The Light Project Flourishing in England with the Gospel

( [email protected] ) Dec 26, 2003 11:05 PM EST

CHESTER, ENGLAND -- According to ASSIST News Service, The Light Project team is reaching out to England with gospel by focusing on spending time with people on the streets, running youth clubs, community drama clubs, kids clubs and work in schools.

"The Light Project's goal is to actively demonstrate the Christian message in a relevant way," said Chris Duffett, leader of The Light Project in Chester, England.

"Our aim is that all people will be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Jesus. It is giving everyone enough information so that an informed decision can be made, a right that every living person deserves.

"The way this works out practically in Chester is that we seek to expose people to the gospel in a number of ways. The variety and complexity of the methods we use recognize that people are on a journey, it is the role of the evangelist to lead others on that journey until they are able to make a commitment to Christ. For example, we hold an annual festival were thousands from the community are invited. People come and experience a top notch free event where they can leave with a positive impression of the Church, but also at the venue we have a prayer tent where people can be prayed for and a programmed of stage events where people can hear and respond to the good news of Jesus."

After studying for three years in Drama, Art and Theology, Duffett was employed by a small Baptist church as their community worker.

"I ran youth clubs as well as spent time on the streets encouraging people to think about God and how people’s lives could be changed through him. The best part of my job was sitting on the streets with people who are homeless, listening, offering food, blankets and clothes as well as prayer and friendship formed much of my work."

Duffett says every week the teach runs over 17 youth and community projects. He says his mission is not simply limited to proclaiming the message but it is about showing the message as he was quoting D.L Moody, ‘1 in 100 people will read the bible; the other 99 will read the Christian’ and Francis of Assisi ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.’

Duffett works in five areas: in the community, the homeless, the young people, street evangelism, and training teams of people.

Duffett explained of the three distinctive values of his ministry. He said:

"Our ministry is characterized by three distinctive values. Firstly, whole life discipleship. We not only tell the gospel we show it. We do not believe that the good news of Jesus should be compartmentalized in our lives. That people should see the way we live, shop, worship, have fun and work as a witness to Jesus as Lord.

"Secondly we hold evangelism in one hand, and prayer in the other. This will include praying for the city in which we are based as well as praying with people. Our evangelism often entails asking people we have got to know if they would like prayer for anything. I have seen drug addicts healed and people testify on the streets that they have felt the love and power of God in their lives. The most dramatic experience I have had on the streets was praying for a heroin addict who had taken a ‘bad hit.’ He couldn’t move, he had a migraine and couldn’t even move his eyes. I sat down next to him on an old dirty wall and I prayed for him, although I didn’t tell him I was praying for him, I simply spoke under my breath, After 10 seconds he was healed instantly, and gave me a big hug. He said, 'That’s it Chris, the hand of God…. I feel better.' He then explained that in all his pain, he knew I was praying for him.

"Thirdly, our work is characterized by relationship. Each of the 12 evangelists who work with The Light Project foster good relationships and show help and love to people from all walks of life. We want people to become Christians because we love them; we don’t love people because we want them to become Christians."

Duffett said that in Chester the ministry has seen churches working together for the sake of the gospel.

"As a project we work with 9 different churches on a regular basis. This brings unity, and we have found that as churches increasingly work together then Jesus is right in the midst enjoying his children enjoying each other! He pours out his blessing.

"The Church has grown through our work, but we understand that people who have never heard or seen any relevance in Jesus will take time to come through and follow him."

Duffet is very excited about working with young people, especially the boys. Kids Club is one of the most exciting recent developments that was launched during the Easter holidays. Kids Club serves from age 7-11.

"I asked Paul, aged 10, who he thought had made all the animals we had seen at the Zoo on our Kidz Club trip. 'I reckon God made all those animals’ he said, ‘don’t you lads?’ he asked the group. All the lads nodded and chatted away about how God was very clever.

"A few weeks before none of the Kids who came to the club admitted that there could be a God. Now, every Saturday morning an average of 20 Kids pile into Holy Trinity’s Church Hall to engage with the greatest news ever! They take part in wild games, bible stories, craft activities and loads of loud music! "

Lynsey, Light Project evangelist writes: “This gives opportunity to have contact with the children’s parents as well. The children really look forward to our visits, and one mum explained how her son doesn’t often go out, but loves going to BKC.”

Many of the adult leaders enjoy having conversation about God with the kids and the kids who have never met Christ are getting to know God through the Kids Club.

The Kidz club has been well supported with a committed team of ‘up for it’ Christians and also financially by individuals and organizations.