by Steve Bell
Posted on 1st October 2004

The Need
During the 1990s British church attendance shrank by 10%. Clearly 'church', as we have known it, has more past than future. Is the church trying to serve a Britain that no longer exists? We have become a 'post-Christian' ,'post-modern' and 'pluralist' society, which includes nearly two million Muslims. The issue is no longer "Muslims in Britain" but "British Muslims".

As a result, many churches are confused by 'maintenance' and 'mission', which now starts at the door of the local church.

The Answer
friendshipfirst is a response to the above situation in general and in particular 11 Sept 2001, which shocked Christians into realising that Muslims are living among us in the purposes of God.

'It is God who determined the periods of human history and the exact places where people should live. He did this so that men (and women) should reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us'. (Acts 17:26-27)

So whether Muslims live near you or not, life in Britain is affected by their presence - the media and the political process, teachers who are grappling with the 'multi-faith' curriculum, young people who are studying alongside young Muslims in schools and colleges, NHS employees who are working with Muslim medics as well as Children's and Youth workers.

friendshipfirst helps 'ordinary Christians' relate to 'ordinary Muslims' and local churches to become 'receiving centres' for the growing number of Muslim enquirers.

What's on offer
The following resources are available ...

General Seminars:
A selection of talks covering issues such as how to regain relevance in your locality.

In addition to regular preaching input the following assistance is also available...

A selection of Muslim focussed seminars is available covering ...
? basic overview of Islam (for beginners)
? a more in-depth look at Islam
? practical tips on relating to Muslims
? implications of Islamic extremism - 9/11 & war on the west
? Islam and the school curriculum
? Will Britain embrace Islam? - implications of Islam in national life
A selection of briefing papers and materials for...
? school RE classes & assemblies
? guidance and ideas for Children's & Youth workers in churches
? Christians with Muslims in the work place
? mixed marriage to Muslims
? life in the twilight zone - the tensions of Muslim youth
? Bible based ideas for when Muslims are present at mixed weddings or funerals
Cross-cultural training:
Preparation for Christians relating to Muslims in the UK and overseas

A communicational network for Christians working with asylum-seekers and refugees.

Steve Bell MA, B.Ed (Hons), Dip.Miss. is a recognised communicator and prophetic Bible teacher. He has had over twenty three years of experience as an analyst of Islamic issues later studying Islam and cross-cultural Christian witness at post-graduate level. Steve is currently Director for Islamic Issues for the AoG World Ministries Team and Advisor on Islam & Christian witness for the AoG network of churches.
Friendshipfirst is endorsed by Assemblies of God and is a member of Global Connections (EMA).
For more information visit the website