Could you be a Street Pastor?
The Inverness Street Pastor team is now an established part of the Inverness scene. In response to growing opportunity the team are now looking for more volunteers to assist in the work.
Mark Hadfield writes concerning new year opportunities for anyone interested to know more about the work and what is involved in becoming a Street Pastor.
We're looking for more Street Pastors to help out in the City Centre, Merkinch and a new startup in Hilton. Please join me in praying for more labourers. The fields really are white unto harvest out there and we have lots of invitations to do more on the streets. Please also take note of our recruitment events which I'll mention in a moment, and invite people along who have expressed an interest in joining us on the streets.
God has granted us tremendous favour with the public and with the authorities and agencies in our region. For example, Highland Council have just awarded us some funding specifically to recruit, train and equip more volunteers. Hilton Community Council are specifically requesting us to work in Hilton. Northern Constabulary, and other safety initiatives, tell me that we're having a direct influence on antisocial behaviour at street level. When I think back to when we started, trying to explain our vision to a sceptical audience, I really am amazed at what God has done through everyone involved in Street Pastors.
People regularly thank us on the streets for the work that we do: helping people in need, helping people to feel safe, being available to listen and to chat when there is no-one else to turn to. In the role of a Street Pastor we are not preachers: we are pastoral (a personal challenge for me, who in appropriate contexts can certainly preach!). But many of those pastoral conversations move naturally to our motivation - Jesus - and to requests for prayer. We honestly can't quantify what happens next. But we regularly hear stories of people popping along to church because they met us on the streets as well as those who ask us, on the streets, how to know Jesus and ask us to pray with them. I cannot stress enough how natural this process is. We never proselytise. We are always invited. Consequently we are answering real questions and helping with real needs.
But for me, the most fulfilling part is simply being with people where they're at, demonstrating that we do genuinely care and that we do have genuine hope for whatever we face in life. My own faith grows in every encounter where I need to go beyond myself in order to help someone. I know Jesus better as a consequence of being a Street Pastor and that is precious.
I'm sure you'll agree? We have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot more to pray in. We currently have 32 active Street Pastors. I am praying for 40 more and planning our training accordingly.
We have two information evenings planned where anyone who is interested in becoming a Street Pastor can come and find out more. No commitment is required, but those who want to can take away application forms on the night. Applicants need to be 18 or over and to have been in a healthy relationship with a local church for at least 12 months.
Forthcoming Information Evenings
Monday, 18 January 2010
Hilton Church, Tomatin Road
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Hilton Church, Tomatin Road, Inverness
Note: Training Sessions now planned:
The first training sessions ('Roles and Responsibilities' and 'Good News') have been scheduled for Friday, 19 and Saturday, 20 February 2010.
Full details of training will be available at the above information evenings. But if anyone wants to register early interest then be in touch with Mark.
Street Pastors Coordinator
Mobile: 07761 293 108
Helpline: 07828 002 966
Ed footnote: Read of an account of a typical Street Pastor evening shift in the Merkinch area of Inverness.