A couple of years ago whilst walking through a park in Portugal, we reminisced about outreach teams in the past. At the start of his ministry Guy was taken on by Winchester Family church as its evangelist and Heather has spent many years doing street work in Bournemouth. Unfortunately we often get so caught up in the busyness of life and travel, making it easy to lose touch with the lost around us and the excitement of sharing our faith. Hence we decided to attempt a mission team (called ATOM) in the heart of London. Friends Alan Kenny, Kerry Simmons and Dan Gilbert from Citygate plus Amber Lockyer from Eastleigh teamed up with members of the chapel for a weekend of outreach. Many folk took the day off on Friday to gather for teaching and prayer and lunch at a local park. Returning to the chapel we stood on the front steps to sing, give testimony and watch a drama. Buses passed, people waved, windows opened and heads popped out and many wandered by intrigued. We then split into teams for ‘treasure hunting’, to give invites and flyers out, visit coffee shops and pay for drinks.
When we re-grouped on Saturday morning most of us had stories of good conversations and opportunities to pray with people, motivated by this we headed off to a small local council estate. A paved courtyard provided the perfect setting for drinks and cake, face paints, crafts and games for the kids and although initially it was quiet over the course of the morning the sun shone and the place filled with residents many from other nations. To the backdrop of Kieran and his guitar we laughed and chatted. Some of us went and washed windows for people too. All provided opportunities to chat and we had many good conversations with one person making a commitment in the quiet of their own flat.
On Sunday morning at Westminster Chapel Guy preached about the prodigal son and Kerry gave her testimony. It was a powerful time and there were three first time responders. The cream on the cake was the Street party which followed. Despite the terror of the Saturday night attack on London Bridge, people came and happily ate hog roast, licked ice-creams and stroked the pigs and lambs at the petting zoo. The weather continued to be good and we were delighted to spend more time with people we had met the days before.
All in all we were thrilled to be able to do church on the streets. To sing our heads off to Amazing Grace, as people streamed by, proved we can all be a witness to the saving grace of Jesus. Simple tools such as good listening, being prepared to be part of a chain, a willingness to serve and how to give our testimony in three minutes enabled us to have countless fruitful conversations and we all finished the weekend motivated and excited. Although this was our first attempt we feel God’s prompting to do it again, come and join us next year!"