31 May 2014 - Glasgow
It was a lovely, and warm day as I made my way to Scotland's largest city. The plan was to meet with the guys at 1pm, but God in His sovereignty had other plans. As I was making my way to the outreach I discovered a massive traffic jam which resulted in it taking thirty minutes to move two miles. Needless to say I was now late for the outreach!
When I finally arrived in Glasgow, I discovered that the outreach had already commenced. Craig Scott had come across a Muslim group trying to win converts, so he decided to go and talk to them. It was a real interesting clash of world views in that part of Buchanan Street, for there was the Muslim group, the Communist group, and a bunch of Scots playing bagpipes. In the middle of all that was our small group of Christians handing out literature and talking to people about Jesus Christ.
Craig spoke to the Muslim for quite sometime, and while he did that the rest of us were able to hand out many tracts. The position I was in allowed me to distribute around two-hundred tracts in about twenty minutes. People were friendly, and some even came back asking for some more literature.
After Craig had finished speaking to the Muslims, we made our way to the top of the street in order to begin the open-air meeting. We found a spot that appeared to be ideal for our purposes, and we began to share the Good News.
I was the first preacher up, and I took for my text Acts 16:30-31 - Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
From that text I was able to talk about how in life we have many questions, but the most important question we should be asking is, "How can I be made right with God?" From there I was able to provide the answer that is found in Jesus.
Things were fairly slow during the preaching. A few people sat to listen, but many others walked-by. One man sat and listened to the whole message, and at the end he took a tract. About half-way through my message a Muslim man with his family stopped to listen. He seemed to be very interested, but left before anyone could give him a tract (although, I did see him later on in the day and he gladly took literature).
While I was preaching a young lady came up to ask a question. She was a Christian and was struggling with her spiritual walk. Since at that moment I was preaching, I couldn't deal with her specific pastoral need, so I referred her to Craig who was able to help her.
At the end of the message, a well-meaning Christian man came up to me and wanted to debate Bible translations. He believed that the King James Version is the only real version, and that all other translations make Jesus to be a liar. He even argued that the Greek and Hebrew was in error. I answered his questions briefly, and then continued on the outreach. The questions that he raised are questions that should be discussed and answered, but that is an 'in-house' discussion, not one for an outreach.
By now Craig had stood up to preach. It has been good watching Craig's open-air preaching develop in the time I've known him. I truly believe God is going to use this young man to reach the people of Glasgow. Make sure you are praying for him.
While Craig was preaching a drunk man approached him and began to be silly. This drunk didn't pose any threat, he was just 'out of it'. At one point he lit a cigarette and began to walk around Craig. This riled up an onlooker who walked up the drunk, smacked the cigarette out of his mouth and told him to be more respectful. A couple of us had to intervene to make sure no violence erupted.
By this stage it was getting close for me to head home. But just before I left it was great to see Dane arrive with a large group to continue on the outreach. Dane and I would disagree on many points of theology, but we agree in the Gospel. I am thankful for men like Dane, and those with him who are passionate about preaching Jesus to those who are in the darkness.
As Dane began to preach I made my farewells to the group. Today was my last outreach in Glasgow before returning to Australia. While it was great to work with all these different Believers, it was also sad to say goodbye to them. I will miss working alongside them, and I will miss being able to preach the Gospel in the beautiful city of Glasgow.
As the motto of Glasgow use to say, "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word and the praising of Thy name!"
Soli Deo Gloria!