Your City Needs You!

This is Palm Sunday and I’ve been struck again by Jesus’ tears as he paused before entering Jerusalem. Conscious of their ignorance about the true nature of his kingship and his mission to proffer peace, he drew near, saw the city and wept tears of sorrow over her future destruction lostness of her inhabitants (Luke 19:41-45).

Our society is also ignorant of Christ’s person and the mission of his church. Do we have a sense of foreboding as we anticipate the future – enough to weep?

Street Pastors

A great vehicle to help us love our city is the ministry of Street Pastors. At weekends the city centre population nearly doubles as the night life attracts many from greater Glasgow and other cities. Spirit-filled, gospel propelled teams of volunteers from various churches and denominations walk the streets from 10pm-4am mixing with revellers coming in and out of the clubs. Their posture is one of service not conquest as they fulfil their mandate to listen, care and help.

Drunken girls are particularly vulnerable, staggering along in their very high heeled shoes. They welcome our offer of free flip-flop sandals, but as it’s hard to balance on one leg when you’re drunk, we end up kneeling on the ground, opening toes and putting them on. Onlookers are amazed. “What’s a street pastor?” “Why do you do this?” It is such a small humbling for us, but God is doing something very powerful. It’s called ‘church reputation repair’ and this simple action starts up many God conversations and requests for prayer as people tell us their stories.

Urban Trinity

Early on when Street Pastors began in Glasgow, the Lord Provost invited us for afternoon tea at the City Chambers. A local councillor had joined the team one night and her report had so thrilled him that he wanted to meet us all. As we ate our cream scones the police officers admitted they had been very sceptical when our work began in 2009. They were sure these ‘do-gooders’ would just get in their way. However, they had to admit our presence on the streets was making a difference and they were now delighted to be part of the ‘urban trinity’ of Police, Church and City Council.

Safe Zone Pastors

A few years ago the police asked us to create a ‘safe zone’ at our base in a city centre church, manned by Street Pastors and first aiders. It’s a place police can bring vulnerable people for help, rather than taking them to hospital or the cells. We sober folk up with cups of tea, toilet visits and sometimes a sick bowl! We charge phones, make calls, reconnect folk with their friends and listen well. Most feel ashamed and sometimes sheepishly reveal a high powered occupation. Many are overwhelmed by our love in Jesus. What a privilege to be a welcome part of a big team helping to make our city a safer place. The police we serve with are so patient and kind, the first aiders so willing, the taxi marshals so helpful, keeping order in the queues at the ranks and working with us to get folk home safely.

Prayer Pastors

Jesus wept over the city but became angry with established religion. He saw little mercy and little prayer (Luke 19:45-46). This blog/vlog is unashamedly a recruiting drive. Watch the link below as I attempt to mobilise more prayer through a movement that aims to love and serve in Jesus’ Name.

2 thoughts on “Your City Needs You!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s