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21 June 2011

Cornwall commissioning and outreach

Cornwall commissioning and outreach

 The renowned Royal Cornwall Show begins for many with a commissioning service and prayers. Behind the scenes of this popular event, held from 6-11 June this year, was a special service which local Christians as well as show-participants attended on 5 June. The service this year was officiated by the Bishop of Truro.

Evangelists Marten Holmes and Alan Offord of Open Air Campaigners Ministries (OAC) joined this initial time of commissioning and group worship as they prepared to present the gospel to show-participants in both creative and practical ways throughout the week of the Cornwall Show.

Marten particularly focussed on teaching the Bible as stories, which he believes can profoundly engage the unbeliever.

Marten explains his strategy: "It's bringing out a spiritual truth and its application. As I bring the story to a conclusion, I raise the point of how the person in the story responds. Then I consider how we can respond and the personal application of the Bible account for us today."

With his storytelling, Marten used a variety of visual aids. He painted words and pictures on a sketchboard as he gave the verbal account. Also, he used creative object-lessons and illusion. With his professional training and experience, he was able to gear the story to the various age groups that gathered, from young children to adults.

Marten and Alan both worked alongside team members from different churches. They were all involved with face painting and balloon sculpting. Alan's wife, Sue, and a youth worker with some of the local youth also joined in.

Alan used "power wristbands" which are bead wristbands that present the gospel message. As he made them for individuals and told how they serve as spiritual reminders, these colourful wristbands proved popular for all ages.

Alan was excited about the work accomplished. "Giving out literature as well as the power wristbands provides an ongoing witness," explains Alan. "As a team, we were able to distribute a number of leaflets and New Testaments as well as the gospel in comic form."

Judging from the number of families reached through these creative means, the outreach commissioned at the Royal Cornwall Show is effectively communicating the incredible story of Jesus Christ.

For more information, please contact OAC at www.oacgb.org.uk