It may have been an ordinary Monday evening, but God was at work at Lordship Lane, south east London.
While many would be tucking into their evening meal, a group of people were arriving at Lordship Lane Baptist Church.
They were there for the conclusion of an evangelistic course LCM missionaries, Daniel Douglas and Michael Prendergast, were delivering. Both Daniel and Michael had faithfully encouraged and trained these church members to share the gospel, clearly and effectively, for the past eight weeks.
Every Monday night, in that small church hall, God was at work to change the hearts of the people gathered there. Through the training, the Holy Spirit was gently encouraging them to leave their comfort zone and join God’s great rescue mission.
One gentleman, Hamid, says that he only enrolled in this course because of his wife.
“She was the one who told me I should do this course. To be honest, I never thought evangelism was for me,” he admits.
Seven weeks later, moved deeply by the plight of people who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Hamid gave a gospel tract to a stranger for the first time in his life.
“The man was walking his dog and I just had this great prompting to go up to him and tell him about Jesus,” says Hamid.
For Daniel, Hamid testimony is deeply encouraging.
“It was encouraging to see people who were initially anxious and unsure about evangelism, becoming encouraged, bold and confident in their faith,” says Daniel.
“People have grown in their knowledge of scripture and confidence in what they believe. They’ve grown in confidence in general and are now able to connect with strangers in their community, get to know them and find ways to start a spiritual conversation. It’s something almost all of them would not have done before.”
Each week after the session, participants were assigned homework and encouraged to build on what they were taught. They were encouraged to take small steps, each week doing a little bit more than the last.
Week one started with just saying hello to people they didn’t know. Eventually they were encouraged to attempt to have a conversation based on what they have been learning, and become familiar with some of the gospel tracts used in the course, often a useful resource to leave with people after talking about Jesus.
“So, it may start with saying hello to strangers in week one, but it ends with them giving strangers a gospel tract and having a conversation with them about the gospel by week eight,” Daniel explains.
“My hope for all the people who took part in the course is that evangelism will be a part of their everyday life; that it would become natural to take on opportuinities to connect with people in the commuinity, and eventually talk about Jesus in a way that wouldn't cause anxiety or feel weird.
“I hope to see them encourage others in evangelism and for them to help others overcome fears. I hope they will see the fruit of their efforts, to keep contact with people, having bible studies with people they meet, to see people saved, coming to church and to see them disciple others. That would be wonderful!”
For Michael Prendergast, LCM Missionary, the passion displayed by the church members makes the training worthwhile.
“When we went out the first time to evangelise the community, they were all so excited to talk to people – everyone was so encouraged,” Michael recalls.
But the relationship building with the community doesn't stop with street evangelism. The church members at Lordship Lane Baptist hope to start an English class alongside their coffee morning which welcomes people displaced in local bedsits.
“We want to keep that fire burning. We don’t want to run the training and leave, but we want to keep meeting and walk with them through these new initiatives,” says Michael.
If you and your church are interested in being trained by missionaries like Daniel and Michael, please visit lcm.org.uk/your-church.