Hope on our streets

On my day off I walked around London. During my walk I saw a young man singing ‘how great is our God’ on the millennium bridge. I also witnessed a Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team van parked up on the Strand giving out free food bags to the homeless. The queue was massive! Homeless people in the UK are getting free meals thanks to a centuries-old Sikh tradition.

It is so easy to focus on the fear without looking at hope. I see hope on our streets when people can worship openly, volunteers give up their time and the hungry are fed!!

Last Saturday I was on my way to represent my churches for a URC/ Baptist minister welcome service. I arrived early and stupid me forgot my wallet and it was raining, so I sheltered on Crouch End when a volunteer giving out ‘Foodbank’ leaflets looked at me and said ‘I’ve not seen a chequered clerical shirt before’. This opened up a conversation.

Evangelism on the streets can be something simple as responding to a question.

I am currently reading a book called ‘Mission With’ by Paul Keeble. Keeble shares his story of living long term in a deprived, inner-city community, not as a flag-waving missionary but as a resident and neighbour, who happens to be a follower of Jesus. During more than 30 years of listening and learning, building relationships across cultures and religions, and addressing shared concerns, God has evolved Paul’s thinking from ‘mission-to’ and ‘mission-for’ towards what he calls ‘mission-with’. This is a incarnational model.

 

I recommend this book!

The last two days I’ve seen evangelism on the streets done in a creative, engaging and simple way like singing, giving out food and engaging in conversation.

Jesus challenges us to let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Jesus wants his followers to be part of the crowd in a creative way.

Francis of Assisi once said ‘preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words’. What we have done and continue to do relate to what Francis of Assisi is saying because we are preaching the gospel by shinning the light through our actions and not words. Having a presence in the crowd is more creative then preaching in people’s faces. We all should be doing this because we all have a role to play.

How can you shine your light before others? How can you be part of the crowd? Where do you see hope on the streets?

More pictures from my day off…