Diary of a Street Worshipper

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Every week we run worship outreaches in and around Newcastle, North Shields and Whitley Bay. Below is just a glimpse of some of what happens when we go…

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1st October 2019:

It was wet today so we went for a coffee early and waited for the rain to stop. Despite rain forecast for all morning, within an hour it has stopped. We went out and worshipped. From the beginning Jesus’ presence was tangible – we sang quietly and the atmosphere was full of God’s peace. There seemed to be a healing feel to the atmosphere but I don’t know if anyone experienced anything. An old Soul Survivor song came to mind – “I Will Offer Up My Life” – it must have been God leading me to it as I haven’t played it for years but the words and chords came to mind quickly. I don’t know why we sang it – maybe it was simply because God wanted to hear it rather for someone walking by. We sang a lot about the power of Jesus’ Name and felt His authority in the air. When we lift up His Name above every other principality in the local area and above every area of concern over our lives, we begin to step into the reality of who He is and experience that Heavenly perspective,  and it can’t help but change us and the atmosphere around us.

17th September 2019:

Today was a roller coaster in North Shields – there were moments of pure worship, joy and stillness. It felt like the worship was flowing easily and we entered into the sweet spot of worship quite soon after starting. For a while it was God’s peace that was being released on the streets – almost like a soaking session – but it seemed to prepare the way for moments of invitation – inviting people to know Jesus through the prophetic songs that we sung and also through one of our team members sharing the gospel on the mic. Jesus says that He came to bind up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61/Luke 4) and today it seemed that those with broken hearts and lost hope were being ministered to, both through listening to us worship and through the conversations that we had with people.

10th September 2019:

We couldn’t find a space to worship in North Shields today as there was a busker who had got there before us – instead of going somewhere else like we normally do in this situation we decided to go to a nearby park to worship – it was a beautiful spot and felt like the right place to be. I don’t know if it was God’s plan for us to be there but we had a really lush time worshiping – God’s presence and peace was evident and within a few minutes Nigel was chatting to a couple about faith stuff. We had a few other encouraging conversations with passers by, a lot of people seemed to like us singing in the park. I was reminded of the promise in Joshua where God told him, “I will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Sometimes it’s not about the places we go, but more importantly the One who goes with us.

Summer 2019: Worship On The Streets Northumberland Tour

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

There are several times in Jesus’ ministry where He commissions His disciples to go and share His Kingdom with others. Here in the book of Acts, we see Him commission the disciples one last time before He ascends to Heaven. What I’ve always found interesting about this particular record of the disciples being commissioned is that here Jesus names and specifies the increasingly widening areas of focus of where He wanted His disciples to go. He states there was a starting point – right where they were in Jerusalem – but from there they were to move outwards to cover a wider territory into Judea and Samaria, and then progressively further outwards until they had been His witnesses throughout the ends of the earth.

Whilst the Worship On The Streets team have yet to travel the ends of the earth (one day maybe!) we have over the last year sensed that God might be leading us to widen our focus outside of Newcastle. In response to this we spent some time this term praying about what that would look like. It was during this process that it became clear that God was leading us to go to Northumberland and so we set aside two weeks over this last month for a Worship On The Streets tour to some of the towns and villages there.

As we prepared for the tour we felt it was really important to connect with local churches in the area so that we could partner with them in the work they were already doing in Northumberland and so that anyone we met on the streets had a local Christian community they could connect with as well.  In the end we had people from 11 different churches join us and together we saw the Holy Spirit do some beautiful things as we shared God’s love with those we met on the streets.

We met a lady who on making a first time commitment to get to know Jesus was so visibly overcome with happiness that she danced in the streets saying how different she felt on the inside. We met people with injuries that got better after they were prayed for (on one occasion we saw a man’s bent back straighten up whilst he received prayer and on two separate occasions we had people who received prayer and were so amazed by what God did through the prayer that they then went home and came back with a friend or family member who wanted to be prayed for as well).  And we saw God’s presence fill the the streets as we worshipped bringing the Holy Spirit’s love, peace and hope to those who stopped to listen.

Singing “Reckless Love” in Rothbury

Whilst we had an amazing time throughout the tour, there were also moments of struggle along the way. This was especially true during the second week of the tour where we battled rain on most of the days, two of us on the team got the flu and on one day I ended up losing my voice! Despite these challenges we saw God use them in ways only God can do. For example there was one day where the rain was so bad that we had to quickly pack up our gear and find shelter in the doorway of a disused shop front. It was whilst worshipping here in our new spot that we met a man who we ended up chatting to and praying with for about half an hour. It really felt like we had come to this town just to meet with this one guy. On this occasion and on others throughout the week, we were quickly seeing how all things really do work together for our good and God’s glory!

30th April 2019:

Today was the first day back into North Shields after a couple of weeks off – and what a beautiful day it was (sometimes having a break from ministry can fuel the fire in our ministry even more!). It was a sunny day, and the songs were flowing. But most importantly, a passerby stopped to chat to one of our team members and after sometime chatting and hearing the gospel. She invited Jesus into her heart and life. This is the second person we’ve seen respond to the gospel in this way recently in North Shields (one person invited Jesus into their hearts just before our Easter break). We are so grateful that God is helping people see who He is and bringing new life to North Shields. This is the town where before we went there a few years ago, someone told us doing ministry there is impossible! Thank You Jesus for your grace and favour!

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12th April 2019:

We went into Newcastle today to worship but the sun was shining and that usually means there will be loads of buskers out. They were and it meant we couldn’t find a spot to worship which is the first time it’s happened in at least a couple of years. And so we changed plans and went instead to North Shields. We quickly set up and began worshipping. After a little while I began singing “Stand In Your Love” by Josh Baldwin when a lady came by smiling and saying, “That songs for me that is! That ‘for me!” She was a Christian and began explaining to one of our team members about how the song was just what she needed to hear. It reminded me of Jesus saying He’s the Good Shepherd who goes after the one lost sheep. If all we did was encourage and allow God to speak to one of His children today through that song, then that’s awesome to me!

9th April 2019:

Today we were in North Shields – a guy who we’d previously met before came by and stopped to chat to one of our team members and listen to us worship. Whilst I was worshipping I was reminded of the time when God spoke to Ezekiel and told him to speak to the dry bones and prophesy life into them. And so I started singing, “let there be life, let there be life.” It was a beautiful moment to watch as I sang and watched our team member chat to this guy and then see them begin to hold hands, bow their heads and pray together. We often talk about our worship changing the atmospheres, but this simple act of two guys bowing their heads before God shifted something and God’s love began to radiate from them. I didn’t hear what they were praying about but afterwards, our team member shared how the man had decided he wanted to invite Jesus into his heart. Thank You Jesus for the new life you give!

19th March 2019:

We were worshipping in North Shields today and about half way through our worship time, a guy stopped to listen to us for a while. One of our team went over to speak to him and it turned out he had just booked off a few months off of work as he wanted sometime out to think about the deeper things in life! He chatted to our team member for about half an hour about life and faith and before he left they got to pray together. We don’t know who we’ll meet when we go out onto the streets, but it’s so encouraging to see God bring people to us who are asking the right questions and hungry to know more.

1st March 2019:

The skies were grey but we went out to worship with expectancy this morning. We prayed for freedom before we worshipped, both for ourselves and for those passing by. Today was a day of meeting Christians – one from Canada even who was visiting the UK as his wife was at a conference here. He was so encouraged to see us worshipping outside and said he’d never seen anyone do that before. Another day heard us from the other side of the square where we were worshipping and came over to say how encouraging it was to hear worship music being sung. And another Christian sat nearby listening, enjoying the moment to just chill and listen. One of our team members chatted to him for about half an hour and had the privilege of praying with him. Despite the clouds Jesus was there with us and together with all those we met, we enjoyed His presence and the freedom we have to worship Him.

26th February 2019:

North Shields has such an amazing community feel to it – it seems like everyone knows everyone here. And when the sun comes out, it’s even more telling! People were sat on the benches all around us as we worshipped and it made it quite easy for our team to chat to those who were listening. There were loads of conversations with passers by and our team members had the opportunity to pray for those were had stopped to listen. It feels like we’re becoming a part of the North Shields community and we’re grateful for the chance to meet new people as well as the same people we meet week in and week out as we worship there.

9th November 2018:

I’ve been trying to use older hymns a bit more as they’re obviously more familiar to people and so passers by really connect with them. At one point on Tuesday, I felt the Lord say to sing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” which we’ve done a few times before and as soon as I started, loads of people stopped and started singing along with us, with some doing some amazing harmonies for us! People from all over the High Street stopped to watch and one lady near me who was passing by had tears in her eyes as she watched people singing along. We’ve had moments like this before but that time felt really special, Gods presence seemed to fill the High Street, was beautiful to see 🙂 Thank You Jesus!

26th October 2018:

Today we set off in the windy weather to go and worship along the coast – the sun was out but boy was it cold. We set up and worshipped – the faster songs serving us well today by helping keeping us warm. We declared Jesus’ Lordship over Whitley Bay and prayed that every eye would see Him and every tongue would confess Him. We sang “Blessed Be Your Name” remembering our brothers and sisters around the world who choose to worship Jesus in situations far worse than ours – not in fear of catching a cold, but in fear of their very lives. And we sang our songs of surrender knowing that no matter what we see around us, all we can truly do is give ourselves to Him as a living offering. It was cold, but Jesus was there with us. After 30 minutes of worship, we prayed and had to set down because the winds were getting too strong (and I could no longer feel my fingers!). It was a short time of worship, but we felt God’s presence with us every step of the way.

19th October 2018:

We were worshipping in Whitley Bay this morning when two separate families came to where we were – one a lady who was pushing her dad in a wheelchair, the other a grandmother walking with her grandson.  It turned out the elderly man in the wheelchair was a Catholic and on hearing we were singing worship songs, wanted to stop to listen to us. Similarly the young grandson from the other family who was about two years old wanted to listen as well, but not just listen – dance as well. So for about 15 minutes as we worshipped in the outdoors we were joined by an elderly guy who was tapping his fingers to the music as we sang and a young kid dancing away in front of us – it was a beautiful moment as we saw the different generations coming together to worship. Simply put, it was a glimpse of the Kingdom to come.

16th October 2018:

I wasn’t ready to worship this morning – it’d had been a rough couple of days (including having two bikes stolen over the weekend and finding out our insurers weren’t going to pay for them!) and I had woken up not feeling great at all. I was getting ready to go out onto the streets to worship when I became more aware that my heart was completely in the wrong place. I mustered up enough self-control to stop what I was doing, pause and pray “I need some help God!”. Almost immediately I felt God’s peace come over me and my spirit shifted gears and suddenly I was calm again. I sensed God’s anticipation for the morning ahead. I enjoyed this moment of quiet for a few more minutes and then headed into North Shields.

12th October 2018:

For the second Friday in a row we haven’t been able to do any street worship because Autumn has arrived and we are once again welcoming the rain and the wind into our days. It can be pretty disheartening to go out and find we can’t actually worship, but we always enjoy time together as a team – sharing stories of what the Lord is teaching us and what is going on in our personal lives. It’s a good reminder that street worship is more than just about street worship, it’s also about being family together.

9th October 2018:

Today we were only able to worship for about an hour as there was a quiet hour in the High Street for Autism week, but it ‘s always worth it no matter how short we go out for. We’ve been enjoying watching this new evangelist in town as we worship. He’s a local guy who came to know Jesus and now spends time in his hometown telling people about Him. More often than not I shut my eyes when I worship as it helps me focus on Jesus more than the people around me, but when I do open my eyes it’s always a gift to see this guy and our own team members talking to people. Some laugh or get a bit riled, but most listen and enjoy having a chat about life and God.

2nd October 2018:

So today was a funny day – it started off so slow – we worshipped and although there was a few people around, there wasn’t much engagement. If I’m honest it was a bit discouraging and so I just shut my eyes and carried on worshipping. It went on this way for about 45 minutes, until I saw a lady sitting next to one of our team members on a nearby bench start chatting to our team member. They chatted for ages and afterwards I found out that she stopped to listen to the music but then got into a conversation with our team member who soon was praying for her arthritis in her hand to go! The pain subsided quite a lot during the prayer time, and soon her sister was joining them in conversation. I was then about to sing “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury when Colin asked if he could share something on the mic – I stepped aside and he began sharing the simple gospel – “Jesus loves you and the Father wants to know you!” he smiled and shared. The anointing came as he shared, and then he stepped aside and I began singing “Reckless Love” – God’s Spirit began to move on the streets and the atmosphere changed. After the song finished, Colin smiled and said “God’s love is jealous!” Oh I know a song about that I thought – “He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane I am a tree…” (“He Loves Us” by John Mark McMillan) and again the sense of God’s Spirit flowed through the surrounding streets. Soon after that, another team member got into a conversation with another lady – a Christian who was encouraged to hear us worshipping. And then a friend walked by with her baby – we stopped to chat for a while and then realising we had a spare mic set up (Gerry who usually sings with us couldn’t make it today) – I invited her to join me singing which she did. And together we sang “No Longer Slaves” and “Bless the Lord” whilst the conversations in front of us continued. It was during these two songs that Colin picked up a conversation with a young carer who was passing by and at one point all of our team members were engaged in some form of chatting or praying for passers by and even further up the street, a local evangelist we’ve met a few times was also sharing the gospel with passers by.

Today was a game of two-halves – it went from not a lot happening to a beautiful time of worship and ministry with passers by. God’s Word says that if we are faithless, He remains faithful.” (2 Timothy 2:13) and that’s what we saw today – I had very little faith that anything was going to happen as we worshipped today – the streets were emptying and no one was engaging. But God was faithful and He brought those with open hearts to us and let us be a part of their story.

28th September 2018:

What a beautiful day to do some street worship on the coast of Whitley Bay! The sun was shining and people were out in numbers passing by our usual spot.

It was only two of us today but we started our time remembering Jesus’ promise that when 2or 3 are gathered He is there with us. At one point we stopped singing to ask Jesus to send people to come and speak to us. I then turned on the mic and started singing the old classic, “Come now is the time to worship…” extending it as an invitation for people to come to worship with us. Just as I started singing two separate families were walking by and both came over to speak to us. One said, “that’s put a smile on my face hearing that!” and the other engaged in a long conversations it’s Nigel. God was answering our prayer. A few songs later and I was singing “Bless the Lord” by Matt Redman, when a really lovely couple came over to us as I drew the sing to a close. “That was beautiful – there’s not a ,lot that stops me in my tracks but that did.” I smiled knowing that Jesus again had answered our prayer. The guy went on to say how much he enjoyed the sing and how he’d go home to look it up having not heard it before. He wasn’t a Christian, but something in what we were doing was drawing him. We explained what we were doing and he simply stated, “Music’s the way to reach people.” Yes it is, I thought and smiled. Yes it is.

We may have been low on numbers but Jesus was with us and she was drawing people to Himself as we worshipped. We bless everyone we spoke to in His Name, and pray they come to know Him in a deeper way.

25th September 2018:

Something’s brewing in North Shields at the moment. This last year we have seen different evangelist and churches coming into the area to do outreach and start the process of planting a church. There is a momentum of “harvesters” coming  share Gods love with people. Today we met for the second time a guy who’s life Jesus had transformed. He was out sharing with people what Jesus had done for him and helping them experiencing someone if the same love and power. As we set up to start worshipping, we invited him to pray with us which he did. Three of us all standing together – different background and experiences, but the same Saviour and Father and the same Spirit living in each of us. We hope that the unity we shared that morning – unity of being the same family with the same purpose, continues to be shared by everyone who comes to share Gods love in North Shields.

29th August 2018:

We were coming to the end of our worship time when I felt the Lord prompt me to sing “How Great Thou Art” (we regularly sing this classic – mixing it in with Tim Hughes’ “Counting On Your Name works a treat!). As we did an elderly lady began approaching us. She started to talking to a team member but also listened as we sang, she was visibly moved by something. At the end of the song, we stopped singing and I joined the conversation she was having. She held back the tears as she began sharing about how “How Great Thou Art” was sang at her mum’s funeral and hearing it again was bringing back the memories. She seemed so grateful to hear the song being played and left moved by her time with us. The Lord really does know everyone who’s passing by and what songs will reach them where He wants to meet with them.

As we finished our time, team members Pat & Colin, who had been walking around the high street praying came up to the rest of us to share what had just happened. They had been prayer walking but in that time got into a conversation with a 93 year old man as well. As they explained what they were doing and what we were doing on the streets, at first he seemed a little resistant but the more they shared the more his heart softened. Before leaving Pat & Colin invited him to know Jesus for himself which he gladly did and then received prayer from them. The angels in Heaven rejoiced, as did we. And Heaven has a new son.

July 2018:

It was a busy morning today – loads of people were out and about in North Shields, the place already felt alive as we started setting up. As we prayed there was an obvious call to release joy today. So putting aside my planned songs, we started singing “Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture…

“…there may be pain in the night 

but joy comes in the morning.

And when the oceans rage

We don’t have to be afraid

Because we know that you love us

And Your love never fails.”

God’s presence was tangible as we worshipped and released the joyful noise!  A highlight of the morning came right at the end. There were lots of people around us who had been sitting on the nearby benches. One of our team members was also sitting on a bench chatting to someone. Another team member went to sit down and started chatting to another guy sitting at the other end of the bench. And then another guy came up to the last of our street team members and asked if he could chat to him. And there it was: as me and Gerry worshipped we looked on as each of our team members ministered and shared about God’s love to those who were watching. This was church. This was family. This was God’s love being shared on the streets and His Kingdom coming in through the words and love of our team members and the songs we were singing over the High Street. 

His Kingdom come, His will be done, in North Shields as it is in Heaven

10th July 2018:

Today was a fun day – I’m always so grateful for the team that God has brought into this and today the team were on full flow.

My highlight of today’s street worship was seeing Colin, one of the team member approaching an elderly guy sitting down near us who was listening to the music. They chatted for a while and from the body language seemed to be having a good chat. Then suddenly I saw Colin lean over and give the guy a full on hug. This was no ordinary man-hug. This was a full on bear hug. He hugged him, and hugged him and hugged him some more. Every second he hugged him I could feel God’s love being poured out over this man. It was tangible. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen just a big hug release God’s presence and love before. I couldn’t help but watch and smile. It reminded me of the Father in the prodigal son story and how I think he would have hugged his son on his return. It was that kind of hug. And that kind of hug releases love and changes lives.

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3rd July, 2018:

This morning we were in North Shields again. It’s so interesting how different things are every time we go out. Today was a slow start – there was resistance in the air. Although we were free to worship and sing our hearts out, things felt slow to warm up and then for the first time in North Shields, a lady came over to one of our team members with anger written all over her face and demanded we turn the music down. At first I thought she was someone who worked in a nearby shop – we are always mindful of the businesses and shops around us so that we don’t disturb them, but she wasn’t. Gerry and I sensed her anger though we weren’t the ones speaking to her, and Gerry turned to me and said, “This morning I was praying against opposition!”  I’m glad she was as who knows how things could have turned out had she not have been praying that morning. Nigel politely spoke to her and she eventually walked away. I carried on singing although this time a bit quieter, but Gerry turned to me again and encouraged me – “Don’t give in to intimidation Aaron!” And with that encouragement, I shut my eyes and was free again to worship with abandonment.

Although it was a slow morning – things eventually shifted and for the last half an hour, we enjoyed the freedom we usually do.

29th June 2018:

After a break of a few months, it’s been good to get back onto the streets again – we’ve been out now for the last few weeks fully rested and expectant and having learned a lot more new songs. We are trusting God to lead us into the new things He has for us this season.

This term started with a sense that Holy Spirit was leading us into doing street worship in Whitley Bay. We’ve done it in our home town here before a couple of times when some of the youth from our church wanted to join us on the streets, and as good as it was seeing the youth worshipping in public, there was a feeling that Whitley Bay wasn’t the right place for us. However, there are some new developments happening on the seafront and people are beginning to come from far and wide to take in the surrounding beauty and enjoy the coastal life for a holiday. Today we were worshipping on the sea front and we met a lady who had travelled down from Glasgow and a lady who had come from London for a weekend break. This was the third time we’ve worshipped in Whitley Bay and there is a definite peace about being here.

One of the things that has changed since we began leading street worship again this term was there is how the team is now worshipping as well. It happened on the second time we went out when we were in North Shields. We usually all stand in a line and worship, and the team are there to chat to passers by as well. We stand in a line so that we can see if anyone wants to stop and talk to the team. It makes sense logically but then again the Kingdom isn’t always logical. On this occasion a couple of weeks ago, Nigel, one of our team members felt God tell him to stand in front of me – he did and asked the other team members to join him so that we as a team made a circle. Now my first reaction was – Aghhh! What about the people around us – now they won’t stop and chat to the team, and it looks SO private/clique. But this little panic was soon put to rest with a sudden flow of God’s presence filling the atmosphere around us. North Shields had become a “thin place” and God’s presence was tangible. It was clear God was doing something so I shut my eyes and just worshipped. The change in the way we worshipped was noticeable and we all joined in with the chorus of “I will give You all my worship.” Just as we did, suddenly a lady approached us and asked what we were doing. She was a Christian (we think!) and quickly joined in. Another guy stopped as he walked by and started speaking to one of the team members. It was as though God’s presence was a magnet and people couldn’t help but be drawn in.

God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55) – and where I thought we looked closed off to people, God knew we would attract people. Why? Because ultimately it’s His presence that attracts people, and when we have that – nothing else matters. People can’t help but be drawn in. As Jesus Himself said, “When the Son of Man is lifted up – He will draw all people to Himself.” (John 12:32). And that’s what we were doing – lifting Jesus up in our praises, and as we did that, He drew people to Himself. Thank You Jesus, thank You.

10th October 2017:

Today as we arrived in North Shields we sensed God already waiting for us on the High Street – we could feel His presence already there. As we began to worship I remembered an old song I’d written about 3 years ago…

“Heaven’s open, God has spoken – ‘This is a brand new day.’

He pours out mercy for the thirsty, love has made a way.”

We started singing it and enjoyed even more the truth that Heaven’s door is open – right there and then in the middle of a town, Heaven’s door was open and waiting for people to enter.

North Shields is a small town that wears it’s heart on its sleeve. It seems like a community that has weathered many storms and yet still lives to tell another tale. And it is good soil.

We don’t often like the mess of life and if we’re honest, we often try to avoid it. But soil is messy and it’s in the messy soil that God plants His seeds and grows His garden. In the mess of our hearts and in the mess of our lives.

In North Shields, there is an air of disappointment and a lack of hope that hovers in the air at times, yet it is good soil and God is working there. He’s been watering the ground for a few years and now he sending in the labourers. We have heard of three different groups of people who are doing a new thing in North Shields, all with a heart to see God’s Kingdom come here.

Thank You Lord for what you are doing here. It’s a beautiful garden you have, and what a beautiful garden it will be.

3rd October 2017:

Today we started street worship with an unusually high level of anticipation – we prayed for God to work in power and hoped to see healings and breakthrough in people’s lives. As we worshipped, we immediately felt God’s presence rest over us and the street, and several people throughout the first half hour or so stopped on a nearby bench to listen.

One man who Nigel spoke to said he’d been feeling depressed but felt a lot more peaceful a he listened to us worship. Another lady sat with tears in her eyes listening. Colin and Pat went over to speak to her and it soon became obvious that a God-moment was unfolding. She shared how she was ill, and was seeing a doctor later that day – Colin and Pat shared with her about God’s love and desire to heal her. She had a faith and was open to being prayed for. Again, she began crying as God ministered to her, and afterwards she said she was feeling a lot better. At another point Gerry heard God give her a line to sing about not being afraid because God was with us. I didn’t know it at the time but began singing a song God had given me years ago, all about not being afraid and how God fights for us in the battles. It ended with Gerry singing her prophetic song. We later found out that two different people who our team chatted to were struggling with fear.

I’ve often wondered what revival would look and feel like, and occasionally I see glimpses into what it could be like. This was one of those moments when I saw a window of the things to come. When God’s presence is tangible and is met with an openness from people to receiving whatever it is they need from him – whether that’s healing, provision or simply a reminder that He’s there with them and loves them outrageously.

30th September 2017:

Today was the first day in three years where we mostly worshipped in pouring rain. Luckily we had some big umbrellas to cover us whilst we worshipped! There weren’t that many people about as we worshipped because of the rain, and even those that did come past were quickly running through the area where we were. But still we worshipped, remembering that firstly we have brothers and sisters around the world who choose to worship in the face of persecution, imprisonment and suffering. With that in mind, how could we allow some rain to stop us from worshipping!? And secondly because we felt like not just our songs, but our lives too could become the message that day – that the One who died in our place, was worthy of worship no matter the cost. And thirdly, because we’re confident that our worship is not only for Jesus, or those passing by, but also for helping change the atmosphere over our city. We have no idea what was going on in the unseen realm today in Newcastle, but we know that as we worship, we are releasing an atmosphere of hope, peace and love over our city and preparing a place for Jesus to come.

26th September 2017:

One of the best things I love about worshipping on the streets is finding it has become a place where other people’s gifts and passions can flourish and be expressed. It made me so happy today to watch Colin, who has such a big love for Jesus and trust in His healing power, simply sit on a bench and pray for whoever sat by him. It turned out that during the course of the day, a lot of people sat by him who needed healing! So simply and joyfully he engaged them in conversation and then offered to pray for them. One lady who he prayed for walked over to the bench with a walking stick. He prayed for her and after chatting briefly, she walked off without using her walking stick! As she walked past where we were worshipping, she lifted up her stick that she was now carrying and shouted out, “Look, no walking stick!” It was so encouraging to see – not only because of what Jesus had done, but because she had now caught the attention of everyone else who had been sitting nearby and watching! Thank you Jesus for what you’re doing on the streets of North Shields and for the way You use Your children to love those that are hurting and need healing.

started street worship with an unusually high level of anticipation – we prayed for God to work in power and hoped to see healings and breakthrough in people’s lives. As we worshipped, we immediately felt God’s presence rest over us and the street, and several people throughout the first half hour or so stopped on a nearby bench to listen.

One man who Nigel spoke to said he’d been feeling depressed but felt a lot more peaceful a he listened to us worship. Another lady sat with tears in her eyes listening. Colin and Pat went over to speak to her and it soon became obvious that a God-moment was unfolding. She shared how she was ill, and was seeing a doctor later that day – Colin and Pat shared with her about God’s love and desire to heal her. She had a faith and was open to being prayed for. Again, she began crying as God ministered to her, and afterwards she said she was feeling a lot better. At another point Gerry heard God give her a line to sing about not being afraid because God was with us. I didn’t know it at the time but began singing a song God had given me years ago, all about not being afraid and how God fights for us in the battles. It ended with Gerry singing her prophetic song. We later found out that two different people who our team chatted to were struggling with fear.

I’ve often wondered what revival would look and feel like, and occasionally I see glimpses into what it could be like. This was one of those moments when I saw a window of the things to come. When God’s presence is tangible and is met with an openness from people to receiving whatever it is they need from him – whether that’s healing, provision or simply a reminder that He’s there with them and loves them outrageously.

15th September 2017:

When you go on to the streets, you never know you are going to meet.

As we worshipped in the city green, one man walked by and a team member simply smiled and said to one passer-by, “Jesus loves you!” to which the man replied, “I’m an atheist.” That could have been the end of it, but fast forward 20 minutes and the same man was walking by again and stopped to chat to Colin. It turned out he wasn’t a full-fledged atheist and as Colin shared the gospel with him, he opened up and listened to what Colin was sharing.

Another man passed us and stopped who’s first words to us were, “Are you Christians? I’m a walking miracle!” He then stayed with a couple of team members to share about how God had been at work in his life.

Towards the end of our time, a member spoke to another man who had been sitting nearby. It turned out he had come over from Holland to help with a Morris-dancing class. He and his wife had also started a farm in Holland with the aim of providing working opportunities for those with mental health issues.

When we go to the streets, we often meet Spirit-filled passionate Jesus-followers and we also meet those who are angry and offended by at what we are doing. But we continue to go out and worship because during our times we know we are sowing seeds. Jesus Himself said that only some of the seed would fall on good soil.  The rest would simply go to waste or produce fruit that only last a season.

So we go out expectant and completely unaware what the day will hold. We may never know who w will meet but we’re confident no matter how people initially respond, we never truly know the impact of the seed sowed in that moment. Only God knows what’s going on in people’s hearts. Some sow, some water, but it’s God who makes it all grow.

12th September 2017:

We started our regular times of street worship again this week and have had an amazing time so far enjoying God’s presence on the streets and watching Him at work. Both on Tuesday and today, we all felt God was revealing His presence in a really tangible way. As one team member put it, “It seems God’s taken us to a higher level!”

Today, there was an obvious theme emerging from the prophetic songs that we sung that God wanted to reveal himself as Father to those passing by, and His presence was obviously drawing lots of people to stop and watch. One lady in particular stopped and watched for about 10 minutes. A couple of team members went over to chat to her and she began sharing about how she had begun crying when she had listened to us worshipping. It was obvious God was at work in her life and the team members were able to share with her about God’s love and also pray with her.

We are really grateful for such an exciting start to the term and for what God has in store for us and those we will meet on the streets. We continue to pray for God to reveal Himself during our worship times and stand on His promise that “many will see and put their trust in Him” through the songs (Psalm 40:3)

23rd August 2017:

Today we worshipped in North Shields high street – not too long after starting we were joined by two young girls, maybe 6-8 years old. As we sang Matt Redman’s “Bless the Lord” they started dancing in front of us. They laughed and danced freely, and reminded me of Jesus saying to His disciples that whoever wants to enter into His Kingdom, must become like a child. They danced like David would have danced – so freely and creatively, totally unaware of what others were doing or thinking.

A little while later, a lady came up to where we were and started singing along with us. Within a few minutes and with some tears in her eyes she was sharing with Colin that she had cancer. With the love of God and the hope of her healing pouring out of him, Colin asked if she’s like to be prayed for which she said yes to.

We finished with Jesus Culture’s “Your Love Never Fails” – a fun upbeat one I thought. But towards the end, God’s presence came to the streets and He seemed to be releasing a peace over where we were. Suddenly the words came to me, “Even in the storm, you’re right there with me.” and I sang it over and over again. I knew they must be for one of the people who had sat down to listen to us, a reminder for them that God knew their circumstances and was there with them in the middle of it all.

It’s hard to describe the moment when God turns up both in the change of atmosphere and in the songs we sing. But He does, and we continue to enjoy and seek more of them. I know of nothing else that has the power to bring such peace and hope and healing then when He comes in that way. A way that feels like the veil between Heaven & Earth is gently lifted, and for a few moments, we get a small glimpse into eternity will feel like and a reminder of His promise that He’s always with us..

14th July 2017:

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Today as we set out for street worship we had no idea what to expect. We set up and started worshipping when a crowd started to gather near where were worshipping. We didn’t know it but an informal gathering had been organised to remember and celebrate Bradley Lowery on the day of his funeral. We offered our mic and amp to them so they could use it to say a few words as they gathered. They in return and totally unexpectedly asked us to sing and be a part of it. The Newcastle United chaplain began by saying a few words, reading out Psalm 23 and then prayed. He then asked us to sing Amazing Grace. It was so humbling to be a part of the celebration and bring God’s timeless truth and presence in the middle of such a beautiful moment. “When we’ve been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise then when we first begun.”

The gathering made the local papers within a couple of hours, and they even covered our slot…

“Watch Buskers Spontaneously Perform Moving Rendition of Amazing Grace at Bradley Lowery Celebration.”

11th July 2017:

Today during our time on the streets, we were joined by a man who was passing by. He came with a pint of Guinness in one hand, backpack and sleeping mats on his back and a heart that was full of worship. As we sang he danced, nearly non-stop for 2 hours. As we sang and worshipped he lifted his hands, sang along when he knew the words and bowed down low during moments when God’s presence came. We watched as he modelled what a heart in love with God looked like. Some people loved, one lady joined in but many watched. As we all looked on, I couldn’t help but think of King David dancing before the Lord as they carried the Ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14). This is what it would have looked like.

At one point he stopped and asked if we minded – we smiled and encouraged him to carry on. At another point a man walked by, and our new friend simply said to him “God loves you.” He worshipped and in the overflow, he shared his love with others.

We didn’t know he’d be there today, but it felt like God brought him along to be a part of what He was doing in North Shields. It was a busy day with more people than usual out shopping, and in the middle of it God seemed to be bringing a joy into the atmosphere as our friend danced and we worshipped. We tried to do a couple of quieter worship songs but they didn’t seem to flow. Today was a day for joy. Upbeat songs and hymns would be on the menu today. And so we did – we sang loud and he danced loud and many watched on.

I love how God continues to do the unexpected things on the streets and am grateful for whoever God chooses to use when we go.

28th April 2017:

A couple of weeks ago, Colin, one of our team was praying and and felt God give him the word “Herald” he then saw the are around a particular part in Newcastle city centre where we used to worship and felt like we needed to go back there for a season and that perhaps something was about to shift. In response to that word, we made our way there this morning, earlier than usual to make sure we got a spot before the buskers arrived in town. From the word go things began to flow!

As we were setting up we met an old friend who the night before had been praying with some friends and who had experienced an overlfow of joy and laughter during their time together. My morning before heading out was spent in pray asking God to release the oil of joy over us, and so I asked our friend to pray for our time on the streets.

From near the beginning of our time worshipping right up until the end there seemed to be a constant flow of people either singing along with us or stopping to either watch or speak to one of our team. Both Christians and non-Christians seem free to come over and see what we were doing or encourage us about the sings they were hearing.

One young lad sat watching for about half an hour, and then came over to Nigel. He explained that he wasn’t a Christian but that one of the songs we had sung was recently sung at his grandad’s funeral – it meant a lot to him to hear the same song being sung on the streets. He then received prayer about a work situation he was facing.

Another lady stopped by for the same reason – a song we were singing had been sung at her husband’s funeral. She too wasn’t a Christian and asked about the songs we were singing. Nigel was able to tell her about the Jonathan & Melissa Helser album which we often borrow songs from and encourage her as well as be encouraged by her.

Whilst singing Majesty by Delirious, a lady stopped by and watched what we were doing. She soon began singing a long. After we finished, Gerry began singing a prophetic song… “He brings peace like a river” she sang as God’s peace descended over the surrounding area. The lady became visibly moved and after we finished came over to us, and within minutes with tears in her eyes began encouraging us about the presence of God that she was experiencing.

At the same time another lady had stopped to watch as well just a few metres away and again we could see her connecting with what we were doing. We left it a few minutes as we continued to worship and then Nigel went to speak to her. She was a Christian and recognised some of the songs we sang. You could tell worship was rising up from within her as well. When Nigel came back to our spot to continue worshipping – he was surprised to see the first lady go over to the second lady, saw a few words and then give each other a massive hug. Sisters who didn’t know each other but joined together in the same family with the same Heavenly Father.

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As we began packing up, a blind man came up to us to share that he had enjoyed the songs – Colin was able to share about what we were doing and pray with him.

And then another man who had also been watching us came over and began sharing about how he had enjoyed the worship. He was a Christian and had three years ago lost his wife. As he began sharing about his wife, tears began coming to the surface and I watched as he shared his heart and his pain with Nigel. It was a beautiful moment to see God’s healing and tenderness meet one of His son’s on the streets.

There was a tangible peace throughout our time on the streets today – and we connected with so many people throughout our time. We had come here on the basis of something we felt God was saying and we were grateful He met us and many others in these moments. Of course there were those who smirked as we sang, and those who had no idea what we were doing. But our eyes were on Jesus and on the ones He was speaking to.

He spoke to us and we followed.

We followed and He spoke to others.

He is the Good Shepherd always reaching out, always guiding and leading and always healing and comforting those in pain.

21st February 2017:

See here’s a little God story and how He answered the prayers of our faithful prayer team at our church and how He is raising up the next generation of street worshippers here in Newcastle….

Last week on Wednesday at our church prayer night, the prayer team were praying about two things – one was about some recent trouble that was escalating on a particular road in our area where some of the Street Pastors work where there were groups of people leaving pubs and getting involved in some quite heavy fights. The other was that God would raise up young people from within our church who would be trained up in ministry. As they prayed about these two things, one of the prayer team had a sense that the two prayer points may actually have been about the same thing and that perhaps God wanted to use the young people to be a part of putting a stop to the violence in the area. What they hadn’t expected was that their prayer would be answered so quickly when just a few days later, a young girl at our church was worshipping with her friend during the worship time when she suddenly got the idea that she’d like to get involved in Worship On The Streets! She and her dad spoke to me about it after the service – I was floored. Not only was it an amazing answer to prayer, but we’ve also had it prophesied a few times that Worship On The Streets would be one way that God raised up young people with a heart for mission, and that we would see young people catching a vision for street worship and going out on the streets themselves. I believe that Sunday, I saw the start of this prophecy being fulfilled.

In response to all this, we prayed and felt like God was calling us to go to the road where the recent trouble had been taking place. What was exciting was that this week it was half term and so the young girl who wanted to get involved in street worship was free and so her and her dad joined us on the streets as we set off for this street worship “assignment”. We were also joined by another family who had three children and some of the prayer team who had initially being praying for the area. We found our spot, gathered together and just worshipped. The children armed with willing hearts and mobile phones for the words, were so confident and stepped up to the mic on several occasions to help lead us in worship.

Psalm 8:2 says, “From the mouths of children and infants God has ordained praise to silence the foe and the avenger.”

That morning as we worshipped with these young children and as we set our hope on these words, we believe the enemy’s power in that area was being broken and his voice being silenced. We will see what kind of change takes place in that area (I’ll be sure to update people here). But I know God was at work both in that moment taking on the principalities in an area local to us know for violence, but also in allowing us to see the first fruits of a youth street worship movement that many have prophesied about. (I’ve written a little more about this a few weeks ago in the Diary entry dated 3rd February 2017). I cannot wait to see what God has in store for these young people and I’m excited and grateful that we’ve already starting seeing some of it being fulfilled. Please pray for the young people that God is raising up already as they stand as pioneers amongst their peer group and boldly share Jesus through their songs and voices.

17th February 2017:

After our amazing time in the Old Eldon Square recently, we decided to go back to the same place. There seems to be such a freedom there, and we were hungry to see what else God might do there. We weren’t disappointed. After a little while of worshipping, it seemed clear that a lot of people were being drawn in by the music and were coming closer to the benches near us so that they could listen. A lot of people stopped to talk to our team, many of whom were Christians and were really encouraged by hearing us worship. Some stayed for a few minutes to chat, but some stayed for the majority of the time. We were joined by two friends of one of our team members who were walking by. They loved what we were doing and decided to stick around to worship for over an hour. A little while later, a young guy in his twenties came and sat down near us – it was obvious he’d recently been beaten up – there were fresh cuts on his face. It turned out he had been in a Christian drug rehabilitation centre but had recently left and was now living on the streets. The night before he’d been trying to sleep, but some passers by got violent with him. He knew Jesus and was encouraged to meet us – he too stayed for a long time, sitting with us to do nothing but worship. As people came to join us and began worshipping, it was interesting to see the responses from people who were sitting near us. They were obviously intrigued by what was going on. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus words – “Everyone will know you are My disciples by your love for one another.” (John 13:35). As we sat there worshipping with strangers walking by, chatting and some choosing to stay and worship – we were being watched, and our love for both Jesus and each other was on display. We are called to let our light shine before others so that they will know our Father (Matthew 5:6) – nowhere does our light shine brighter than when we are loving one another.

Two young guys also stopped by whilst we were worshipping – they weren’t Christians but one of them liked the music we were playing. It turned out he was a Deist, someone who believes in a god, but thinks that God is no longer involved in the world He created. We chatted with him for a while, and then as he left, our team members said goodbye both with words and with hugs. Once again, love was on display.

3rd February 2017:

We were worshipping at the Old Eldon Square today in Newcastle. It’s not our normal place to worship but the high street was busy and we couldn’t find a spot. We’d been worship for about 15 minutes when a young teenage girl came up to us – “Are you a God-band?” she asked. Well yes I guess we are I thought! Nigel explained what we were doing and she genuinely seemed interested. “Do you know that song “Our God is greater”?” she went on. It’s one of my favourite songs, so she was pleased when we said we did know it. “Great, you play it and I’m going to sing it to my friends over there.” And off she ran back to hIMG_2466er friends. We started playing it, and looked over to see her singing along and dancing in front of her friends.

After the song finished, she came back over to us and explained a little more. It turns out she’s not a Christian but once went to a Catholic retreat with her school where she heard that song and really liked it. Awesome. Praise God for Catholic retreats!

She wasn’t a Christian but she sang and danced with a passion that was unashamed. I pray she is a forerunner in her generation – a sign of the things to come, where one day, a whole generation of young people will be unashamed of their love for Jesus, and will take their passion, their lives and their worship out onto the streets.

27th January 2017:

It had been quite a frustrating morning and it seemed like we hadn’t got into a worship flow all morning, as well as the fact that it was freezing cold. As our time drew to a close, we decided we’d do one more song and chose to do “Your love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture –  lively one to finish with. Just as we started singing – a lady walking by suddenly stopped and began singing along. She stayed for the whole song and then came over to us. It turns out she was in Newcastle on a training course but was just on her way back home which was a four hour journey away. She used to sing Your Love Never Fails at a Christian centre she used to belong to. She opened up about her past and also the changes that knowing Jesus had brought into her life and began to share about her hopes and dreams for the future. Gerry was amazing with her and as a mother with a child, spoke words of love and life into her. When we prayed for this lady, Jesus’ words flowed through ours and we were able to encourage all that we saw in her and all that we believed God to be saying to her. We soon said our goodbyes and were left so grateful that God was there working through us and in us to encourage one of His children. It may have been cold, and it may have been a frustrating morning – but it was worth it. For one encounter with one of God’s children – it was worth it.

2nd December 2016:

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Today we went worshipping in Newcastle city centre but we couldn’t find a spot to set up as there were the regular buskers were already playing at our usual places. We had a slow walk around the city, keeping an eye out for where God might be leading us. One of the team had the idea of going to the square just outside the shopping centre a place we;d been to a few times but not for a long time. We arrived and had a look around the area. As we looked I couldn’t help but notice one particular bench – was this God highlighting the place He wanted us to go? Nigel (on the right of the photo) wasn’t with us at the time, but when he joined us he said he felt we needed to worship in the area by the bench. Confirmation! So we set up, sat down, and worshiped. Throughout out two hours there, we enjoyed such a beautiful freedom as we worshiped, with spontaneous songs flowing freely, the living water that Jesus promised would flow from within us (John 7:38). It wasn’t our usual place to worship, but it was definitely the right place to worship!

30th September 2016

One of the things I’m learning is to use the songs that we sing as a prophetic declaration in worship. In Job 22:28, it says you shall a decree a thing and it shall be established.” And I believe that when we become aware of our identity as royalty (1 Peter 2:9), we start to function in our God-given authority and God calls us to shape what’s happening around us by what we “decree”. And so as we were worshipping on the streets today, I heard God say to me “sing what you want to see.” It’s always been my heart to see people experience the freedom that always bought for them, and so it came easily to start singing “Freedom reigns in this place, showers of mercy and grace, falling on every face, He brings freedom.” We sang it for a few times, and then Colin started prophesying freedom over Newcastle and over the people who were walking by. It lasted for a few minutes and then the atmosphere changed and we began interceding – God was releasing a boldness and authority. I stepped aside as I could see something was bubbling up on Colin, and after a few minutes he began preaching, speaking of God’s desire to bring freedom to people and the lengths He went to in giving His Son. He preached with a confidence and conviction that came from the Holy Spirit, and seemed to pull on the hearts of those walking by. We don’t know whether anyone responded in that moment but we were confident seeds were scattered and some fell on the hearts of those passing by. And then the anointing to intercede and preach lifted and we were left with God’s peace again. We finished by singing a couple of other songs, enjoying Gods presence and then left once again amazed and grateful for what God was doing on the streets and as always enjoying the unpredictability of what might happen! Thank You Jesus, thank You.

16th September 2016:

Today as we prayed before starting to worship, I was reminded of the story where King David is carrying the Ark of the Presence back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). After one of the carriers mishandles the Ark and dies (2 Samuel 6:7), David gets angry at God and abandons the journey, and instead decided to leave the Ark of the Presence at Obed-edom’s house. We’re told in verse 11, “The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household.” Whilst there may be more to the story than I’m aware of, to put it simply – the Presence of God brought the blessing of God.

With that in mind, I prayed before we worshipped for all the people that were walking by – people who weren’t even looking for God’s Presence, but who happened to be “at the right place, at the right time” – that they would be receiver’s of His blessing too simply because they walked into an atmosphere fused by God’s Presence.

I’m grateful God highlighted that story to me at the beginning, because in the end after a couple of hours on the streets worshipping, we didn’t get much engagement from the passers by (usually we get a few people, both Christians and non-Christians, who stop by to chat, asks questions or receive prayer). But today, only a couple stopped by. But God’s Presence was there simply because we worshipped Him and He promises He would inhabit the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). And as we worshipped and His Presence came – we simply believed and thanked God that those who heard and walked into the area where we worshipped were being blessed just like Obed-edom was – in their families, in their workplaces, in their businesses, in their relationships and in their hearts. 

8th July 2016:

As I prayed this morning in preparation for going out onto the streets, Jesus reminded me of the persevering Canaanite lady who persisted in asking Jesus to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28). She had a level of expectation and perseverance that I thought Jesus was saying I would need today. Unsurprisingly, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Every week we have been blessed with good weather to do street worship. Even on days that start wet and cloudy, by the time we’re actually in the streets, the clouds have dispersed and the sun is out. But today we set up and had played for about 10 minutes in glorious sunshine when all of a sudden the clouds came over head and the rain poured down. We had to stop and find shelter quickly!

But with Jesus word in my heart, I knew we had to persevere and so we waited under shelter until slowly but surely the clouds passed and once more the in shone over Newcastle again. And so we began to worship.

The spiritual atmosphere felt cloudy just as the weather had just been and the connection between us and God and us and the people on the streets felt like hard work. And once again, I needed Jesus words to remind myself we would have to persevere, and so we continued to worship.  We sang and lifted out hearts to Jesus. And just like the clouds had passed before, slowly but surely the spiritual atmosphere changed and God’s peace rested over the city again.

As we sang Good Good Father, a couple of ladies stopped to listen. Then another couple of ladies stopped, and one of them came over to speak to one of the team. It turned out she was a musician as well and played in a band. She didn’t say she was a Christian, and she didn’t say she knew the song. But she did say it was beautiful and that there was something about it that made her listen.

Seeds. Our songs are like seeds. Jesus promised that as we scatter them, there would be some that fall on good soil. Soil that is ready to receive them, and that as He waters them, they will eventually grow into something beautiful – a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour. That lady I’m sure was someone whose heart was like good soil.

One day we will see what the seeds have grown into, but until that day we continue singing and scattering, and we continue to look to Jesus for His preparation, His direction, His encouragement and His presence in our midst. Thank You Jesus, for Your faithfulness to us and to the hearts that are like good soil.

22nd April 2016:

When people ask why we go out onto the streets to worship, it’s moments like today that I tell them about. Whilst singing No Longer Slaves, it was a beautiful moment to watch as God’s tangible presence came into that space on Northumberland Street and draw people to Himself. We sang and people stopped. As they watched and we could all feel Father doing something special there and then. The anointing came and we sang with confidence and boldness – “we are children of God.” It’s moments like these when what we’ve dreamed of – people being caught up in an atmosphere of worship and encountering God, becomes a reality. We long for God’s love and power to be made real to people – not by might or by power but by His Spirit, and that’s what happened today. Thank You Jesus thank You.

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And there was more – Colin felt the Spirit “stirring” today – like when you stir food that’s been cooking in a pot – it brings things to the surface. God was stirring as we sang, and things which had been buried in people’s hearts were being brought to the surface again. Yesterday I felt God lead me to learn the song “Spirit Break Out” – today I knew why. We sang it probably 3 times! On the third time, as we sang it, Colin left the space where he was standing next to me and went to the benches just opposite us – a prophetic act of “breaking out” of our comfort zone and it seemed to shift something in the atmosphere. At one point, I felt the Lord encourage me to sing the old Paul Oakley song “Jesus’ Lover of My Soul” – a love song from The Bride to the Bridegroom. It was intimate and powerful. As I finished singing – Colin started singing in tongues and it seemed to usher in Jesus’ presence in a whole new way. His love for His Bride was being made known.

Then we sang it one last time to finish our time together – to declare all that we long for. As we sang it, a lady stopped and started singing it with us. She then started to speak to the people nearby who were watching. When we finished, she came over with a friend – they were both out shopping but were clearly evangelists at heart. They’d been carrying around tracts ready to hand out to people, so we were encouraged to hear us worshipping.

What a morning! Jesus, thank You for your love and power that we saw today and experienced. We now that this is just the beginning of a whole new wave of worship that will sweep across this land. You are breaking our walls down – walls of restriction, timidity and religion. And You are leading us out onto the streets. Come Lord Jesus, come.

You can see the video of this moment at: No Longer Slaves – Northumberland Street

15th April 2016:

It was good to go out again after the Easter holiday – and after a week of rain and clouds, it was beautiful to see a clear sky when we started. I felt out of practise after having a couple of weeks off coming out onto the streets so it took me a while to get in the zone, but soon we were flowing in worship. I don’t know if it was because we were too loud today or something else, but we seemed to get more weird looks than usual! A lot of people seemed to laugh at what we were doing though no one said anything to us – there just seemed to be a negativity in the air. Oh well, we were there just to worship, we were to fix our eyes on Jesus and not on the people around us. Singing “I’m no longer a leave to fear, I am a child of God” certainly takes on a new depth when you’re out in the streets and people are laughing at you. Perhaps it’s why it’s my favourite song to sing out there. I am no longer a slave to what people think of me. I choose not to be afraid. I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a Child of God.

Eventually the clouds came back again, and then it started to rain. But we were pleased to meet a friend who came over to encourage us and pray for us. He’s been around Newcastle for years and has an obvious depth in prayer. So there in the middle of a getting wetter-by-the-minute-Newcastle, he spoke life into us, encouraged us and reminded us of why we were there. I think it was God’s way of saying “Well done, good and faithful servants” on a day when most people laughed. Whatever it was, it was a great way to finish. Thank you Jesus, thank you.

4th March 2016:

Today it was a gloomy winters day – the clouds hung overhead and the air was thick with the feeling of rain to come. But we went to Northumberland Street anyway – as yet nothing had broken. As we were setting up an accordion played started playing just about 20 metres away from us – we hadn’t seen her before. Discouraged we prayed and asked God where to go. I had peace about going to Monument though it wasn’t our usual spot. So we packed up and walked the 100 meters or so to where we go if we worship at Monument – as we turned the corner suddenly the clouds were separated and glorious sunshine broke through – right on eth spot we were heading. The Father was “lighting our path.” For the next hour and a half – we worshipped, sang about God’s love and peace and released His freedom over a city walking under a great cloud. His peace came and we trust He touched the lives of the people walking in His presence. After about an hour and a half, we wondered whether it was time to stop – as we did the clouds overhead sealed up again and the sunshine disappeared. The Father had drawn that worship time to a close. He had done all He had intended to do. I don’t know which person the Father wanted us to minister that day when He shone His light on Monument – but whoever it was for, God opened up the skies for them and allowed us to be His instruments of peace to them. Thank You Father, thank You.

22nd January 2016:

So today we went to Northumberland Street outside Superdrug as it was raining and windy. Me and Nigel prayed at the beginning as Colin hadn’t arrived yet, but when he did arrive, he was already slightly drunk in the Spirit and seemed to carry that to us as we prayed. Almost immediately I could feel God’s joy and began to laugh. We carried on praying and then began to worship. “Bring restoration, You bring restoration.” This was the theme of the Lion Bites today, and it seemed right to flow from what they had already prophesied. As soon as we began worshipping God’s presence seemed to flood the streets and what followed was an hour and a half of God’s tangible presence coming over us. It was the first time I’ve done street worship and been ore aware of the “Unseen” realm than the “seen” realm. I was lost in worship – free to shut my eyes and just enter in and enjoy His presence. At one point whilst singing No Longer Slaves, joy overcame me and I couldn’t sing it for a while because of laughing,

About 20 minutes into worshipping, a guy came and sat down to watch us – it became apparent he was drunk and was drinking more whiskey as he watched. After a few minutes – he came over and starting shouting – “Sing prophet, sing!” – I thanked him and told Him it was all for Jesus and carried on worshipping. He stood to the side and started clapping his hands, at times trying to turn the amp up, and then at one time started bowing down in front of me. As people passed, he spoke to them saying “You need to listen to these people.” It was Acts 16 all over. It was obvious the darkness in him – was reacting to the Light that was being shared. When Nigel and Colin offered to pray for him and put their hands on him, he started cursing them immediately. The darkness becoming manifest. It is the second time in a row that we’ve encountered someone with a demonic stronghold – and both times it is prayer that scares and angers them. If that isn’t telling I don’t know what is. There is an obvious power in our prayers. He got abusive and started cursing Nigel in particular. Nigel being the gentle giant that he is, smiled and continued blessing him. After a while he calmed down and just stood there listening until he decided it was time to move on.

The darkness is reacting to the Light that we are sharing. There is a glory to be experienced and shared with the world and we will stop for nothing until God’s Light and Glory and Love become manifest in our city. Even now as I write, I am stirred to see it come to pass in my day – that the worship found in Heaven would be released on the earth. That the light, and joy and life of Jesus’ presence would be available to all to enjoy. That His love would be made known to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the lonely, to hurting, to the broken. I will no longer just sing about it in church – I will play my part in seeing it come to pass.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Today as I said was the first time the “unseen” was more real than the “seen”. Thank You Jesus for that and may we may walk in more of it. May we see the fruit of the invisible. May our eyes ever be on You and in the world in which You live.

December 2015

Yesterday I went into town to do some worship on the streets. Unfortunately my usual spot was taken and there was only one spot available for me – but it was in a spot that faces a large open area where people often stop to sit and eat their lunch. It felt so open and so exposed, and in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to set up there, so after an hour of walking around trying to find another spot, I ended up walking home not having done any worship. What was it that stopped me setting up to worship on the streets when I’d been praying all morning and walked down into town? If I’m honest, it was the fear of looking foolish. It was the fear of being laughed at.

5th November 2015:

There’s something about the song “Good Good Father” that God is using to speak to people. Today as I sang it, an elderly man stopped in his tracks and just stared straight ahead. I knew God was doing something in him, and thought this is what I’d been waiting for. For God to use these songs to speak to people’s hearts. He stood almost motionless the entire time I sang it and when I finished he walked over to me. “That’s a beautiful song,” he said. “It is yes, do you know it?” “No, that’s what I mean, it’s beautiful. Are you a Christian? What do you think of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” Before I could get my arguments in about how wrong they are about Jesus, I found myself saying “I know God loves them” and then I said how I think they’re wrong about Jesus! It was a small thing to say “I know God loves them” but it was important, firstly because he was a Jehovah’s Witness and secondly because what followed was a chat about Jehovah having one or many names, and the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross. He was a gentle man with a very sincere heart and obviously very educated in Scripture and theology and it was good to talk to him but it was obvious he couldn’t change my mind and I couldn’t change his. But he felt God’s presence in that moment went he listened to the song. He said it was as if life was coming of my guitar and in my voice. That’s not me that’s Jesus and it makes me happy that He was there touching people, helping them access His love, peace and presence. As the man left I gave him one of my CD’s. My prayer is the same Presence he felt when I sang on the streets, he would know in his home as he listens to it. Jesus would you reveal Yourself to him and may He know Your love more and more.

30th November 2015:

As I sang “Bless the Lord” – an elderly lady walked over and asked what I was doing and so I explained to her my heart for doing worship on the streets. She was so excited and she said, “It’s amazing, I can see God’s presence all over you and behind you are loads of angels!” Now that is the kind of encouragement a street worshipper needs! Thank you Jesus!

Later on that afternoon, I started singing “Bless the Lord” again, and it was an amazing moment when the lady walked past again, but it just happened that she walked past at the same time as a family who had stopped to listen and also another guy who was about 10 metres behind them and who was singing along. So here in the middle of the city centre were a group of Christians, none of whom knew each other but all joined together in enjoying God’s presence and singing His praise. “Where two or three are gathered, there I am amongst them,” (Matthew 18:20). Thank you Jesus for gathering us and for being amongst us.

July 2015:

I really struggled with fear today. This is what I wrote as I journalled on my phone about it: “I’m scared father, so scared. I keep thinking of the movie Braveheart,  just before he is about to be executed. He faces his fears, he is a picture of us all facing our fears heart first.”

As I wrote out my fears, I heard the Father say this to me: “A gentle reed I will not break. If you need to go home that’s fine. A smouldering wick I will not blow out. I am happy with you already. I will always be happy with you Aaron. The keys of the Kingdom I’ve given you. One of those keys is acceptance. You are already accepted.”

July 2015

I didn’t find a spot to do some worship but as I walked around the city and prayed for the people here, this song came to me and became my prayer:

Healing water flow
Jesus be made known
Healing water flow
In this city again
Give me courage Lord
To follow  on Word
Healing water flow
In this city again

 
Healing water flow in this city today.

1st July 2015:

I went out to the city centre for the first time in months, but I got there too late and there there were loads of buskers already out. I went instead to Leazes park and worshipped and prayed for the city there. I enjoyed Gods peace as I worshipped, and was reminded of His promise for this city, that prodigals will return, and that His presence is all over this city.

12th February:

I met a lady who stopped to chat and said she was really blessed by the songs. She sat down for a while on some nearby benches and asked the Lord for something to encourage me. She said she felt the Lord say I was like a gazelle and encouraged me to run with what He’s given me.

Whilst I played Bless the Lord, a young guy came right up close to listen. When I finished he said ‘What church do you go to?’ I answered and then asked if he was a Christian. He said no but that he wanted to become one. He didn’t know about Jesus’ cross but knew Jesus lived up in heaven. We went for a coffee together and I explained the gospel to him and lead him in a prayer to give ask Jesus into his life. Thank You Father, thank You.

Friday 6th February:

I was singing “Saviour” by HillSong, when suddenly I was joined by a passer by – he started lifting his hands in worship and dancing around me as I sang. More of that spontaneous corporate praise Jesus I pray! It released a fresh boldness in me.

It was also great to see members of Destiny Church out giving away free hot drinks to passers by – as they gave out drinks and I worshipped – I was reminded of the Delirious song when they sing about “streams flowing as one river” – today that’s what we experienced.

Thursday 5th Feb:

I got there too late so there were no spots available.

Tuesday 3rd February:

I went to Superdrug – the Lord told me to sing “Leaning”. I did and this guy walked by and stood in front of me an started singing it with me. It turned out he was from a local church and sang in the choir where they sing that song.

12th January 2015

A homeless guy came up to me as he said he liked my voice. I was singing about the love of God and felt that this was perhaps an opportunity to lean into, and connect with someone who needed to experience it. I stopped doing the worship and we went for a hot chocolate and some food in Greggs but sat outside on a bench. He explained he was homeless and was on “conditional bail” after having just been released from prison the night before – i.e. he was allowed to be out but wasn’t allowed to beg. As we talked, I asked about his family. He said he wasn’t in touch with them, the last time he saw his mum she told him to go away. The last time he saw his dad was when we was 5. He is now 29. I shared with him, Psalm 27:10, “Though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take me in,” and explained how  God wouldn’t forsake him that way. As we said goodbye I offered to pray for him. I felt like God wanted to show him his love in a really practical way, and that I should pray for his house situation. He previously had told me that he was on a waiting list to get a home. Reminded that God is the God of Breakthrough (2 Samuel 5:20), I prayed for him that God would provide him the home quickly. A month later I met him again outside the city church – we had a long chat and I asked him about the housing situation. He said he was living in a new flat just outside the city! Thank You Father, thank You!

First time I went out to lead street worship myself….

As soon as I started setting up and getting ready to play my capo snapped in my hands! I started playing anyway, choosing songs taht didn’t need a capo and within a little while, a young Christian guy stopped by to listen and then to chat to me. He asked what I was doing and I explained the heart of Worship On The Streets. He asked what songs I was going to do and so I told him but explained about my capo. He ended up joining me for a couple of songs and then afterwards was like, “you know what mate, I’m going to go buy you a capo!” and he did! He went off to the local guitar shop and half an hour later cam back with a capo! Thank you Jesus!