|The above shows the team eating together one evening|
There are arguments for and against a special week of mission in a local church. The chief argument against is that every week should be mission week and a special effort risks introducing an artificial and unsustainable note to the work that risks demeaning the regular efforts. On the other hand, a special effort can sometimes reach people otherwise unreached and, if visitors are invited in to help, can be a help to them as well as the church itself.
Missions have been rare here in Childs Hill. We have just had what must be the third or fourth in 34 years. As I begin to recover I thought I might briefly report.
We know Hicham from France well and he has led church missions and so we followed the pattern he is familiar with. This involved gathering a team to do formal evangelism chiefly Saturday to Thursday in the week June 10-15. Our team was a little on the small side - three full time and four more for the last two days plus two or three visitors on the Thursday with help from five or six members at various times, including me.
We started each day with breakfast in church followed by prayer and a short Bible study. We then spent 90 minute sessions morning and afternoon delivering leaflets and invites, door knocking or speaking to people in the streets of Golders Green, our nearest shopping centre. We ate lunch in the church and evening meal either there or in homes.
In the evenings we had excellent and well attended seminars on reaching Jews and Muslims on Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday was our regular midweek meeting; and on Wednesday we had an evangelistic meeting with Mick Lockwood from Haworth.
on the Wednesday morning the Mothers and Toddlers group had a bouncy castle and some of the team took opportunity to mingle. One young woman very helpfully gave a testimony.
We prepared 10,000 A3 leaflets containing testimonies, messages and information and gave away about half of these plus nearly a thousand postcards inviting people to hear Mick. We also had other literature to give away - Gospels, UQs, etc.
We were able to reconnect with several people we already know and some fresh faces. Some few came to meetings on the Thursday and Lord's Day. Some, such as the atheist who wrote to complain, and the people who saw us talking at length to the son of a rabbi, were not happy but generally speaking we did ourselves good. The feedback answered questions such as, say, where most Jews and Muslims and Filipinos tend to be found, the fact there are Syrians in the area as well as Iranians and the fact some have little English.
It was a worthwhile effort. We are very grateful to the team who helped us and to Mick Lockwood and "Mr McH" in particular. Last time we had a mission we were unable to follow up the next year. I would hope that now we have a clear plan of approach we might try again next Junes or July.