[anzac] "NIGHT CHURCH" MAKES an IMPACT

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:14:12 +1300
ANDREW STROM:  I just got back from South Africa - exhausted
after a long trip, but happy because it was a wonderful time. It is
so lovely to be back with my family again. I thought this article 
below was quite interesting:

THE CHURCH that STAYS OPEN ALL NIGHT
-Spotlight Magazine.

It all began with an all night prayer meeting held in a former bank 
building. Lichfield Diocese's mission priest Gordon Crowther and 
his team were asking God how they could engage with the local 
community when the local community began to drop in.

At first it was a group of girls out clubbing who began to peer 
through the window; then a group of five lads, one of whom wanted 
to talk. The others wanted to move on to their next venue - a strip club.

Eventually all five went in - one dressed as batman; four waiting for 
their friend as he talked about his life and God. And as the night 
went on several others wandered in, curious to know what was 
going on.

And there and then Gordon and the team realised they had their 
answer: open the doors and the people would come - and that has 
been their tactic for Night Church ever since.

"The idea was to engage people who did not traditionally come to 
church as we know it," explained Gordon. "Initially we used to 
meet on Sunday afternoons for a worship service, but we still felt 
we were missing a group who would not engage on that level. So 
when the five lads interrupted that prayer meeting we knew that 
the way to go was a night-time project that targeted people who 
were usually out at that time.

"At first we started off opening the doors monthly on a Friday night 
from 10.30pm to 2am, but the response and the needs were so 
huge that we had to go weekly and stay open until 4am."

Hospitality is key to the initiative, with all kinds of people being 
made welcome - asylum seekers, people sleeping rough, clubbers 
and older people who are in the city at night just wanting 
something to do or someone to talk to.

"It has been marvellous to see what God has been doing in 
people's lives," said Gordon. "We have had great conversations 
and meetings with people. We once had a young man from the 
Royal Marines who had been to Afghanistan. He had witnessed
three of his friends get killed and on the night we met him he was 
out to get drunk. He came in and stayed for hours and we had the 
opportunity to pray with him.

"I remember too the 17-year-old girl who came in and knelt in front 
of the cross and just started praying aloud about some trouble her 
friend was in. We went and prayed with her. She wanted to talk 
with us about some strange spiritual experiences she had 
encountered and it ended up as a deliverance session. Afterwards 
she told us that she felt free.

"... It has been great to see groups who would not normally work 
together now working together for the good of the community."

~ http://www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/news.aspx?action=view&id=3128