26 September, 2013 Jonathan Prime
In the first week of March 2013, eight churches in the North London Gospel Partnership joined together for a week of mission. The title for the week was “Crossroads” (based on Jeremiah 6v16).
There was nothing complicated about what we did. Each of the partner churches organised its own mission events in their locality. Some encouraged church members to take the week (or some of it) off work to be part of the mission team. From Tuesday to Friday there was a morning Bible reading by Alistair Begg from Cleveland, Ohio, attended by 100-150 folk from across the churches. The morning meetings at a central venue were an opportunity for reports from the different churches and time to pray together. During the week, Alistair also spoke at 12 evangelistic events in the various churches.
There was a two-pronged focus.
a) Existing contacts
The invitation events were aimed at people with whom folk in the congregations had existing contact, and for whom they were praying. No-one who attended any of the events could have been left in any doubt of our purpose – to point them to the Lord Jesus. A Meal with a Message was attended by 140 people (of whom about 50% were invitees). Between the main course and the dessert Alistair spoke for 25 minutes, reading significant portions of Luke’s Gospel. Over dessert those who were with guests were encouraged to ask their guests if they had any questions for the speaker, which were then written down on cards. During coffee, those questions were put to Alistair for another half-hour. All who were invited knew in advance what was going to happen.
b) Street Work
A couple of the congregations engaged in street evangelism: one church simply offered people a copy of Luke’s Gospel while seeking to engage them in conversation about our Lord Jesus.
Throughout the week we experienced great warmth of Gospel partnership both between the churches and within the churches. This deep sense of partnership came from the fact that Jesus and His Gospel were our focus – as, using the gifts God has given us, we worked shoulder to shoulder to make the Lord Jesus known.
While evangelism is and should be a constant focus, a specific mission week provided a great focus for prayer. It was also a real spur for many to pray specifically for neighbours and friends. Many who came took Gospels, Bibles and evangelistic books. One church focussed on offering one-to-one Bible studies. A small number signed up for Christianity Explored.