Two years ago we spent a week looking for houses of peace in Leicester, UK. The plan was to visit homes and offer prayer and see if we could find people who wanted to know more.
The wisdom was this won’t work in England. We don’t talk about our faith and we certainly don’t want someone knocking on our door and asking to pray for us. So we ignored the wisdom and headed out.
Conventional wisdom took a battering when 426 people welcomed prayer out of a total of over 1,224 visits. That’s a ratio of one in three.
That’s two years ago. Last month in Essex, Russell Godward spent 30 days in the harvest. Morning afternoon and evening, six days a week, looking for people of peace (Luke 10). Similar strategy —the early offer of prayer leading to sharing the gospel using the 3Circles.
By the end of May, Russell and friends had spoken with 500 people — visiting homes and public places. Ten people turned and believed. Thirty-seven want to keep talking. A total of 47, near enough to 10%.
Then there’s Jacob Boss. He was naïve enough to think that if the gospel can work in Mumbai, it can work in London. He and his family arrived last January. Jacob has a vision to reach the whole city. So he began looking for God-prepared people in his new neighbourhood.
A few months later he and the team had shared with around 500 people. Thirty have turned and believed (6%). Twenty-five people are engaged in the early stages of discipleship.
What about the North? So far this year Nick Duffy and friends in Manchester have connected with 421 Mancunians. Nick says around 45% of people they approach welcome the offer of prayer. About 25% are up for hearing the gospel (3Circles). 10% of those they approach want to know more.
Leicester, Essex, London, Manchester — same pattern. There are millions of people across Britain who are waiting for someone to offer to pray for a need or blessing. Millions are willing to hear the gospel explained simply. Thousands are ready to learn more, or even turn and begin following Jesus.
All we need to do is find them.