An exciting day of evangelism 


Rev Peter Timothy reports 

‘Evangelism’ can be something of a loaded word. For some, it conjures up images of slightly unusual-looking market place preachers yielding signs foretelling the end of the world; for others it’s something the church ‘does’. Many Christians are intimidated by the very thought of speaking to strangers about who Jesus is

A day spent with Chris Duffett helped dispel lots of our preconceived ideas and introduce some new ways of gently sharing God’s love and opening up conversations with people who don’t yet know Jesus. Chris is (among other things) a minister, evangelist, and city centre chaplain in Peterborough, and with his help a group of around 20 from Park headed into town for the day

Having spent the morning in prayer - both in the church and prayer walking the town - Chris introduced us to some simple ideas, including prophetic painting, giving out free fruit labelled with the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and signs offering free hugs. We were also each issued with 1 copy of Mark’s gospel, with the challenge of giving it away to someone who would actually read it

Pitching up in the marketplace, the free huggers were amazed at the response, with people of all ages responding positively and one individual receiving prayer after a conversation sprang out of the hug

Our three teams of fruit dispensers soon ran out of goods, having distributed them to people in the park. Lots of conversations were had and further opportunities for prayer took place, including with one man who shared he was feeling suicidal, but was drawn to the sign on one piece of fruit saying “peace”. He took the label and returned home when a neighbour appeared with perfect timing

The painting involved praying and asking God to provide a picture which was intended for someone. Judith gave her painting of some balloons with the word ‘release’ to a lady in the park, who was overcome, saying they had released balloons at her husband’s funeral last year and she was still struggling to let go of certain things

After a break for lunch and some feedback, we went back out, with a large group practicing ‘treasure hunting’. This involves praying and asking God for some basic details about a person God wants us to find and pray for. The details could be a description of the individual and the prayer need (for example: man, blue jumper, brown hair, shoulder pain). This is designed to teach us how to listen to God better and there was a mixed response from the group. Some found their “treasure”, whilst others struggled

We ended the day with a time of feedback and prayer, and were hugely encouraged by the response. We intend to make this a monthly activity as we continue to step out in faith and grow in confidence in sharing God’s love with our town
Photos by Anna Cowles