Christians from across Norfolk were trained for the Who Cares mission last weekend, and are now equipped to transform the lives of Norfolk people by listening and responding to their concerns.
Over 150 people from Norfolk churches attended the training held at the King’s Centre in Norwich on March 29 and 30.
Delegates were guided through the two stages of the mission: the Listening Phase whereby local people are asked the question “What hurts the most?” and the Responding Phase when churches address the concerns raised in specific and relevant ways.
Who Cares? project leader Rob Tervet, along with Julian Bryant and Lucy Parker led the sessions on how the mission will be conducted.
Advice was given on how to ask people the question ’What hurts the most?’, including role play of different situations and video clips of how the conversations might go. Some churches might choose to leaflet-drop their local area – or approach people directly. Some respondents may answer the question face-to-face, others anonymously through the Who Cares? website. A softer way to answer the question is ‘What’s the one thing in life you find hardest to handle?’ The key to this part of the mission is that it is the listening phase. The survey will be conducted between June 1 and August 2.
After the data has been analysed, it will be made available to churches so they can understand the responses and take action based on the needs raised. Examples of how to respond include Alpha courses, sermon series to specifically address the top issues raised, pastoral visiting service, and special events. Rob Tervet asked the people to be thinking about creative ways to respond to the results of the survey.
Rob Tervet and Toby Skipper of King’s community Church led a seminar on how to respond with the hope of the gospel in a way that relates to painful life issues. Julian Bryant of Tearfund UK spoke about how to respond to broken people. Aisa Magee, who co-ordinates the Newday event led a session on how the mission links with Newday delegates. Lucy Parker explained in detail how the survey will work and how the results will be analysed. Ian Dyble from St Thomas’ Church led a session on how to run an Alpha course and link it to Who Cares?
Evangelist Eric Delve led an inspirational session on the subject of Joy, explaining that Christians should be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and this should overflow from them and be clearly visible to all they interact with. It was an uplifting and positive session which left attendees feeling prepared and empowered to move forward with Who Cares? in Norfolk.