District Mission Enabler
My name is Chris Briggs and I am the newly appointed District Mission Enabler where my role will be to complement the ministry of Michele Simms as Fresh Expressions Pioneer Enabler. I will seek to resource the District and Circuits in mission, evangelism and discipleship.
Mission has been a passion of mine since coming to faith in Jesus and I have been privileged to be able to explore mission, evangelism, and whole life discipleship both through Circuit Ministry and through special events and particular roles. In my previous District (Southampton) I was delighted to serve as a District Evangelism Encourager and as Chair of the District Fresh Expressions Group. A particular high point on an ecumenical level was an immense amount of missional and evangelistic work carried out revolving around the 2012 Olympics and in particular the arrival of the sailing events in Weymouth and Portland where I was Superintendent Minister of the Portland Circuit. Some of this revolved around generous hospitality and festival engagement.
I was also privileged to be one of the founding members and Trustees of the ecumenical charity “Refresh” which was designed to facilitate mission in the area where I previously ministered. In addition to organising various events “Refresh” has been instrumental in setting up and facilitating church involvement in a CAP Debt Counselling Centre, foodbanks, Street Pastors, Healing on the Streets and various other initiatives. I was also pleased to be a Trustee of Churches Together in Dorset (CTD) and for a number of years to Chair a standing committee of CTD called DORCAS (Dorset Church and Society). This acted as a gathering point for denominational representatives and individuals who were committed to social justice and social action.
Mission is the lens through which I see so many other things. I am delighted therefore to have the challenge of encouraging and resourcing the Nottingham and Derby District in the areas of mission, evangelism and discipleship.
Within the Christian Church there have been many books written on mission. There are many techniques that one can be trained in that seek to help us to share our faith, or to engage with other people about the good news of Jesus. There are many programmes on sale that will help us reach out to others.
However, in the end mission is not about a technique or a set of programmes. It is about allowing ourselves to be caught up in the mission of God and to be conduits through which his love can flow to touch and transform others. It is about gaining, maintaining or regaining confidence in the good news about Jesus.
God in his grace sometimes works through techniques and programmes but he is not bound by them. God has everything God needs. All that is needed is the Godhead; Father, Son and Spirit. There is something within the Godhead though that rejoices in inviting us to share in the mission of God and which sends us to make disciples.
Jesus did not come among us to sell a programme. He came to share good news. And he invites us to do the same. Good news that God loves. Good news that sin can be dealt with. Good news that we can encounter the Living God. Good news that death and hell shall not have dominion. Good news that we can be transformed and know new life. Good news that things really can be different. Good news that we can share now and eternity with our Loving God.
I have complete confidence in the gospel for “it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
God calling us onward
As I begin this journey in a new role I look forward to sharing with you in the great work that God has called us to and which surely brings delight to his face when he sees us gathered into that mission and ministry.
Too often we look backwards and long for the good old days. That is an understandable, tempting thing to do, but God’s Spirit calls us onwards and challenges us to follow into new ventures, adventures and horizons.
If you are passionate about mission and might be interested in sharing in mission and discipleship initiatives in the District please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know. Contact details may be found on this page.
May God bless us, may the Spirt guide us, and may the life and love of Christ be seen in us.
Rev Chris Briggs
District Mission Enabler
The Methodist Church Nottingham and Derby District
Tel: 07851 749215