I’m joining Headington Baptist Church for a few days in the midst of their focused outreach fortnight… One of the things they are seeking to do is meet ‘strangers’ to let them know something of the good news of Jesus and also to direct people to the many activities and resources offered by the church. For example, they have something called ‘link up’ that simply links people to various clubs and activities such as lunch clubs, parents and toddlers and children’s work too.
One of the most creative projects I have seen was making bread on the streets, to engage with people with the story of the man who said ‘I am the bread of life!’ Here are some of the pictures from this ‘making bread on the streets’ activity:
We didn’t have an oven to bake the bread in, so the ready made bread was given out to rise and bake at home… throughout the afternoon, people were fascinated and wanted to know what the occasion was for, or they exchanged recipes and one guy promised to bring a load of freshly made Italian bread for us the following day. We asked the mobile pizza baking van whether we could bake some bread in his wood oven. He agreed and the bread was delicious- He then offered us free Pizza afterwards. What a treat! There is nothing quite like eating freshly made Pizza after 5 hours of hanging out with people. We offered a piece to a lady nearby and she shared what was on her heart and asked if we could pray for her.
Some of the other activities as ‘grace encounters’ included ‘penny for your thoughts’ and the much used ‘FREE FRUIT’ which seems to connect with people in an extraordinary way. One lady looked for a banana with ‘peace’ written on it as she needed to experience peace. One man wanted to talk about how he used to have faith but now struggled to believe. It was a privilege to listen.
One of the best bits about my job is seeing nervous Christians finish the time of faith sharing with such JOY with stories of people they had met and friendships that had started and some confidence to do this again… The plinths with the various activities certainly create a useful vehicle to being out and about and an excuse to give something away… yet being available and intentional about faith sharing seems to give many opportunities to gently answer peoples questions. The bread making on the streets has taught me something. if you have a passion for something, use it to share the story of Jesus! This activity simply flowed as Christine combined her two passions in life of baking and her journey as a Christian.
Now, get out there and make some bread!