2020 in Review Christianity Explored Ministries

It may have been a tough year for us all. But these are some of the highlights that have lifted our spirits as we have seen God at work.

Ian Roberts | Chief Executive

Winter | Encouraging Updates

To begin the year, we had the joy of sharing news that our Director of Prison Ministry Stephen James, who was converted under the ministry of the Shrewsbury Prison chaplaincy team, was reunited with his Prison chaplain after twenty years.

Stephen told us, "we knew each other quite well back when I was an inmate in Shrewsbury between 1995-97. She was the Chaplain of the prison and she would make a real effort, above and beyond her official role, to reach out to prisoners and share the gospel with them." Stephen went to Stafford in early January and gave ten volunteers training on how to use Christianity Explored | Prison Edition by conducting a sample session with the volunteers.

Stephen James reunited with his prison Chaplain

Our annual event, Love, Live, Tell took place at All Souls Church in February. The evening began with a review of our 2019 campaign 'To The Ends Of The Earth.' We reached £92,000 in new regular donations and received just over £37,000 in extra one-off donations throughout the year!

We heard an update from Rico Tice regarding the preliminary ideas and plans for Hope Explored, a new three session series looking at the Gospel of Luke, as well as updates to revisions of Life Explored and Christianity Explored. You can find out more about the progress of each of these resources and some other exciting projects at Love, Live, Tell 2021.

Spring | Evangelism Online

The UK went into its first full lockdown in March. In the midst of uncertainty, we were comforted by these words:

"Surely only God can calm a storm. Today, put your trust in Jesus, the God-Man who calmed the sea."

From March 2nd | Lent Devotional

As our time in lockdown increased, the prospect of 'evangelism in lockdown' seemed to turn more into a reality. Our team and ministry partners began to create various resources in order to equip churches in their evangelism.

A main highlight was a webinar with SpeakLife, led by evangelist Glen Scrivener. Evangelism in Lockdown — How Can We Reach Out When We Can't Go Out? consisted of a group of church and ministry leaders, including our own, Rico Tice and Craig Dyer. They gave their honest advice and experience of adjusting their outreach in a new and unprecedented circumstance.

"With health and wealth stripped away, people are looking for something, for hope." Glen Scrivener

We were particularly encouraged by a story from Christ Church Mayfair. They had been running Christianity Explored on Zoom and had a woman called Lizzie join who had only been attending church for five months prior. Click below to see a short clip from the interview and watch the full video here.

Summer | International Developments

This year looked very different for our international work. Normally, we have a busy year of visiting our international partners and training and equipping them to use our resources. However, many still gave us updates of their efforts to share the gospel and some of the challenges the pandemic had to their ministry.

One of our main highlights was to hear from our partners in Eastern Europe as they gathered together with Craig Dyer for a webinar. We heard from friends in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine.

Tamás Daxner from Hungary told us of the challenge they faced: "For us it was difficult, we just published Life Explored in January." But due to COVID, "we've postponed all things to September, [...] it felt like everything was frozen in a way."

We also heard from Paul who is involved with Lighthouse Harbour Ministries, an organisation whose aim is to reach sailors on cargo ships. Below we have included a short extract from the article we produced with his update. You can read the full story here: Paul's Story

"Just recently Paul met a very godly Filipino Captain named Conrado. He is currently holding a Bible study for his crew on board their ship. Conrado has been doing this type of outreach for about 20 years and has a real heart to share the good news of Jesus with those who are outside the Kingdom! He took a set of Christianity Explored materials.

Paul added, "another sailor we met from the Philippines, Elmer, is a faithful witness for the Lord and holds a Bible study every Sunday. In order to facilitate Elmer’s ministry aboard his ship, my colleague Allen Jones gave him a Christianity Explored kit for him to use with his crew."

Pictured: A Filipino crew being led in regular fellowship/Bible study by the chief officer (centre). They are holding Tagalog (national language of Philippines) New Testaments supplied by Lighthouse Harbour Ministries.

Furthermore, we interviewed Andrew Leong to hear an update on the development of the Vietnamese translation of Christianity Explored. Read the full article here: Reaching the New Generation

"'The course contents have impacted both [the teams] hearts and minds. There were occasions when they had to stop recording and editing because those hard and precious truths of the gospel had moved their hearts to turn to God for repentance and forgiveness.'

Overall, despite the physical restrictions we have felt as a team this year, it has been such an encouragement to hear of the way God has continued to grow his Kingdom around the world.

Autumn | New Opportunities

After a challenging year, we were delighted to end 2020 with the launch of a new resource. In December, we released Christianity Explored as a 21-day reading plan on the YouVersion Bible app.

In a time of hopelessness, this resource makes it easy to open up the pages of Scripture and look at the person of Jesus with anyone. One of the great things about YouVersion is that you can read a plan with anyone in the world, making this a simple one-to-one tool for Christianity Explored.

You can read more about how to download YouVersion and read with a friend here.

2020 is not the year many of us would have wanted. But it is a year where the Lord’s Kingdom has advanced.

When he was locked down under house arrest, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy to remind him of the gospel. He said: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.” (2 Timothy 2:8-9)

Over 1,000 online courses have been registered this year. Over 100,000 videos have been viewed on our YouTube channel. Over 300,000 people have visited our evangelistic website at christianityexplored.org. And, launching in February, we have a brand new animated video outlining the good news of Jesus in just over two minutes.

“God’s word is not chained.” Please join us online for Love, Live, Tell 2021 on 11th February to give thanks for all the Lord has done in the past year, and to pray ahead for 2021 and the new opportunities it will bring. Sign up here.

Thank you so much for all your support this year, whether through prayers, running a series yourself or giving to us financially. Below, we have listed some ways that you can continue to support us as we continue to love, live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ.