Today I took 33 young adults into the city centre of Birmingham to show and tell the good news. It was part of their training with BMS world mission ACTION TEAM. The first thing I noticed about the team was that on the whole they were, well… rather terrified at the prospect! This was also coupled strangely with enthusiasm at the same time!
I gave each one the option to observe, however they were all willing to have a go at the challenges that I set them. The first challenge for me was making sure they all got there! (It was fun taking the bus!)
When we got into the city centre they were given a gift bag and £2.50 each with the challenge to go and buy something for one person. The ‘something’ could be symbolic or prophetic or simply something ‘nice’ that would bless someone.
Most of them managed to get a gift and for one young man he got to pray with someone for the first time in his life! – he was blown away as to how open and willing the person was to recieve prayer! He and the guy that accompanied him on this challenge were beaming when they were telling me. It’s as if I could see his confidence just boom right in front of me and as he spoke about his experience of praying with someone I felt God say that this was the first of many many people for whom he would pray for!
Half an hour later he told me how he had prayed for someone else!
The second challenge was harder. Take a small ‘peg’ and go and trade it for something bigger and to keep trading until they had something significant to give to someone who needed blessing.
This exercise helps young adults engage with strangers (where they may not be used to it) and also help them work effectively as a team. They also were encouraged to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The largest trade was from peg to office chair… But then it was hard working out who the office chair was for! Teams came back with small and big things: an antique clock, a watch, a spoon, 3 pairs of shoes, a puzzle, cards, two cups of tea… Most of these items found a home and were greatfully received.
Seeing the fear and lack of confidence get lost and joy and excitement replace it was the best part of the day for me. They were buzzing having had an adventure of meeting new people.
The team were tenacious in their trading and even when things didn’t seem to go well they still kept going until something happened.
In a couple of months time each of the team will head off to foreign lands for 6 months within their year and I pray that the simple challengers they did will help them engage and see people around them.