Jess Sutton, currently studying in London, shared with us on a recent visit home her involvement in a London outreach.
“Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
I’m studying at university in London, which most of you I’m sure know is a city of great depravity, brokenness and loneliness, but also affluence, community and people wishing to find that thing they’ve been searching for. I’ve been learning that it’s very easy to think we aren’t good enough, powerful enough, brave enough to go out to the world and tell them about Jesus. Sometimes we tell ourselves that the “evangelists” and “missionaries” will do that, because they have been equipped and blessed. But I want to remind you that when you came to Christ and gave your life to Him, you were equipped with boldness and obedience. When you walk, one step is boldness, the next obedience, then boldness, then obedience.
I was reminded of this last weekend when I, very nervously, went along to an outreach training day at my church in London. We unpacked and talked about how all of scripture tells us to GO, we are called to go to those near us, those that are enemies, and those across the globe. And as we go, we walk with boldness and obedience. We received training on using the ‘Jesus at the door’ ministry tool which was developed by a guy who formerly worked in Causeway Coast vineyard. The idea is that as you walk down a street, sit in a coffee shop or sit at your office desk – you are amongst an apple orchard. Some apples will be ripe ready to fall, some will be halfway there and some won’t budge at all. The principle is that WE SHARE, GOD SHAKES. We share Jesus with everyone around us: through the way we act, how we work, the words we use… but more than this, we TELL people about this hope that we have, with boldness and obedience because He calls us to go.
After the training we went out onto the streets of King’s Cross in London and showed people this card, asked them had they seen it before and slowly unpicked the gospel with them in a relatable and real way. Some people (or apples) didn’t budge at all and just smiled and went on their way, some wanted to hear what you had to say but no more, and others – 10 people – decided that this was the path they wanted to follow instead of the road they had previously been travelling. And how INCREDIBLE it was to see this – to see the vulnerability, realness and longing in people who suddenly could see that they needed Jesus. This is the 5%… and it doesn’t stop there – the 95% is the follow up, getting these people plugged into a church near them, study groups, Alpha courses, mentors. This excites me so much, inviting people into the greatest family we could ever ask for. I’ve really felt this challenge on my heart – if following Jesus is truly the best and most important part of my life – then why wouldn’t I share it with everyone? We share and God shakes and moves according to His plan.
Please pray for this outreach across London, for those who are coming to faith and have so many questions, for a reckless community who give themselves for Christ and for the church. And I pray this for you all in Boardmills and hope you feel this challenge with me.