When it came to taking the Gospel into the marketplace, Jesus not only set the example, he also showed his disciples how to follow.
Following in the Lord's footsteps, Open Air Campaigners (OAC Ministries) are gearing up for the launch of a new training course that will equip Christians for outreach in the most ordinary of places – on the streets of the United Kingdom's towns and cities.
"Streetwise" has been developed by OAC to help believers who have a busy day to day schedule but who still want to reach out to others with the Gospel by giving them the tools they need to balance their lives with their passion to effectively share their faith.
"If anyone is keen to share their faith or to work with their local church in outreach, this is the course for them," says OAC London Director Peter Kennelly.
"Streetwise aims to sharpen evangelistic skills and develop relevant outreach techniques. Our experience means that we can offer training to effectively communicate the Gospel with children, teenagers and adults."
The course starts in London in January and will run one Saturday each month for six months. OAC professional evangelists will run workshops and lectures centered on the ministry's time-proven approach of using creative, visual means to communicate the Gospel with passersby.
The training will also challenge participants to time out on the streets with pens and paperboards to put the methodology presented in the workshops into practice through relevant preaching and innovative sketchboard illustrations.
One Streetwise graduate, Simon, commented, "Before I came I honestly had not realized that I would be preaching the Gospel! Now I realize that the power of God and His word are sufficient and that we just need to make ourselves available and listen to God's guidance."
Part of the preaching will include training on how to deal with objections to the Gospel.
Simon continued, "It's a great course. In our group we really felt nervous. But our apprehension turned into excitement and enthusiasm. It was a great encouragement to meet other people who were called to the 'foolishness' of open air evangelism. I saw God's love for His children and the lost clearly on display."
Other graduates also cited the effectiveness of the hands-on training they received. Working in partnership with local churches, OAC aims to see those they train applying what they have learned in the context of their own church's local outreach.