They stayed at the Genesis Mission house run by Michele Thompson and Fr Jon Bielawski where they had a daily schedule of prayer and training sessions before being sent out onto the streets to evangelise the city of Plymouth.
The Genesis mission theory is based on a pyramid which illustrates how to evangelise, going from simply connecting with people to a conversion to the Catholic faith. The theory works off the principle that most of the time you won’t be able to see a person all the way from connect to conversion, but even simply planting a seed about God in their minds will allow them to be more easily guided by the Holy Spirit to conversion.
“I was quite sceptical of this theory at first,” writes Sophie Pereira from the Ignite Team, “but as the days went on, I really started to understand how effective this strategy is; we need to seem like an actual human first and not a crazy religious person before trying to lead them to Jesus.
“We were thrown into the deep end on the first day by being asked to go onto the streets and ask passers-by about their beliefs in God. I was quite apprehensive at first as I didn’t believe that people would be friendly or open about their beliefs. However, my opinion was radically changed by the end of the first day as I had such a great response from the people I talked to and managed to have many meaningful conversations with people about God.”
On the second day, the team were giving out free bacon butties outside a church in Plymouth. “I started out the day with a similar apprehensiveness,” writes Sophie, “as at first didn’t really think it was possible to turn a bacon butty into a spiritual conversation. However, I was proved wrong yet again. One of the first conversations I had was with someone who went to an Anglican church, and we had a lovely chat about where God was in his life, and I believe he left that conversation with a sense of wanting to be closer to God.”
“All in all, the whole experience left me with a renewed fire for spreading the Gospel to people who do not know Jesus and left me with a desire to carry on the work we started in Plymouth in Norwich.”
You can read more about Genesis mission here www.genesismission.co.uk.
Pictured above is Fr Jon Bielawski anointing the Ignite Team and, below, Elliott Cannon welcoming passers-by for a conversation.