LONDON – If Christians want to save people then they have to be prepared to spend time with them.
That was the message from the founder of Street Pastors at the organization's inaugural conference Saturday.
Les Isaac said many people today feel unloved but Street Pastors has the potential to change that by going out and "being Christ" on the streets of the United Kingdom's towns and cities.
"When you recognize that it's not just you walking the streets but it's God in you, you recognize there is a potential to bring light and renewal and revival and restoration to society," he said.
"People are not just seeing human beings, they are seeing Christ in us – that's why 75 per cent of the people we meet ask us to pray for them."
He was speaking at the first ever Street Pastors conference in central London this week. The three-day gathering is due to end today with an address from the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu.
Isaac stressed that if Christians were to be able to help people with their difficulties, they had to give them their time and share with them the love they themselves had received from God.
"Love and time have become the two most valuable commodities in the 21st century," he said. "There are many people who are starved of love. Mum doesn't love me, dad doesn't love me, no one loves."
"If we are going to do something we need to share our time with society, with people," Isaac stressed. "Yes I have two children, yes I have a wife, yes I have things to do, but there are people out there who need our time.
"There are people outside the extent of our family who need our time, who need to know Jesus, who need to know there's hope for them."
The Street Pastors founder urged Christians to be consistent in their serving because society needed to see that they were always available.
"We are used to doing the two years mission. We take two years to plan it, two weeks to do it, two years to recover from it and another two years to consider whether we should do it again. Six years to do two weeks. Our societies and communities want to see us consistently on their streets," he noted.
Isaac founded Street Pastors in 2003 to be a comforting and protecting presence in the streets of one London borough on Friday and Saturday nights. It has since spread out across the United Kingdom and been credited by local police with helping to reduce crime and make the streets of towns and cities safer in the weekends.
London Mayor Boris Johnson joined the conference on the first day and praised the work of Street Pastors in transforming the capital.