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Recently Penny and I hosted a training weekend on multiplying disciples through small groups. The weekend was being led by Peter Farmer (see, who has pioneered this form of church planting, and we were hosting the sessions in our home. Or so we thought!

There were 10 people doing the training, and after some really good sessions on the Friday evening and Saturday morning, Peter said, “Right, we’ll do the next session in the café down the road.” “Why?” I said, “Are we doing evangelism?” “No,” said Peter, “I just want to get you out of the house.”

So ten of us went to the café, pulled some tables together and carried on with the next session. I did feel a bit uncomfortable in the crowded café when one of the group said out loud, “Oh yes, that’s what Paul said in Thessalonians!” “Why am I uncomfortable?” I thought. “We’re just a group talking in a café together.”

The next day we went to a different café, and then for the last session we went across to the local pub and sat around a large table. Each time we talked together about Jesus, disciples, and church, but the simple fact that we were doing it surrounded by other people in a public place made so much difference. We could have been talking about evangelism in our own little ghetto, instead of which it suddenly became much more natural to talk about our faith ‘out there.’ Amongst the many things I learnt that weekend, one stood out loud and clear.

Christians should get out more!

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