christmas party. Or pausing to listen and show some care. Every friend and acquaintance is a precious gift in life. You are not an insurance agent seeking to sell a product. I cannot think of anything that can be as effective a friendship-killer as harbouring an ulterior motive in wanting to know a person. It chills the air when the person suddenly realises it. If the friendship is genuine and longterm, trust me, there will be many God-given opportunities to share the love of Christ in word and deed. However, not everyone you are engaging with needs to be “your friend.” Don’t freak out your security guard or your subordinate across the office. If your behaviour has been Christian (i.e you have not been rude and dismissive but caring and warm), your invitation will be appreciated even if some were to refuse it politely. I shouldn’t be telling you this! Any person should intuitively know that there are many ways to be authentic and bless the people around us.

Gather. Here is where the Church is assisting you. We are organising Christmas@Home by encouraging Connect Groups to host Christmas parties. It may have been a while since your group has welcomed guests into the home. And nothing will be as natural as a Christmas party. I once talked with an unbeliever who attended a Christmas event in church. He said it was his first time. I asked him why it took him so long. He said, "No one invited.” I think you get the point. Then, there is Alpha Everywhere starting in early 2019. SAC will be levelling up and will add one if not two lunchtime Alpha Courses to our regular Wednesday evening run. SAC will provide a warm and welcoming venue, good food and drinks and screen the Alpha Film Series. It is for you to gather your friends/colleagues and help form a small group comprising hosts and guests. Talk. Eat. Watch. Discuss. Go back to office. Easy enough? And of course, lastly, from March 2019 onwards, we will focus sharply on the COH stadium events. More will be said at the right time.

Pray. Engage. Gather. Peg, peg and peg again. May these three cycles help us to be an Andrew to those around us.