OAC was recently contacted by Counties and asked to provide some street evangelism training for the participants on their Counties Evangelism Training Programme. Due to Covid restrictions the training was delivered as a blended programme. The theory sessions took place on Zoom and the practical sessions in person over a day and a half.
Training Director, Steve Harris, took the 6 participants through 3 hours of teaching on Zoom. He looked at ‘what is the gospel’, how to be a team member in the open air, the law relating to street evangelism and creative street evangelism methods. Two days later the participants gathered in Cardiff for intensive practical sketchboard training. They were also joined by Counties Training Officer, Beverley Bedford.
Together at Last
The trainees were all pleased to finally be doing something face to face. Despite being on the Counties Evangelism Training Programme for almost a year, this was the first time they had met in person. The training and practice time was more condensed than normal. As a result Steve wasn’t sure how many would be ready to preach on the streets. He was pleasantly surprised! They were a very enthusiastic bunch and were keen to learn creative methods of street evangelism.
The course was also more difficult for Steve because in the past there have been 3 or 4 OAC evangelists delivering the teaching. We decided to keep the numbers down for Covid security so it was just Steve on day 1 and Kevin Welch joined him for day 2.
On the Streets
On the first day Steve took the trainees out onto the streets to see OAC methods in action. They all had such a fantastic time that they returned to the training base late. Conversations were still going on after our last message. The trainees were struck as well by the impact that our schools ministry has on the street work. Five different groups of people commented favourably that they had seen the sketchboard in schools. This helped to initiate conversations.
On the second day 5 out of the 6 trainees were ready to preach on the streets. The sixth person was unsure about being ready. However she has expressed interest in using the sketchboard as part of an Asian outreach she is involved in. All of the trainees made the presentations their own, especially Jackson who was dressed up as a pirate. This is how he often goes out to witness on the streets of Leeds!
It was pleasing to observe that the trainees’ gospel presentations were clear. All of them managed to both draw a crowd and have conversations afterwards. Our prayer is that they will continue to use these new skills and start new outreaches in their own areas.