We started planning this exciting project in September 1999 working together as a team from 6 churches across Nailsea with a vision to reach out to every home in the town by presenting them with a free copy of the CTA video "So Who Is This Jesus?"
The video was almost universally popular with our church congregations who were to use it. It was generally acclaimed for its clear and powerful content, its professionalism, and its lack of any cringe factor! This latter was the feature most commented on by church people who watched it, and as a result they did not feel embarrassed in recommending it to others.
We have planned our outreach during two six-week periods during Spring and Autumn 2000. To date we have covered just under half the town. The uptake has been varied from street to street with not necessarily any rhyme or reason why this should be. Overall it has been much more encouraging than we first predicted, with the take-up averaging 25%.
We ran a training session on two different evenings and encouraged all those who were to be visitors to attend. We got them to do some role-play! The vast majority had never_done any visiting like this before and all were terrified. However, "fears quickly dissolved to laughter during the role-playing, especially as the leaders frequently made blunders too.
One of the main outcomes, even before we see any actual harvest of people through to our churches, is that it has caused a significant development in the lives of many of the church visitors who offered the videos. They have grown in confidence, realised that they can do this sort of visiting, especially where they are simply offering a video, and that they can make contact with people in their community without fear.
There have been many wonderful stories to tell. They have found that generally people are polite, even if they refuse, and that the refusees give the visitors a particular burden for prayer. Church visitors have found their prayer life enhanced as they are thrust into dependence on the Lord as they go out to peoples' homes.
We cannot now wait to see what the Autumn will bring!