This Sunday, we are really looking forward to launching our new sermon series Faith Conversations. Jesus said, ‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ We don’t feel a need to defend all of Christendom but simply lift Jesus up, letting both our words and our actions point towards Him. Our message is a good one and it is all about Him. The Apostle Paul in Acts 15 encourages us to not make it hard for anyone to turn to God.
The heart behind much of what we’re about at Emmanuel is creating an environment where people can explore and find faith in Jesus. We are trying to build a community, a family, where anyone is welcome to come as they are.
Whilst we are not looking to force anyone to share our beliefs, we also want to, in the words of Peter the Apostle, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’ Emphasising the gentleness and respect, if someone is not interested in our message, then that is fine. If my friends aren’t interested, my friendship isn’t conditional on them sharing my faith in Jesus. On the other hand, it would be somewhat odd to withhold my whole self from my friends and never share anything about the most important thing in my life. Loving, authentic friendships naturally include sharing about things that are most important to us.
So, the aim of this series is to both help us all understand more of the gospel and equip us to have faith conversations in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved in the conversation. On Sunday 7th May we have David Stroud, the leader of Christ Church London, joining us for the day. They did a similar teaching series to this and have kindly helped us plan our series. David was involved in Emmanuel launching at the very beginning and we have stayed connected along the way. He also recently spent some time with our wider leadership team.
 John 12:32 NIV translation
 1 Peter 3:15 NIV translation