See a video about Mark's work
Thousands and thousands of people in our land never set foot in a church building, never attend a service of worship and never have an opportunity to hear the gospel. That’s one reason why we hold regular open air meetings in our city centre, as well as in other parts of South Wales. At present, we hold meetings in the following places:
Queen Street, Cardiff (Thursdays and Saturdays, 12:30pm)
Our main church open air is on the first Saturday of the month
Commercial Street, Newport (Every other Tuesday, 12:30pm)
We join with members of Emmanuel Church
Oxford Street, Swansea (The last Friday of the month, 1:00pm)
We join members of Ebenezer Baptist Church and Treboeth Gospel Hall
Wyndham Street, Bridgend (One Tuesday each month, 12:30pm)
We join members of Grace Church
Roath Park, Cardiff (Occasional Sunday afternoons, 3:00-3:30pm)
When permission can be obtained, we sing hymns in the park and explain the gospel from the hymns.
What happens in an open air meeting? In a typical meeting, a large portable board is set up in the middle of the pedestrianised shopping area. This contains a wealth of Christian literature (including Bibles and ‘Ultimate Questions’ in several languages), as well as a magnetic display area, on which verses of Scripture can be placarded. After a time of prayer, three or four men will preach the gospel publicly, while other team members stand around listening. We have found that members of the public are much more likely to stop and listen when there are a number of others already standing there. Sometimes, people will come up to the preacher and interrupt the message. Rather than discouraging this, we aim to enter into friendly dialogue and this often draws in a larger crowd to listen. When a message finishes, team members seek to engage listeners in conversation and gospel literature is offered.
What reaction do we see? Reaction to the preaching is very varied.There is obviously a large amount of apathy, and sometimes there is aggression, but there are frequent encouragements too.It would be a mistake to think that open air preaching doesn’t actually reach anybody.One-to-one conversations with unbelievers take place at virtually all our open airs – most commonly with young people and Muslims. Sometimes, there are even bigger encouragements too. Recently, we have known one or two people actually professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We praise God for all the help and encouragement He has given us in this challenging work.
How can you help? Prayer is absolutely indispensable for the work, so we would greatly value your prayers for this means of outreach – particularly, that we’d be given much power and liberty in our preaching, and that people would be brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, we are always very glad to have more people coming along to the meetings and forming part of the crowd. You wouldn’t necessarily have to talk to anyone or hand out literature – just being there would be extremely valuable.
For more information, visit The Open-Air Mission’s website.