Cookstown church plant held its second GO Team from 19-22 July, with the theme ‘I was lost’. We were blessed to have 11 team members as well as our own church family, and we couldn’t have asked for a more servant-hearted, Christ-focused group. The team was led by Liam Richardson from Gateshead Presbyterian, England. Liam’s love for his Saviour is infectious, and each morning as he led us in Bible study and prayer our souls were lifted heavenward, and our focus was repeatedly placed on Jesus. The three studies centred on our motivation for evangelism: Hell, Heaven, and Holiness. By showing us how hideous Hell is, how glorious Heaven is, and how our personal holiness is vital if we’re to authentically reach others with the gospel message, the team was well-equipped to go out each morning to proclaim Christ.
The majority of our time was spent doing door-to-door in Cookstown and giving out flyers for a special visitors’ service held on Sunday 23 July. We also handed out copies of a brochure, entitled ‘I was lost’, which introduced our church, gave several testimonies of people on our Go Team, and explained Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15).
Door-to-door is never easy, but no-one complained or became disheartened even when giving out soggy flyers in the pouring rain on day one. Thankfully, God blessed the rest of our week with sunshine, and He also gave us some really good and challenging encounters on the doors. A few team members decided to head into the town centre to chat to shoppers, and we were encouraged that some of the visitors on Sunday evening came because they’d been approached on the street earlier in the week. One eye-opener during the door-to-door was how many people identified themselves with a local church, while at the same time admitting they weren’t Christians or having a clear lack of basic Biblical knowledge. Please pray that God would transform Cookstown from being a ‘churchy’ place into becoming a ‘Christ-like’ place.
As well as leaflet drops and door-to-door, our church Facebook page ran a campaign called #cookstownneedschrist, uploading relevant videos about Christianity and advertising our brochure and services on social media. The campaign seemed to generate a good amount of interest, and one visitor on Sunday actually came through a Facebook ad he saw during Go Week.
The team also did some Psalm singing and befriending in two local nursing homes, and we had a morning of open air psalm singing and street evangelism at Cookstown’s weekly market on Saturday 22nd. There were a few hostile encounters with passers-by who clearly felt we had no right to
preach to them about Hell or the eternal destiny of their souls, but we also made a few contacts who came on Sunday to our visitors’ service, and we came away a bit more bold about proclaiming Christ in a public way.
Because the days were pretty busy, we enjoyed more relaxed times of fellowship in the evenings. One night, we had a time of prayer for Cookstown and for the people we’d met on the doors. Another evening, we had a games and music night (thanks Jacob, David, and Daniel!). On Friday, we held our annual church BBQ and were able to fellowship over food (and croquet!) with some of the cherished ‘Barnabus’ Christians who encourage us with their support throughout the year.
We were overjoyed that God chose to send 7 non-church visitors on Sunday evening to our ‘I was lost’ service. Pastor Paul spoke on the parable of the prodigal son, and we discovered that at least four of those who came along weren’t saved. Please pray for the unbelievers who heard the gospel on Sunday that God would be gracious to save. Pray for all those who were given brochures, flyers or who had conversations with our team members. We love our Saviour and we long for his name to be lifted high in this place, so please pray for revival here in Cookstown, and across the whole Mid-Ulster area.
Rev. Paul Wright