CharisMissional

empowered by the spirit for mission

Healing On The Streets

Healing on the Streets is a very biblical way of doing street outreach that is straight forward and has been very successful. It is something that you can easily get involved in if it’s happening near you.

Healing on the Streets training

The groups that do this ministry offer training in the Healing on the Streets model and after one session often on a Saturday morning you would be welcome to join them in praying for people. If you’re really keen you can talk to them about your church launching a regular Healing on the Streets. Their training course encourage you to pray for people in a similar way to the way Jesus and the early disciples prayed. It has been remarkably successful. By simply following these guidelines they have prayed for loads of people and seen many answers to prayer.

How does Healing on the Streets work?

Practically this involves simply placing out a banner and some chairs on the street for people who wish to be prayed for to sit on. In twos people talk to the person wishing to receive prayer in a very humble and gentle way to ascertain the need. If there is a physical need then they are encouraged to speak to the illness in the name of Jesus to leave and to the person her part of the body to be healed. Though this may sound strange in their training they go through the scriptures that show this and do this in an amazingly gentle and non-hyped way. Any immediate results are then noted and a pack of material explaining a bit more is offered to the person who has been prayed for.

What is Healing on the Streets really like?

When I did this a year or two ago I found it to be a really simple easy pattern to follow. Often people are nervous about starting up conversations about Jesus and street evangelism might sound scary. But Healing on the Streets gives you a very simple formula to follow. It’s about setting up setting a situation that people will very naturally come to enquire and engage in. It’s not about trying to engage people who aren’t interested or are antagonistic. It’s about offering a service in Jesus’ name and seeing what comes of it.

If you set this up in a busy high street it is amazing how many people do come with the minimum of pressure. If this is happing anywhere near you I would suggest that you go along, listen to the training and take part. You might even find you want to set up a Healing on the Streets as a regularly outreach for your church.

Check out their main website here.

January 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm Comment (1)

Christian Outreaches at Mind Body Spirit Festivals

One exciting idea for a missional project for Christians is to have a stall at a Mind Body Spirit festival. There nearest I’ve come to this is running a prayer tent for our church at a local fun day but some groups have brought such ideas to mind body spirit events reaching out not just to the general public but specifically to spiritual seekers in this new age context. Dekhomai are one such group that do this on a regular basis but I have heard of at least a couple of other such ventures. This is something I would love to be involved in.

Why Mind Body Spirit festival?

These festivals are filled with people who are interested in spirituality and though they might already be into their brand of spirituality if Christianity is presented appropriately will be of great interest to them. If someone is looking for a spiritual touch of healing this is an opportunity to anoint with oil and lay hands on someone and to see God heal. Perhaps someone is looking for some guidance. Wouldn’t it be great to point them to Bible verses that have a bearing on the issue or even to bring a prophecy to them? This is the sort of thing people are very open to in this context.

How to get a stall at a Mind Body Spirit festival

One practical hurdle to doing this is the cost. There are a number of these Mind Body Spirit events occurring around the country. A church or group of churches or Christian group wanting to do this will need to hire a stall for the period the convention is occurring. They then need to plenty of material to offer and have a number of activities ready to engage people. This might just be tracts and offering prayer and but you would do well to tailor your approach and material to the sort of people that are there. Diakoma suggested some of the reJesus material and even the Jesus Deck. Check out the link – it’s not as dodgy as it sounds! But others might prefer to rely more on the Holy Spirit to bring prophecies to the people that they meet.

Mind Body Spirit events sound quite a challenge for a Christian

Of course it must be a challenge to do Christian outreach in such a context. All around are influences from other spiritualities that we need to respond to appropriately. I worry that in this context either Christians will appear too antagonistic condemning others involved in new age spirituality or that someone may to be too enthralled with everything else that is going on that this is a distraction to their own faith. There needs to be a loving acceptance of people and a humble presentation of the gospel in this context but as Christians we need to hold on to our distinctiveness as people who believe we have the answer. This is not an easy balance.

Still I think I would find such a missional adventure exciting and in some ways feel more comfortable bringing Christian spirituality to bear in a context of people seeking spiritual encounters than in a context when spirituality is not on people’s agenda.

January 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm Comments (3)

Karis Neighbour Scheme

Continuing this blog series on missional project I want to look at Karis Neighbour Scheme a local organisation that we are working in partnership with.

Karis Neighbour Scheme serves the people of Ladywood a deprived inner city area of Birmingham. Whatever the need people from the area are welcome to pop in to their offices in the Church of the Redeemer for a chat. You can also apply to volunteer for them to help meet others needs or sign up to give regular donations.

So what do they actually do?

Karis focus is on serving the local community. It is known to be working hard to alleviate some of the effects of poverty in the area by for instance giving out food parcels for those in need or offering a free advocacy service. There are many people that we know that have been helped by them in many ways – even if it is just by gaining a support network through going to one of their many community groups. A number of asylum seekers and refugees and others new to the county have benefited from the free ESOL classes that Karis run. There are others who sound very pleased and satisfied to take part in community allotment that Karis have organised. We know a number of people who have enjoyed volunteering – by for example doing some DIY or gardening for others – and also fund-raising for Karis, knowing that what they are doing is having a real impact on the community.

What do I think of them?

Karis is a well respected charity in the area and I think they are doing a wonderful job. So if you live in the Ladywood area it is an ideal organisation to get involved with. I have found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. Karis are very good at understanding the needs of the area and are very aware of all the provision that already exists.

Their aim is not to duplicate provision and they are excellent at signposting people to other organisations that can help if for any reason they can’t provide the help needed. They’ve been great in working with us with our project of WorkShop the local job club that we run every Thursday morning.

Are they a Christian charity?

Karis was initially aided in its set up by a number of local churches and has continued to have a good relationship with them. If people want to chat about faith or ask for prayer they are very open to that but they are certainly not there to preach at people. As primarily a Christian organisation Karis aims to serve the community in the name of Jesus offering a listening hear and practical help. Of course Karis’s help is available to all regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs.

How can I be involved?

If you want to volunteer then you can complete an application form on their website and subject to suitable references and a CRB check you could soon be part of the team serving this area doing a bit of gardening or DIY or by befriending or advocacy or even raising funds for Karis. You can make yourself available for as little as an hour or two a week or much more if you want to.

Also when you do your shopping why not buy a few more tins than you need and if you are passing by pop them into Karis’s store cupboard for them to give out as food parcels to those in need?

If you are looking for a charity to support by a regular donation Karis Neighbour Scheme is well worth considering.

January 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm Comment (1)

Sweet Notions – a missional social enterprise

Over the next few weeks I want to do a series of posts on missional projects – that are either very inspiring or that I am involved with in some way. These are all worthy of your support in some way or other and you may find ideas here of something that you could do in your own community. I’ll start of with Sweet Notions a brilliant idea for a social enterprise.

What is Sweet Notions?

Sweet Notions collect used jewellery and accessories sell the good stuff at mobile boutique events or pop-up shops. With the money from these events then train women rescued from trafficking, addiction and homelessness to create products using the rest of the items as raw materials. At what they call design camps these girls develop these craft skills in an enjoyable and therapeutic environment. This produces more goods to be sold.

The result is much more upmarket than a charity shop. Getting into more lavish places the produce is highly valued as stylish and socially responsible.

How can I be involved in Sweet Notions?

It’s well worth buying from them or donating your old accessories or your time to help them as a volunteer. You might even want to set up a franchise of this in your own area.

Not only is this a way to recycle your old good enabling you to de-clutter valuable space in your house it is also helping many vulnerable women who are getting their lives together. This is growing social enterprise that is being replicated in a many areas. Shannon Hopkins started this in the States but is also operating in London and others are also looking at and starting to run with this idea.

Of course it’s a lot of work and running around collecting the stuff, organising events but if you work with or have contact with a vulnerable group that could benefit from this it could be well worth your while.

Update

There website appears to be down at the moment. When it’s back I’ll let you know!

January 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm Comments (2)

Charisma Magazine’s Trends to Watch in 2012

Charisma Magazine – one of the most popular Christian magazines for charismatic Christians has made some predictions for 2012 in this post of twelve trends to watch. You’ll be glad to hear they are not about the end of the world or any other end time nonsense they’re mostly based on careful some observations of what is happening across the globe. Here’s my summary of them but please feel free to check out the link.

1. Record numbers of Christians will be martyrs

Every day over 400 Christians die for their faith around the world, mostly in Islamic countries. Charisma highlights the probable increases in persecution Africa such as in Nigeria, where Pentecostals are clashing violently with Islam.

2. The Asian church will take the lead in missionary ventures

The churches in India and China are growing immensely and sending more and more missionaries into Islamic countries and even into Europe and the West.

3. The Arab Spring will thaw resistance to the gospel

New opening for the gospel are appearing as Egypt, Syria & Libya have become more democratic – such as through Christian TV which Charisma assures us is “not the constant begging for money we hear on American TV”.

4. North America increasingly will be viewed as a needy mission field

Church attendance has been falling rapidly in the States and there are many overseas students from countries where Christianity is even more in the minority.

5. The debate over approving homosexuality will take centre stage

I certainly agree that how Christians should respond to GLBT issues is set to be one of the major controversies of the year in mainline, evangelical and Pentecostal churches.

6. America will experience a church-growth renaissance

Though many churches are closing many new non-traditional churches are being planted. Church growth Ed Stetzer predicts thousands of churches being planted this year (more than are closing). Is it over the top to say this could lead to an explosion on the scale of the Second Great Awakening?

7. The economic downturn will actually be good for the church

John Piper believes that in recession:
1. we depend on God more
2. non-Christians see efforts to reach them as love rather than exploitation;
3. people are more ready to hear about eternal life as they are less secure about earthly things
4. Christians are more generous as they have less material security.

8. Look for a radical reformation to occur in charismatic/Pentecostal churches

Charisma predicts more high profile scandals – moral & financial – as God purges the church. People will become more interested in authenticity, integrity and holiness than in hyped up showmanship, bizarre manifestations and prosperity teaching.

9. Denominations will be redefined

As a new generation of leaders develop some Pentecostal denominations will ditch old structures & policies and shift to be based more on relationships than on hierarchy. The ones that don’t will become increasingly irrelevant.

10. Many megachurches will stop trying to grow bigger and will instead branch out

Churches will plant out new congregations rather than just grow bigger. The shift will mean church becomes more personal and relational.

11. Disasters will continue, but Christians will often be the first responders

Natural disasters are increasing world wide perhaps this may be part of a cyclical pattern or it may be due to global warming. Rather than seeing this as anything to do with the end of the world Charisma predicts that Christian organizations and churches will show the mercy of Christ when more disasters inevitably hit in 2012.

12. Expect a supernatural surprise

The article ends by pointing out that ‘Our generation has never witnessed a revival’ and in typical charismatic fashion encouraging us to pray expectantly for one this year.

January 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm Comments (3)