Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel
Graeme Paterson, Plains, Scotland
The so called ‘great commission’ from the Lord in Mark’s Gospel is straightforward:
‘Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature . . . And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following’, Mark 16. 14-20.
Although assembly testimony in some areas of the globe is diminishing, all around us there are more and more opportunities to go and take the gospel to the lost. There are many ‘special events’ organized in our localities, from sporting, cultural or traditional events, to summer fairs and gala days. These places have a ready-made audience to take the gospel to! We don’t need to bring them into our halls, or host meetings or events to reach them, we simply need to go to them!
As a result, www.gospelforscotland.com was established. We wanted to be able to go into different areas and visit various events throughout Scotland with the gospel. Considering the lack of assembly testimony in some of these places, we felt before the Lord that directing individuals to this website was a good first point of contact; thereafter the contact can be passed to their local assembly.
For a few years now I have been looking for opportunities to have some form of gospel outreach in our capital city of Edinburgh. Many know how busy the city is over the summer months, especially during the International Festival every August. Edinburgh is generally a very busy tourist city; however, in August it is bustling with visitors from all over the world.
Another great Edinburgh institution is the Royal Military Tattoo. Since the 1970s, on average, just over 217,000 people see the Tattoo live on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle each year, and it has sold out in advance for the last decade. Thirty percent of the audience is from Scotland and thirty-five percent from the rest of the United Kingdom. The remaining thirty-five percent of the audience consists of 70,000 visitors from overseas. Each evening approximately 8,800 people watch the performance – what potential for the gospel!
With prayer and consideration, we are planning a week of gospel outreach during the festival this year.
From Monday 14th to Friday 18th August we will be focusing our effort around the main tourist sites in Edinburgh.
Our exercise is to distribute postcards with an image of Edinburgh, and a gospel text, around the Royal Mile, Princess Street, Holyrood Palace, Princess Gardens, and other sites.
There will then be some down-time until the crowds head up the Royal Mile for the Tattoo, commencing at 9pm. Obviously we would like to reach as many people as we can with the postcards.
The focus, however, will be when the Tattoo ends. We have ordered 30,000 specially designed canvas shopping bags which are blue and white with a map of Scotland and John chapter 3 verse 16 on both sides along with the website details. They will also contain a postcard.
We cannot distribute these before the show as all bags are searched for security purposes. However, as people leave, they need to all exit by the same route and we will be able to reach many people with the bags. As you can imagine, we will need a large number of teams of two to three people scattered all around the castle area in order to distribute as many as we can. It will be after 11pm before we finish each evening, so please bear that in mind if you plan to get involved.
Everything distributed will be pointing to www.gospelforscotland.com. This will be specifically designed for the work and will feature images of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. We have also had a professionally produced video of the city and sites with a gospel message voiceover. This has been done in a variety of European and other languages to bring the gospel to as many as possible.
As described, these will be long days, and we are hoping to have enough volunteers to enable two shifts, an afternoon team and then an evening team.
Prior to each day’s activity we are planning to meet at Gorgie Gospel Hall, 4 Smithfield St., Edinburgh, EH11 2PJ, to have a time of prayer and briefing for the afternoon and evening ahead.
We are looking to run the days to the following programme:
- 2.30pm – Meet at Gorgie Gospel Hall for briefing and prayer.
- 3.00pm – Team 1 into Edinburgh for postcard distribution.
- 5.30pm – Dinner. Can bring food back to hall or can make own arrangement.
- 7.00pm – Prayer and briefing of Team 2.
- 7.30pm – Postcard and bag distribution.
- 11.00pm – End.
The aim of our exercise is to distribute as many bags and postcards as we can over the week, and to mobilize and exercise believers young and old in the gospel.
If you are interested in being involved in any of this work please feel free to contact us. If you can’t be with us, then please pray for this effort.
Graeme Paterson – 07721 052007
Stephen Grant - 07528 540477