How else will they hear? 

This morning I met a lady out and about on the streets who objected to what I was doing… So what was I doing that caused such offence?

Well, I was handing out bottles of water and free hugs! Strange how it put her nose out of joint, I know.

Surprise surprise, this lady who had such a strong objection to what I was doing was a Christian. She reasoned that what I and my small team were doing was somehow conning people, rather than preaching at people. I write ‘surprise surprise’ as I am often overwhelmed by the encouragements of people on the streets who are often not ‘Christians’ and the times I’m discouraged are often by those who hold very strong opinions theologically and are keen to show my heresy!

I am always able to shrug people’s criticisms off like water off a ducks back, but her outrage got me thinking… How do people hear the good news when the language of the gospel, Jesus and God is something that can seem as gobligook or fairy tales to the vast majority of people who live in the UK?


Firstly, I have always believed that the good news needs to be understood as good news, otherwise it’s no news which is bad news! For the many many people this morning who received the water and hugs happily also asked for an explanation and we were questioned as to what we were doing.

Over half of those we met today asked why we were doing what we were doing and asked questions like ‘what is this in aid of?’ ‘Are you raising money for the church?!’ Or ‘why the free bottle of water, what’s the catch?’

I found myself saying time and time again:

‘Once upon a time there was a man who said if anyone is thirsty let them come to me and drink!’

Most people didn’t know that it was Jesus who said those words and we also offered Gospel’s of John if they wanted to find out more information.

Secondly, people we met this morning simply haven’t connected with what the gospel means and symbols, vechiels and gestures illustrate good news where words alone can’t.

Giving a hug is a symbol of what God is like, a symbol of love and a gesture of concern for those who long for human contact. To talk about it may be helpful, but to show it means so much more!

Thirdly, how else will people connect with the gospel unless Christians are willing to share the good news that they have? It’s easy to criticise efforts of others and do nothing. But more than ever now is the time to go and show and tell good news to generations of people who have yet to hear!

In what way are you helping people ‘hear’ the good news?

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Chris Duffett is an artist, author, poet, speaker and street evangelist who founded The Light Project, a group of people who exist to reveal Jesus to those who have yet to make sense of the gospel. They also train people to be creative good news bearers who show and tell the gospel in ways people can understand.

12 thoughts on “How else will they hear? 

  1. this makes me so, so sad. I sat this morning in established church, and got a text from someone who we have been reaching out to who has had an absolutely awful time in life and he’s not very well and needed a lift and some help right then and there. It spoke deeply to me as a symbol of where ( (we?) are at. What if we are so busy sitting stationary that we miss the ones who need the Father’s touch most? I am a big fan of receiving in church, being ministered to myself as well as giving that ministry out but in recent years I have felt such a shift in the spirit to bring us back to a realisation that what we have or get from God is always for the sake of those yet to be discipled who would go on to disciple others in that wonderful fulfilment of Matt 28; bookended by the incredible promise that the Father would be with us always. I may be theologically off-kilter, but I feel that same deep yearning and longing for what you write of. Much love.

    • Thank you for your heart felt response! I agree there is a shift in the going and finding people who desperately need what we’ve got! God bless you and go for it!

  2. Chris, it saddens me to hear of that kind of discouragement . I am inspired each time I read of the wide range of ways you and others reach out. Keep on running the race!!

  3. Bash on mate, someone once said if ‘Tap dancing , whistling Dixie and juggling onions bring one more person to Jesus I’ll do it’…..All things to all men that some may be saved!…people have disapproved, devalued and criticised me for just about everything I’ve ever done…from football events to puppet shows but God seems to honour my worst efforts …..An old cancer ridden farm labourer on a soapbox in the rain pointed me to Jesus and a gay gangster helped take me to where I gave my life…Jesus is the greatest evangelist in the universe just bash on and bless folk for their feedback!

  4. someone actually suggested to me today that Jesus asked ONLY Nicodemus to be born again. Our capacity as humans to over intellectualise & complicate is seemingly endless! Keep up the loving work my friend! xxKate G

  5. My heart dropped when reading this Chris .. It’s just shows that we are trying to deliver Gods love against people who say they identify with it 😒😒. Keep on keeping on I say . Let them drink till the living water over flows 🙏🙏X

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