by Donna Lamothe
“How can we help you share your faith in Jesus?” Over the past year or so, I bombarded individuals and small groups of women from coast to Canadian coast with this specific question.
Our ministry is about stepping in at the grass roots level and empowering local women to be the change agents that our culture needs. Most people find it hard to share their faith in a culture where tolerance can be valued more highly than loving conviction. I do.
Of course there is no single answer to the question of how best to share our faith, but there were some clear themes expressed in the collective response. After meeting bright, beautiful, varied and talented followers of Jesus across the country, primarily known as Gen X’ers and Y’s, we have some conclusions you might relate to.
What we heard about was the desire to share faith through:
– organic engagement and minimal structure
– participation & experience
– relationship, relationship, relationship
– flexible resources and formatting
– a venture into the world of media (Faith Today March/April 2016 reports that the average Canadian over the age of 18 spends 5.6 hours on media a day.)
In response, RSVP Ministries (known as Stonecroft Canada until Jan 2016) has created four trilogies of short faith films and associated discussion questions intended to lead to purposeful God-conversations with believers and unbelievers.
My young adult daughter is surprised at how long they are, while my girlfriends at the crease of Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation are amazed at how brief we’ve made each one. There are three films in each series: Invite films are the stories of real Canadian women told by the women themselves, Inspire films involve the consideration of wholeness from God’s perspective, and Invest films are wordless vignettes that cause us to consider giving for the benefit of others.
Faith Today asked us why we’re so excited about creating a Canadian resource. The answer is because we are Canadian, a national ministry with a primary focus on women and Canada is our “Jerusalem.” We want to be flexible and ready to respond, adjust and communicate hope as our neighbours need to hear it. We are keen to do the part that is ours to do and don’t think we should be entirely dependent on internationally sourced materials.
It gets personal for me. I have had the incredible opportunity of serving in the Canadian military in a global environment where Canadians stand out in the world as committed and amazing guardians and peace keepers. I can’t even imagine that, as Christians, we would not stand up on the spiritual rampart and speak up with our own voice in a world that is so clearly enmeshed in a turbulent spiritual battle. Is it right to be silent when God has generously given us the resources of talented producers, writers and communicators?
So let me challenge you to make a Canadian difference, to create a God-conversation with your neighbours, in your women’s church group, or with that young person whom God has called you to mentor and influence.
RSVP film resources are being used in environments such as a Calgary faith-based ESL class, a mixed gender church group in Walkerton, a Bible study in Kamloops, a non-denominational RSVP Community outreach group forming in Waterloo and a living room in Canmore.
Where do you want to use them?
Send us a sentence or two (firstname.lastname@example.org) letting us know where you would use a DVD of our first set of 12 films and we’ll enter you in our month-end draw to win your own free set!
Then let us know your response, as we continue to create the next voice, the next God-conversation.
Donna Lamothe is executive director of RSVP.