Today I was at Day 2 of the Annual Street Pastors Co-ordinators Conference. My mate James had been to Day 1 and at some point we need to exchange notes!
As ever it was an inspiring experience. The number of Street Pastors groups in the UK is now over 100 and there are loads more areas in the process of getting started.
Highlights included Simon Thomas' (one of the national core team) reminder that the Kingdom of God is a big picture, but it comes to people via a small picture – each of us. We need to maintain the 'big picture'. God took Abraham out of his tent to look at the stars to break his mind out of small thinking; "get out of your tent thinking and get into sky thinking!"
There was news of developments in the behind-the-scenes work of Ascension Trust to sustain and develop this amazing ministry as it grows inexorably. Requests for help in setting up Street Pastor Initiatives have come from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, and near as Europe and as amazing as Pakistan. It's already underway in Antigua. There was also the inevitable excellence of tea/coffee and cakes as well as a very well prepared lunch which gave just enough time for a bit of networking and catching up.
Les Isaac's emphasis is that the focus of all this must ensure that it's all about the church, not Street Pastors. It's not about creating an organisation but a movement. My overwhelming impression is that Street Pastors is just one of the things God is doing through his church to show that he cares for people. The response we're getting here in Colchester, echoed in the experiences of other Street Pastor Initiatives, suggests that people are beginning to notice.