Four straightforward steps to transform your world
By Alice Clarke
Think about the community you live in. The school system, the government agenda, even the way that people on your street relate to each other. Does it look like the kingdom of God?
It can be frustrating when we see how much change needs to happen in the world around us and how far away it feels from the way God intended for people to live.
Jesus called us to make disciples of all nations. To lead the people around us in living for God. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is actually getting to know the people who live next door and reaching out to them.
John Bootsma, Senior leader of Catch The Fire Canada, connected with Ed Silvoso at a conference in Toronto back in 2016.
John was inspired by Ed Silvoso’s model for reaching communities with the gospel, based on Luke 10. “We might have had a theology about it before, but Ed was actually seeing it happen,” he said.
In his book, Prayer Evangelism, Ed outlines four steps that you can use to reach out to the people around you, and see real transformation in your world.
Four Straightforward Steps
The first step is to pray for your community and to put practical blessing into action.
John shared the story of Freedom House church in Brantford, Ontario. They decided to bless their city, “They find out whatever need the city has and they just go in and they do it. Before you know it, people are saying ‘who are you guys?’” said John.
The members of Freedom House regularly serve free food, clean up garbage, and get involved with city events. “It’s like dropping a kindness bomb on the streets of Brantford,” said Freedom House community pastor Dave Carrol.
“When you build relationship and rapport with people, you find out what their felt need is,” said John.
Blessing your neighbour with no strings attached opens the door for real relationship. It’s hard to keep the door shut to someone who shows true kindness.
3. Meet the needs
As the people of Brantford got to know that Freedom House church cared for them, more opportunities opened up to meet the needs of the city. The church partnered together with other churches in the city.
Brantford had a reputation for being a dangerous city to live in Canada. “People were broken and on the streets and unemployment was high,” said John, “They as a church started a drive to try to work with the mayor to revitalize.”
After ministering to the felt needs, the final step is to share God’s goodness. It’s easy to see the connection in Luke 10:
“And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” Luke 10:9 NKJV
“Because you’ve already won their hearts with the first three, the opportunity is there,” said John Bootsma.
Brian Beattie, the pastor of Freedom House, described how effective the prayer evangelism model has been for them, “If you want influence, you have to have involvement, it’s very simple.”
How can I get involved?
All over the world, Christians are taking part in this four-step model. Through Ed Silvoso’s Organisation, Transform Our World, you can take part in Adopt a Street, where you can start to pray for your street and connect with other Christians doing the same thing in your city.
To learn more, John Bootsma recommends reading Prayer Evangelism by Ed Silvoso.