The Big hearted Tour

The Concept: The strategy for the Presidential Year 2012-2013

Aim

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how Chris Duffett may assist Baptist churches and associations in his role as President (2012-2013)

Summary

Chris is ordained as an evangelist in the Baptist Union and it is within this ministry gifting that he would best serve. He is a practitioner employed full time by The Light Project and every week spends time reaching out to people on the streets, in market places, pubs and cafés. He also helps run café Church type events and trains Christians to reach out to friends and family members as well as people they do not know in their communities.  His hope is that he may assist Churches and the 13 Associations in an array of ‘Big Hearted’ evangelistic projects.  How the Presidential year will workChris will offer 4 days in one block to each of the 13 Associations. Each 4 day block will be structured in two parts.  

(a) The ‘Big Hearted Tour’

The hope is that this will be the common thread of the presidency year where every association has an afternoon or day of teaching/ workshops in evangelism.  The goal of the tour is to resource Christians to be big hearted in their workplace, home, community and church. There will be input from others involved in big hearted evangelism and an opportunity to ‘have a go’ through a practical element to the workshops. The afternoon could run 2-5. A celebration evening or an evening could then follow this for guests who wouldn’t usually consider going to Church running from 7-9. Pete James and band will be available to lead the music and worship side of things for both parts of the event.

(b) Local Big Hearted Evangelism Projects

The remaining time will be planned and executed by the nominated link person and their team for each association with support from Chris. The look and feel of this time will be determined by the needs of that region and their demographics/structure. Chris would encourage the regions to plan various Big Hearted Evangelism activities to actively demonstrate the Christian message in new and exciting ways. Chris would be keen to support this work and maybe spend some of the 4 days visiting projects as they happen. See section 3 for more details.

The Outline: Q&A to clarify what the Big Hearted Tour is and how it might run

When will the 4-day blocks happen? Can we choose?

Dates for the 13 potential four-day blocks will be negotiated with the nominated link people. We will endeavour to give everyone their preferable dates.

Does it have to be 4 days, can it be longer or shorter? Week or weekend?

The Presidential visit can be shorter, but not longer. All dates are planned over a long weekend Ideally Friday to Monday.

Will the 4-day block be part of the regional assembly, or a separate meeting?

The Big Hearted Tour and locally planned evangelistic events would best be suited to work separately to the regional assembly meetings.

Is the big-hearted tour part of the 4-day meeting or at a different time?

The Big Hearted Tour is an integral part of the 4-day event, focussing on empowering and encouraging Christians. The Big Hearted Tour is in two parts. A long afternoon session from 2pm – 5.30pm would focus on empowering and encouraging Christians. This could then continue into an evening celebration with emphasis on youth and those young at heart! You may want to use this opportunity for congregations to invite their friends, family and those on the edge of church situations to the evening event.  

Who is invited to the Big Hearted Tour? How many people? Limits?

Ideally the venue should hold 500 plus to cater for the evening celebration. Every Baptist church in the region will be invited. We should think big, not just automatically book the local church hall! The youth evening event could be a fairly lively event and to cater for people in the edge of church and non-Christians.

What happens during the 4 days?

The Big Hearted Tour will have a set programme, but everything else is up to link person to coordinate. Examples to be given as starting point in section 3. Chris may not attend every local project. It is the responsibility of the link person to decide and run the programme. Chris will speak at meetings but is there to visit and encourage and empower rather than to run the weekend.

What teaching/training will there be for each project? Is follow up required?

Chris will discuss how local Big Hearted Evangelism projects can work with the link person as the schedule is planned. If Chris is to attend the projects as they run then it would be a great opportunity to encourage the Christians running them- but the Big Hearted Tour is the main focus for teaching, not local projects.

Different Saints on the Street projects for different communities?

See section 3 for some examples of projects that have been previously run. Chris really hopes that this list would be a source of inspiration and ideas for what could be done in each region, not a finite exhaustive list of options to be followed. It would be up to each association as to the most appropriate ventures to consider.

How do we decide which projects to run?

The link person is to ultimately decide what happens in each region. In order to support this process Chris will work with them. A link person team meeting will be planned during the 2011 BU assembly to establish a network to support and encourage each other.

When do we have to decide what we are doing on the 4-days?

The Big Hearted Tour is to be broadly planned for advertising purposes by June 2011. The remainder of the four day block is to be planned 4 months prior to date.  

Who will run the 4 days? Will congregation members be involved?

A team including Light Project members, Pete James and band etc. would be involved in the Big Hearted Tour, but everything else is local. The Link person is to lead the time but it is anticipated that they will put their own team in place for support.

What resources will be required…. room booking? Catering?

The logistics of the Big Hearted Tour needs to be organised by link person and team with support from Chris. The Big Hearted Tour is to start after lunch so no meals for delegates, but tea and coffee available would be great. Chris will need to be fed and accommodated over the four-day block. Pete James and band will need accommodation for the Big Hearted Tour depending on each region.  

Will you run the whole 4 days from the same place or travel around the region?

Ideally Chris would visit as much of the association as possible, visiting local projects all over the region.  

Will Chris be at every project that we run?

Chris hopes to visit as many local projects as possible, but it is unlikely he will be able to visit them all. There is the opportunity for Chris to circulate and meet many more people at the Big Hearted Tour element of the four-day block. 

Can our pastors be involved in the teaching?

Local pastors and leaders will be required for the workshop elements of the Big Hearted Tour.

Can our worship band play at the meetings?

Pete James and band will provide for the Big Hearted Tour, but other projects that require music would be a great opportunity to encourage local worship groups.  

Some congregation are not comfortable with this, how can we include them?

Evangelism certainly isn’t everyone’s passion. We would really encourage people to come and have a go and experience it in all its various guises and methods. It may be helpful to suggest some interactive 24/7 prayer across the region for the evangelistic projects that will be going on.  

How can we include our elderly congregation?

The whole concept of the four-day meeting is not age restricted, but highly inclusive. We hope to both attract younger Baptists and include and encourage every age bracket.

We have a large youth population. How can provide for them long term?

The Big Hearted Tour is will hopefully fire them up! The Saturday evening celebration will be for those young at heart as well as youth. The teaching and testimony will be inspiring and also give an opportunity for people to commit to the cause of reaching the world for Jesus.  

A possible Sunday morning focus for the associations: Saints on the street. (St St)

The hope is that St St may become a resource for the church in the UK to set aside some Sundays in the year where the morning service is used to engage with people who wouldn’t consider going to Church. As the vast majority of people in the UK do not go to Church, St St projects takes Church to the vast majority, on the streets or in the parks of towns and cities up and down the UK.   St St communicates the Gospel by: 


1) Equipping the Saints to do Evangelism

St St brings Christians face to face with those who are not Christians.

The vision is that the whole Church takes part in reaching out to people on a Sunday morning and early afternoon two or three times a year.

Through being in public Church members will have opportunities to talk to those who wouldn’t consider going to Church about what Church is all about and why they are followers of Christ.

As people are drawn to the music or presentations of the gospel members of the Church are encouraged to have conversations about their faith with people and offer literature too.

2) Demonstrating the Gospel in ways people may understand

St St projects may include a free Funday in a park or a presentation of the Gospel on the street in a shopping centre or giveaways that prompt questions.

In Peterborough at the launch the team invited hundreds of people to walk the red carpet with the simple message that God thinks they are ‘Very Important People,’ so much so that he gave Jesus for them. Copies of Marks Gospel were available for those who wanted more information and 40 people took a copy to find out more about the Christian faith.Many conversations where had about Jesus. One young man who was drawn to the fun of walking the red carpet stayed for nearly an hour to find out what it meant to be a Christian.

 Organise as many Churches in the region to use the Sunday morning as a St St project ‘out there.’ Chris could then visit projects on Sunday and take part. This could include: 
  • Praise in the park event. 
  • Free pastry and prayer to shop workers and shoppers.
  • Visiting a nursing home and presenting a show.
  • Town centre fun day, using clowning, balloons and face painting.
 

What other kind of things could we do during the presidential visit and beyond?

Olympic and Paralympics events

  • Organise sporting events where Chris could be the guest speaker.
  • Quiz nights.
  • Football tournament.
  • Mini Olympics.
  • Olympic street party.
  • Street evangelism with sporting themes.
 

Seasonal Events

  • Organise events where groups of Churches work together and Chris joins in.
  • Hot cross bun giveaway.
  • Get in the picture (see http://www.getinthepicture.org.uk)
  • Christmas carol singing around pubs.
  • Firework display and bar-b-q.
 

Youth Events

  • What about aiming the presidential visit for young people in Baptist Churches to invite their mates to?
  • Book a youth bus and put it at a skater park.
  • Organise a band and entertainment or utilise the Saturday evening and aim it at people who are not part of the Church family.
  • Performing arts workshops.
 

Power Evangelism

  • Have some training and then head out to put into action some power evangelism!
  • Healing on the streets.
  • Prophetic evangelism/ treasure hunting.
  • Dream interpretation or spiritual reading in café’s
 

Funday on a Sunday

  • Use the Sunday of the Presidential visit for a massive regional free funday!
  • As well as bouncy castles galore this could also be an event that includes testimony and story telling.
 

Church Based

This could be an event where people invite their neighbours and friends who are not-yet Christian.
  • Men’s breakfasts.
  • Messy Church.
  • Art and craft night.
  • Alpha supper.
  • Children’s and family praise.
  • Theatre. 
  • Banquet feast- invite people who are homeless and people part of the street culture to have a feast at your Church.
  • Christians Against poverty (C.A.P) events. 
 

Community Acts of Kindness Experience (C.A.K.E)

  • Events where we can show what we believe through our actions.
  • Litter clear up.
  • Painting community centres.
  • Park clean.

Schools

  • Involve some of your local Schools on the Presidential visit.
  • Chris could take lessons on various themes. 
  • Take assemblies.
  •  Have a ‘presidential’ visit and use the resources from Damaris president for a day. www.damaris.org/p4d/
 

 Prayer

  • 24/7 Prayer. Set up boiler rooms over the weekend in town and city centres where Chris could visit and join people in prayer.
  • Prayer night. Ask Chris to guide a prayer night for the region.
  • Prayer walking. Set out a route around the region for Christians to come and pray for their cities, towns and villages.
 

A suggested possible programme:

 
Day Type of Activities could include:
Friday Training afternoon for Church leaders or…Visit schoolsMen’s curry nightFamily quiz nightPrayer night for the regionVisit chaplains and community groups in the area
Saturday The ‘Big heated tour’
Saturday eve Celebration/ event
Sunday Funday on a SundaySaints on the street projects where Chris could visit as many as possible.Seasonal events such as ‘get in the picture.’Olympics fun eventsPrayer on the streets
Monday Supernatural Evangelism workshopsPrayer walking cities and townsArt exhibitions/ craft night
  

One thought on “The Big hearted Tour

  1. Having looked at the date this was posted, apologies for being a bit slow on the response, but this looks BRILLIANT, and a take on the Presidential visit, that fits with your passion Chris. This is great!

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