The Turning - Update
The Turning – Southampton
During the Autumn of 2016, churches across Southampton gathered to pray, worship, receive some evangelism training and then take to the streets. The response was astonishing. 300 people from a wide spectrum of churches were trained and then immediately applied their learning in street evangelism; striking up conversations with people about Jesus, and inviting them to respond to a simple gospel explanation. Many responded; far more than perhaps expected. Over 500 people prayed a simple prayer of response to Christ. We, the churches in the city then set about following them up (over 350 gave contact details). This was a challenge, not least because we had not expected so many people to respond. This process is still ongoing. So far we are aware of at least 12 people (probably more) who are putting down roots in local churches.
Our key learning so far has been that people are more open to conversations about Jesus than we expected. Jesus said the fields were ripe for harvest; the evidence suggests hHe was right (John 4:35)!
Currently we are giving particular attention to follow up and discipleship. Across the city several churches are continuing to engage in street evangelism, seeing people respond on a regular basis. Over the coming months Southampton Christian Network (SCN) will be hosting a number of evangelism training events and initiatives, learning together as we continue in our mission to tell every person in our city the good news of Jesus and the saving power of the gospel.