Sex shops, betting shops and churches.

 

It is said that sex shops, betting shops and churches have one thing in common. No one passing can look in easily as the doors and windows are usually blocked. Yesterday morning, Sunday morning, 3 different members of the public commented how good it was to see the church out and about. This is how they saw:

Around 20 people from Biggleswade Baptist church joined me for a ‘Saints on the Street’project where I had set up 3 very simple illustrations in the market square. Phil Campion my good friend and Pastor had asked people to come down and join me. When he turned up we were both surprised as to how many had decided to leave the safe confines of the service to come and be Saints on the Street. My hope for the morning was that together we could show something of three outrageously brilliant claims of Jesus: 1) That he is the bread of life. 2) That he is the gate for the sheep. 3) That he offers life giving water. So I bought the biggest gate I could find and placed it in the street for people to write up prayer requests, their name, pictures etc… I also set up a free bacon butty stall (with the nicest fresh bread rolls that Greggs the bakery had) and I had over 100 bottles of iced chilled water at our disposal (just the ticket on a hot summers morning.)

The illustrations worked to an extent. People had a look, enjoyed the free bacon rolls and some spoke with us about what we were doing. On offer was a small display of John’s gospels where people could help themselves or some of the team offered them to people explaining that the stories we were illustrating were from this book.

What really encouraged me was the way that members from the church found the whole experience quite laid-back and non-threatening. One guy said that he had assumed that I would send him out to interrupt and talk to people about Jesus, but rather what he found was that people came up to him and asked him questions as to what he was doing! One man I spoke with commented as to how much he appreciated the gesture, at least I think that’s what he said as he was tucking into a bacon roll at the time. I spoke about the difficulty I have of not wanting to bible bash people (what a put off) but also wanting people to connect with what I have as I believe it is good news. As he left he asked whether he may join us on a Sunday morning sometime at a service.

As I was packing up I reflected on the morning and felt deeply encouraged. Not only had we met between us over 200 people and connected with them in some small way, but a small group of Christians had tried something new, and overall they had enjoyed it and people had spoken with them about their faith! But I felt encouraged as I also knew of 2 other Baptist churches who had that Sunday morning decided to be church out and about in public.

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