STREETWISE Delivering the greatest message EVER to our great city Tell a Tourist 2016

Imagine a street scene where 30 unchurched people, from across the globe, are willing to stop and listen to preaching of the gospel. In addition they stay afterwards and are willing to engage in a short counselling session with a Christian worker.That actually happened a few times during our week of Tell-A-Tourist this year.

©2017 OAC-Streetwise

Go to top of page

Imagine the scene . . . A crowd stops and listens to a sketch board talk

Usually the crowds were smaller, sometimes just one person stopped. It is always exciting to see a big crowd listening but individuals matter to God!

This year the team consisted of many different people, full time evangelists, pastors, retired people, students, and those in full time employment.

Tell- A-Tourist London has been running for many years. Since at least 1999 it has been a joint venture between London City Mission and Open Air Campaigners. I first joined the team in 2000. The aim is to present the gospel in an attractive and interesting way to people visiting our capital city. The sketch board remains a simple and effective way of attracting enough attention to start and hold a crowd. Preaching in this way comes across as friendly and personable. Painting on the board and other visual aids aim to increase curiosity during the presentation.

We do all we can to present the message clearly and in an interesting way but prayer is the key to real success. This year we had a team of more than 40 people praying for the outreaches each day.

Once the crowd is engaged using curiosity of the board those with spiritual concern will often stay for the whole talk, ideally about ten minutes at the most. In that time we aim to preach Christ and Him crucified. At that point, usually some are offended and leave the crowd but some stay to the end. My personal experience has been that I have never been out for a session of this sort of evangelism where there has not been at least one very significant conversation about deep spiritual issues. Often there are many more than just one. That is why keen, praying, team members are as important as the person preaching with the board. The team members are able to easily engage those who have stopped to listen with a simple question.

 “Hello, I am with the preacher, what did you think of that?”

During the week the team members spoke to people from many nations. Some were resident in the UK others were simply visiting for a few days or weeks.

Personal conversations after the preaching are an opportunity to get personal about faith in Jesus.

A few comments:

One team member said, “This is such a friendly approach I can now understand why people stop and listen.”

A tourist, “No I have never considered this (The Gospel) before, but I will now. I will take this away and read it. Thank you.”

A language student, “I now know God loves me because I was feeling very lonely but you took time to speak to me, now I feel much better.”

Other than speaking to tourists, this year, we had the privilege of working with an active church in Hounslow. It was great to work with two regular teams outside a church on the High Street. On those days we mainly engaged with local residents of a diverse population consisting of mainly Asian nationalities.

Another great week of Tell-A-Tourist is over for another year. Let’s hope we can repeat it again next year.

                               Steve Gurnett  (Joint OAC team leader with Harish Patel of LCM)