It’ s awesome to see those adverts. That little booklet changed my life.’
‘I’ ll tell you what trypraying has done for us: it’ s brought the churches together’
‘By the end of the week I asked Jesus into my life, as the booklet suggests, and had a powerful experience actually feeling his presence flood my heart.’
There’ s an attractive logo appearing in many places. The green and dark grey colours are not Deliveroo or Arnold Clark. This logo has been around long before they started using those colours. It simply says: “trypraying.” This intriguing and gently provocative invitation is appearing on railings outside churches, on buses and many other places. It’ s become well known. Approximately 500 churches have been using this resource last year. And in 2021 perhaps many more.
Trypraying, at its heart, is an invitation for those who are not religious and don’ t do church to begin doing life with God. The booklet, at the core of this initiative, is a seven day prayer guide for people who will give it a try. It helps them pray about something that’ s important in their lives as well as coming to understand the message of Jesus.
David Hill, the founder, says, “People who use this booklet run a high risk of becoming Christians and that’ s a risk we’ re happy about.”
Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance, commented, “Trypraying is a fantastic evangelistic resource that takes the fear out of sharing your faith. Practical, accessible and engaging, it is a hugely relevant resource for evangelism throughout the UK and beyond.”
Over the last ten years trypraying has grown from being an evangelism resource to a project for churches and a way for churches to work together. Its simplicity and accessibility have helped it grow. The booklet is the easiest thing to give away to someone and it assumes nothing. The user doesn’ t have to perjure themselves in pretending to believe more than they do because it begins with, ‘God, if you are there I want to get to know you.’ From there it gradually explains the gospel with accessible language interspersed with stories of answered prayer and things a person can do to help them discover God at work in their lives.
And for a church it is all very straightforward. Two weeks: everyone in a congregation gets a copy and uses it one week to get familiar with it and then passes it on to someone the next week: ‘Use it and lose it’ !
Wilson’ s wife left a copy on their living room coffee table. He said, “It seemed to get a little closer to my chair every time I came home! Eventually I read it in bed, the whole booklet in a one-er. At the end I simply looked up to the ceiling and said. ‘Hello.’ ” That was the beginning his journey that included an Alpha course and him coming to faith.
Dorothy gave a booklet to her brother. She slipped it in his pocket at the station when he got on a train after Christmas. A few days later he phoned her. He had got to day 6 of the booklet and said, ‘I think I have just given my life to Christ’ !!
A minister in Edinburgh came up with the idea of putting booklets in a Perspex box on the railings of his church. The idea has caught on and scores of churches are doing this. But it’ s not only churches, now individuals are putting these boxes holding a few booklets on their gate or fence of their house. Booklets are gradually being taken and then topped up with more booklets. A church in Birmingham has already had over 130 taken.
Having the logo and materials visible and accessible have been essential. Passing booklets on may not be the easiest in these days so digital means are important. The booklet can be passed on digitally from the website (www.trypraying.co.uk) and currently work is underway on a Social Media strategy to complement both digital and tangible resources. There is also a trypraying App.
Helping people into a relationship with God through Christ is a challenge in our post-Christian, secular culture. Strangely, COVID may have helped. For all the loss and trauma people are seeking answers because many of the certainties of life have been swept aside. The population may well be more open now than it has been for the last 60 years. Into this milieu trypraying fits well. Prior to the pandemic 27 million people in the UK admit to praying. Now it’ s many more. Perhaps trypraying now has a particular appeal.
Because of this in spring 2021 the trypraying team are inviting hundreds of churches across towns and cities in the UK to invite their communities to try praying. ‘Let’ s do this together‘ is the name for this spring initiative. It’ s an opportunity for churches to work together, congregations to be mobilised and Christians to simply share their faith with friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Imagine 1000 churches with trypraying banners, advertising and social media putting the logo into the public space, boxes of booklets outside churches and Christians sharing their faith with friends, neighbours and colleagues. It will be a glorious, creative, visible mix of banners, booklets, boxes and buses all to the end that people trust Christ.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 202 6449.