Book in for Easter

A group of Baptists have come together to help churches take the message of Easter to communities.

For Christians, Easter is the most important time of the year – but the message of the festival can get lost in all the chatter about chocolate. That’s why a group of Baptists has come together with a plan to help churches to take the story out to their communities.

It’s the brainchild of the 123GO! Team – comprising former Baptist Union Presidents Chris Duffett and Yinka Oyekan, and RiverTree’s Suzie Abramian and Simon Goddard. It was originally launched in 2021 but plans for the first year were changed because of the pandemic. Covid regulations meant that the project began with a weekend of prayer-walking – which on reflection was the perfect way to start.

‘The idea of 123GO! is to go out and take the 1 gospel 2 everyone in your community over the 3 days of Easter,’ said Simon, a minister and former regional minister based in East Anglia, and who set up RiverTree in 2018 to ‘catalyse, cultivate and collaborate to enable fruitfulness in the mission of God’.

With funding from the Baptist Grants Programme, Chris, Suzie and I have produced a handbook and study guide, with a foreword by Yinka, which is full of stories and ideas, as well as six Bible studies, to help inspire churches to transform the usually private Easter party into a public celebration of the resurrection.
From my point of view, some of us in the church have forgotten the reality that the gospel changes lives, and we’ve made evangelism something that it’s not. As followers of Jesus, evangelism isn’t “what we do” – it’s more about “who we are in Him”, about authentically being ourselves, and allowing Christ to be evident in that. If we rediscover the lost art of conversation, and are genuinely passionate about Jesus, the gospel will overflow into everyday interactions.
With the pandemic essentially over now, this Easter offers a real opportunity to do just that.

The 123GO! Handbook is available from Amazon for just £4.50, with a significant discount for multiple copies ordered direct from the website.

‘It’s obviously produced by Baptists,’ said Simon, ‘but it is aimed at Christians and churches and other organisations of all denominations – it’s really important that we encourage all followers of Jesus to share the good news in whatever way they can.’

Baptist Insurance which has helped to fund the 123GO! project, has given out over £2 million in grants over the past ten years to Baptist outreach.

Outreach and evangelism are at the heart of what we do, and we were delighted to help Simon and the rest of the team to produce this wonderful resource, which is a really useful guide to the gospel and to spreading the message of Easter and Christ more generally.

Anne Bishop, Chair of the Baptist Insurance Company Grants Committee

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