Taking the Red Rope to the high street and asking those who pass by if there is someone they would like to pray for. I have thought for a long time that we should try this with a team of local Christians in the UK. Last Saturday, in Guildford, I had the opportunity.
Healing Guildford (a local expression of the national network of “Healing on the Streets” HOTS) invited me to spend the day with them sharing the love of God with those passing by. I took the red rope and a wonderful piece of kit for gathering a crowd in the open air – a sketchboard. This is a board with newsprint stretched over it and is painted on with normal powder paints. A quick flourish with a paint brush and people are intrigued and stop to find out what is going on. A few well crafted words and a speaker can draw those people into a relationship and they start sharing the message of Jesus or ask if they would like to join in by adding a prayer to a red rope.
The local team joined in enthusiastically and had some lovely chats with people who stopped, listened, took literature or decided to add their names to the rope. A number of people prayed with team members and quite a few discussed their opinions of faith, God, Jesus or the possibility or truth about miracles happening today. The atmosphere was relaxed, happy, warm and felt like a village fayre.
I was particularly thrilled by the way having the red rope on the ground meant that people walked up to it and looked for while. When we said hello they asked, “What’s this about?” and were happy to then have a lengthy conversation about faith and God. It was a gentle and easy way to get into conversation with those open to chat letting us know by simply stopping on our bit of the high street and waiting for us to walk up to them. Even though we don’t want to relay on methods, it was clear that this was an appropriate way to connect with people, even complete strangers, on a summer afternoon in a busy high street.