Small churches unite around the calendar year
In the Bridlington area of Yorkshire, small churches are uniting for effective outreach. Throughout the calendar year, there are seasonal evangelism opportunities which require a team of committed people. Yet a few churches who wanted to be effective in reaching others realised that they could not do this with so few participants.
Now ‘4 Churches’ brings together a team that is conducting outreach in a variety of ways throughout the year.
"We work under a wider banner of four small churches uniting in the Gospel," explains Evangelist Roger Gray of OAC Ministries (Open Air Campaigners) Yorkshire.
"Smaller churches face lower numbers attending services and very few people who could conduct outreach. But we unite in the Gospel to ensure a nucleus of team members which makes us more effective."
This year, the ‘4 Churches’ team participated in Bridlington’s Victorian Market. Held in the Old Town, this market offers a variety of stalls but also an old time theme with opera singers and Morris Dancers in costume adding to the occasion.
Held on a Sunday, Roger notes, "Normally, we would be in church worshipping on a Sunday. But we recognised this as an important way to reach the un-churched. Also, of course, it coincided with the Olympics. That meant we had some very good literature to distribute which really caught the interest of visitors."
In addition to literature distribution, team members were able to engage in one-to one conversations and new contacts were made. OAC is known for innovative evangelism and Roger was able to use creative object lessons such as a ‘three in one’ rope trick as well.
Currently, team members are preparing for the next seasonal opportunity when they form a Christian Carollers group. Each Saturday of the Christmas season, they will sing carols in the town arcade, the Bridlington Promenades. This will include the Christmas Town Special on 15 December.
On that day, local theatre group members will be present in costume and other participants will also add to the celebration. But the Christian Carollers will be doing more. They also intend to go carolling in local pubs. It seems that, throughout the year, every opportunity for effective outreach will be pursued with enthusiasm.