Meeting the world on the streets of Glasgow

I’ve got an hour or so to reflect on being part of a mission in Glasgow on the run up to the Commonwealth Games. So here we go for a bit of a splurge, ramble, pictures and what-not! Hopefully somewhere along this post you may find something that blesses your socks off.

It was a vibrant week for me, 1) because I had a street focus for what I did and I always feel strangely at home on the streets! 2)  We partnered with lots of different groups and worked together to share something of the good news of Jesus, this bringing together of different groups seemed to make something far more powerful and effective. For example, my teams worked alongside the Light and Life and Blue Flame teams that set up in a church building in the centre of the city. They were running a spiritual fair where people could be prayed for and have opportunities to encounter God through healing, dream interpretation or prophetic art. We met lots of people who we were able to direct into the spiritual fair. One lady asked me lots of questions about what we were doing and I shared with her some of the activities that were going on. ‘That’s why I am drawn here’ she said and I asked if she wanted to have a look. ‘Just for 10 minutes’ she said. Two hours later she was still enjoying the event and asked whether she may become a Christian… lovely.

3) Lastly it was vibrant as it put into practice the things Christians talk about all the time, but most rarely actually do it!  The week was part of CLAN (Christians Linked Across the Nation) which is Scotland’s New Wine movement, so what made this week extraordinary was the way it was set up for delegates to actually do the things that for many years the conferences had taught. It was 5 days of actually doing the stuff rather than sitting around theorizing about it! SOOOO refreshing!

Here are some pictures of the activities I sent teams out to do:

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I had very little equipment for my teams other than some ideas and creative challenges, so it was good to work alongside some amazing bands and teams.The message Trust had two bands and we were joined by Saltmine Theatre company on the streets for one of the mornings. Here is a piece performed by Saltmine, a poem for Glasgow written and performed by the gifted Ben Davies.

Saint Mungo Poem
Let Glasgow flourish, by the preaching of the word
By the praising of His name, let the story be heard


The story of St Mungo is a magnificent one
The son of a princess, was born by mistake?
But this was more than coincidence, he was a hero in the making
He survived a great fall in the womb of his maker

She was hurled from great heights, it’s a miracle she survived
But God had a plan for St Mungos life
Culcross became his childhood home
He grew in wisdom and his faith became known.

Let Glasgow flourish, by the preaching of the word
By the praising of His name, let the story be heard

At the age of 25 his mission was clear:
To share God’s love, bring his people near
With foundations of faith he proclaimed God’s grace
Built his church river, it became a Holy place.

He was then driven out, by the King of Strathclyde
Whose heart was filled with jealousy and pride
But hate could not survive ‘cos hope was alive
‘Glasgow will flourish’ was still the purpose of his life

Let Glasgow flourish, by the preaching of the word
By the praising of His name, let the story be heard

He returned to his church, the community grew
Named ‘Clas-gu’ the beginnings of Glasgow’
His legend remains here his body was lain here
And truly from that day, something great was born here

‘Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word’
Are the Words that he uttered, let his voice be heard
His legend remains, his statements have painted
An example for us to live as this saint did.

So Let Glasgow flourish, by the preaching of the word
And the praise of Gods name, may his voice be heard

Beautiful hey? What a powerful poem for Glasgow.

The creativity that was shown by some of the small teams I led also blew me away. As well as simple signs and giveaways like free fruit some teams wanted to do the ‘trading game.’ It’s a simple game where small teams or families take something very small and look to trade it up over a designated time to bless someone with a lavish gift! One family traded their rubber bracelet for a can of coke, which was then traded for a £10 pizza voucher which was then traded for a fancy star bucks thermos mug which then eventually got some amazing art materials costing around £60 for a man who had given up on the idea of being an artist. He was blown away!

Another team went and traded up to some beautiful jewelry for a lady selling the big issue who was made homeless when her husband had died.

Other teams did something called ‘make and take.’ It’s simple… make something like a poem or picture for someone you have yet to meet. Ask God who it is for and take it to them. It sounds daft, but it works!
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The message trusts Twelve24 and Vital Signs  from Manchester did an awesome job, both in performing and getting alongside younger people and sharing what they believe and also praying with people. (I’ve just downloaded the Twelve 24 album FOR FREE!)

Here is a snippet of Twelve24 doing what they do:

 

 

 

 

 

People I meet always want to know about numbers and success, this isn’t always helpful, particularly as faith sharing is often a long process.

However, over the 5 days we served together we saw around 40 make a decision to become Christians. Humbling.  This was meagga encouraging, but the fruit also was seen in the team of volunteers we had working with us. My friend Alan McWilliam wrote bout this in a letter to all those involved in CLAN:

CLAN Games – the fields are white!

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Dear all,

We have just completed CLAN Games and I am delighted to report that we have seen 45 folks coming to faith in these last few days with the promise of many more in the coming days.

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We ended up with about 100 people involved in the team overall including a group of Nazarene youth who are continuing on for the next 10 days! It was a wonderful team with Barbara Jenkinson (Light & Life), Charity Bowman-Webb (Blue Flame), Mark Hadfield (Street Pastors), John McIntosh-Brown (Message Scotland), Chris Duffett (Light Project) and our very own Steven & Angela Boler leading the teams. We had Chris, Andy Hawthorne and Debra Green speaking and they did a great job.

We ended up doing lots in Parkhead with Ian Wills at the Nazarene Church, St.George’s Tron with Alastair Duncan (as well as the streets around him), and with us in Whiteinch. The local churches are delighted and encouraged.

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The team have been united and seen what it means that The Lord commands his blessing when we dwell together in unity. Many have been activated in their missionary calling and I believe we will see much good fruit spreading throughout Scotland in the months and years to come.

I think the thing that I am most pleased about is the way that there was such a sense of us flowing together. I really do believe that we are far better together.

The fields are white. The labourers are few but we have seen another 100 young and old encountering The Lord in such a way as to be encouraged and equipped so that they can engage with those who don’t know Jesus yet! Let’s pray on that this is them activated as missionaries for our nation and beyond now and for the rest of their lives!

With thanks to all who served, prayed and gave. Bless you all!

With lots of love,

Alan

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I long to see more Christians out and about on the streets and into different communities in 2015 doing the kind of work that I did in Glasgow. The Light Project has a goal to do 5 city wide missions with churches working together over the next 2 years. Would you be up for being part of a team doing similar things that we did in CLAN? If so, fill in the form below and we will keep you in the loop as to teams you can serve on throughout 2015 and 2016 bringing the good news of Jesus in new and creative ways in new cities and towns. Would you prayerfully consider doing something daring and going to share good news in one new place next year?  If yes, stay in touch and I can send you info as we work out where and when:

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