Cringeworthy Chichester Christians

By: snowgood

Sep 03 2016

Tags: ,

Category: Belief, Christianity, Gospel, Jesus, Scripture


Focal Length:4.15mm
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Camera:iPhone 6s

We walked around The Witterings today, and then popped into Chichester.

After a light lunch we went to North street where we came across six Christians with all their street preaching gear.

A sign declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

A banner with two emblems and the word “Christians” was propped up behind a keyboard player.

One of the team had a metal whistle, and all of the team shared a bright red microphone.

They droned on and on about “Sin”.

I watched them for a while, but didn’t see anyone engage them in conversation.

Roz asked if I was going to speak to them (I usually try to encourage Christian’s in the front line), but somehow all I could do was walk away.

No doubt many other followers of Jesus felt the same, and kept their distance.

Were we too embarrassed to show our support, or did we just think they’d got it all wrong?

Then I remembered that I too stood outside Allders of Croydon with Norman Woolcock doing just this, nearly forty years ago.

So why was I so uncomfortable about street evangelism today?

I guess I’m of the school that believes we need to engage with people, and build relationships before we have the right to witness.

But then again I was reminded of this verse,

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 Corinthians 1:18

After a time of reflection I had to admit I’ve not told a soul about Jesus today, and largely steered clear of any form of witness in the last week.

So who’s the more faithful follower of Christ, me or a bunch of strange people in Chichester town centre?

If I look at what the apostle Paul went through for his Saviour and Lord, or how the Old Testament prophets made themselves so unpopular amongst their fellow men I’m forced to conclude.

We need more weirdos who are prepared to witness, whatever the cost.

Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 1: 22-25







15 comments on “Cringeworthy Chichester Christians”

  1. I recall seeing Birmingham City Mission people in New Street in Birmingham a few years ago. They were not pushing themselves, but were quietly engaging with passers-by. Not many I grant you, but some. At the other end of New Street a man with a megaphone was spitting hatred out as he tried to drum up support for his extreme left-wing views in respect of people on the other side of the political divide. I know who I wanted to listen to and it wasn’t him.

  2. Am hearing your confusion…and understand what yer saying and also not saying. Youthful enthusiasm minus the youth A form of godliness phaps, Who knows best. Goooood night sleep works wonders…praying it for thee n meee 😀


  3. I can relate to your allergic reaction to the street evangelists but I give them credit for trying. The style Jesus used made him controversial with the religious but he got results. He was called a friend of sinners and never condemned them but restored, healed and dealt with the root issue. He loved others and that was his motivation, love. Many times I have ignored the nudge of the Holy Spirit to reach out to someone who was hurting, diseased or hungry. I didn’t love them. When we love people, not looking at them as an object but someone who is hungry for God. This documentary on the Holy Spirit produced by Darrell Wilson on You Tube really shows effective evangelism.

    • I’m not sure the link works – I could only see flying stars of the Paramount film company’s 100th anniversary. Then I found a Lenny Kravitz video – The Holy Ghost.

  4. The documentary is Holy Ghost produced by Darren Wilson. Here is the trailer:

    • Got it now, I’ll follow that up after “Church”. Thanks

      • You’re welcome.

      • Hello P G, yes I did get the right clip this time. I reflected on it in the light of most church services I’ve been too (of all denominations) and compared that to how I see Good at work in the natural world.

        Time and again I attend churches that a very RIGID approach to worship, services that run to to the same predictable format week after week, year after year.

        I was thinking of this on Sunday after my early morning bike ride. God is indeed a God of order, and he created the seasons – but he continually brings me surprise and delight as I get out in and amongst his creation.

        What were those small waders I saw in amongst the rock pools at Worthing, some were predictable turnstone – but the others? How come I saw my first ever weird caterpillar with 4 yellow tufts on his back when I was out in the garden pruning bushes?
        Why did we see a fox bolt through the street in broad daylight where we haven’t seen one previously?

        I guess I’m saying we can only hope to see certain creatures at certain times, but have no significant control over what we will see and when – but if we want to be amazed at God’s natural world, whether it be an otter, a bird, or a butterfly we need to get out to see the “standard” stuff, and be amazed by less frequent visitors/passerines.

        If we attempt to fill a church service, daily walk with a set programme (as a rule I hate programmes/themes for a season) then the Holy Spirit is potentially hedged out.

        Having said that my good friend Howard in Chudleigh was an occasional Church Leader, and we used to feel the Spirit at work pretty much every time he co-ordinated Church services, and everyone went away enriched.

        What a long waffle…thanks for participating in my pondering over street evangelism.


      • Stephen, thanks for your reply. God is extremely creative and likes to change things. Religion likes routine and predictability. God loves to surprise us. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his leading. It is never boring when we do. Glad the link worked, finally for you. The most effective street evangelism is birthed out of love for the lost and listening to Holy Spirit on how to reach them. Sometimes it is praying for the sick, having a prophetic word that encourages and gets their attention when they know that God cares and loves them, right where they are at. Rob and Aliss Cresswell from the UK did evangelism out of a coffee shop flowed with Holy Spirit. They saw many lost come to the Lord Jesus through miracles. I think God uses many methods that meet the need of the person in need of salvation. We have to include the Holy Spirit to really see results. Blessings, Pure Glory

  5. Cringeworthy, indeed! There are those who do well at street preaching (the Apostle Peter for one), but I suspect they are few and far between in this era. Agree whole-heartedly about relationship-based “witnessing.” When Jesus said “you shall be my witnesses” I believe he was talking about telling our own stories of our encounters with him. Rock on!

  6. This will be waaaaay off topic, I know, but I hope you find it to be a blessing. If so, please pass it on. Also, I have many more offerings of similar kind. On the other hand, if it does not bless you, at least I will not do this to your blog anymore…



    • Very positive stuff. It reminds me of a time when I was foot lose and fancy free late ‘teen walking the streets of Croydon late at night armed with tracts a bible and a fellow brother. We never once had a night did not bring about divine appointments, and the Holy Spirit worked through us. Keep up the good work.

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