I have just the attended another Street Pastor training day today. In the morning we met with a group of new trainees who hope to launch Street Pastors in Tain shortly, and who had come to Inverness for training.
It may be of interest to note some questions that Street Pastors encounter in their first few sessions on the streets.
1. “Are you a Street Patrol?” is asked because people mis-read the label on the uniform. This leads naturally into a discussion about a Pastor and what it means.
2. “Are you paid?” “No; we are all volunteers”. This usually surprises them, and it usually leads to a neutralising of suspicion and an opening to genuine conversation, especially when they realise we are not the police. I remember one millionnaire saying on television: “I would do nothing without being paid for it.”
3. “Why do you do it?” “For the love of God” is my current response, although there are many responses to this one – “to help others”, “to help you”, etc. Many Christians will go for years without being asked for “a reason of the hope” that is in them 1Pe 3:15, but a Street Pastor, showing a little Christian kindness on the streets, will not go far without being asked why he or she is doing what they do. It is time for every Christian to be taught and to learn this lesson.
4. “What is a Street Pastor?” “We are like good Samaritans taking care of people on the streets.”
5. “Which church are you from?” “We are from various churches in town.” It is amazing to see how pleased people are to discover that churches are acting together. At least, that is how they perceive it; it is really Christians acting together, rather than churches acting together.
6. “Which church do you attend?” This is an attempt to talk about ‘church’. It is better to deflect this with: “We don’t talk about church. We introduce people to Jesus.”
7. “Where is Jesus?” “Jesus is in heaven. We are His body, His arms and legs, doing what He wants us to do. We show you His heart, His concern for you.”
8. “Are you trying to make people religious?” “No, we don’t talk about religion. We come from various churches to show people God’s love.”
The afternoon session and the latest Street Pastor initiative.