How We Started

“Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21-22)

In 2002, God used a mission trip to Ukraine to plant a seed.

Twelve members of a bible study group returned from the trip contemplating why they didn’t have the purpose, dedication and the faith to share the saving power of Jesus Christ that their Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine had. These persecuted Christians felt an urgency to share Christ with the lost and were willing to sacrifice whatever the cost was to do so. They also focused on the ‘unseen’, as Corinthians 4:18 states, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” They realized that each lost soul was a child of God, and that each one mattered to Him. Each one needed to hear of God’s love and the message of His son Jesus Christ.

“Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21-22)

In 2002, God used a mission trip to Ukraine to plant a seed.

Twelve members of a bible study group returned from the trip contemplating why they didn’t have the purpose, dedication and the faith to share the saving power of Jesus Christ that their Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine had. These persecuted Christians felt an urgency to share Christ with the lost and were willing to sacrifice whatever the cost was to do so. They also focused on the ‘unseen’, as Corinthians 4:18 states, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” They realized that each lost soul was a child of God, and that each one mattered to Him. Each one needed to hear of God’s love and the message of His son Jesus Christ.
Over the next year, this planted seed sprouted and God placed this same urgency into their hearts to pray for, and proclaim God’s redemptive salvation to the lost souls of Calgary, Alberta. Three of them started meeting every Monday evening, first to pray for over an hour for these lost people, then hit the streets to proclaim Jesus to them. They would spend the evening on one of the most popular and busy streets of the city handing out slices of pizza and hot chocolate to homeless people who wandered over wondering what was going on with the others all standing around enjoying free pizza. However, along with a few mouthfuls of steaming pizza, they also got an earful of the Gospel message. During these first weeks and months they were doubly blessed, first by seeing many decisions for Christ (and the changed lives as a result of those decisions), and second, more workers from different churches in Calgary joined them.

The ministry then went through a dry season where the numbers of fellow workers decreased as did the amount of fruit being produced. The day came when four of the key leaders of Monday Night Evangelism said they were thinking about, or going to quit the Ministry. Deciding they weren’t going to let the enemy win without a fight, they started to pray. They asked the Lord why the ministry had become so dry and why there was division within the team.

God answered very clearly. The answer revealed that the group was relying on evangelism programs and their own strength instead of God’s Spirit. They also realized that in the beginning they would start each Monday evening with fervent prayer, but as the ministry grew, the time in prayer continued to shorten. Jesus says in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing.” The lack of prayer coverage was causing the lost battles in the unseen realms which affected their unity as a body of Christ and the number of people responding to the message.

The group started again, but this time with a renewed utter dependence on God, totally surrendering the ministry to Jesus and leaving the results with Him. They knew if the ministry was to continue, God had to be calling the shots and working in people’s hearts. Before going out to battle each Monday, they started meeting for prayer again for at least an hour. This one simple step changed everything. Once again they were blessed to witness even more unity within the team, as well as more and more changed lives in those on the team and on the streets. Before God led them through this valley some would find it a struggle to spend the evening outside on Monday’s, but God has renewed their strength and passion for these lost souls.

Street Church Ministries now looks like this on Monday nights, there are over 50 brothers and sisters in Christ joining together from different denominations, all with different gifts and talents, but all with the same purpose: seeing people come into a relationship with Jesus. After the time of prayer, they break up into many locations and ministries throughout downtown Calgary. Three locations have a truck and sound system where testimonies are given, and the Gospel is preached with a call for decisions for Jesus. Three more locations are based for one-on-one evangelism mainly directed toward youth. In addition, one group of women ministers to the women’s floor at the Salvation Army, and another group at this location engages in discipleship for those who have already received Christ. At all locations, pizza, clothes, Bibles and tracts are distributed.
Because God’s vision is always so much bigger than man’s, He has opened so many new doors for the ministry. A church service is now held in ‘Needle Park’ across from the Bow River. Each Sunday afternoon homeless people and passersby all gather at the location to hear the gospel as well as testimonies of those who have made decisions for Christ. (Many of those giving their testimonies are actually friends of those gathered to hear the message.) An altar call is given, and those who make a decision for Christ are then given the opportunity to be baptized – right in the Bow River. At the time of this writing, November 2005, 60 people have been baptized in the river just in the previous three months.

As well, in July 2005, the original street church team was asked to help with evangelism for a new church plant in another community on Calgary’s east side. The Victory Outreach Center downtown started this church by sending 30 of its members to this church plant which was taking place in the basement of a Pastor’s home. They started evangelism on Thursday nights by simply praying and proclaiming the Gospel – from the back of a truck. Since then, they have watched this new church grow from 10 people to 60 in two weeks alone, then from 60 to 85 in the first month. There are now over 100 people who attend Sunday services and they’re looking for a building to house this growing church. In the meantime, they’ve asked the team to put a hold on the outreach aspect of the church so they can disciple those who have already made decisions for Christ, and primarily because they don’t have enough room in their home!

In November 2005, another team from the Street Church Ministries was asked to take part in an evangelism festival in Africa. Visit the Street Church Journal for updates on the African mission.

Over the last three years, God has continued to grow this one seed into a blossoming tree and used this team of willing workers to shine His light and love into the souls of numerous thousands of people, and over 1100 of those souls has made a decision for Christ. More than 800 of those decisions have been made since January 2005. The members of this ministry are continually reminded of the power of the Gospel which changes lives in this world, and most importantly for the unseen, eternity. It is proof that all God needs is one heart to be opened to His leadings then step out in faith and let Him work! Click here to see God’s work in action.

God has proved yet again that He stands true to His word in Hebrews 13:8. He has not changed. He is the same God He was yesterday, the same God He’ll be tomorrow, and forever. The God and church of the book of Acts is the same today and He is calling His church into action, to go and be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
To Him be all the glory!

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