Reaching schoolchildren in Morley
A local church in West Yorkshire is working in partnership with the Open Air-Mission (OAM) to bring the gospel to its community. Morley, which has 28,000 souls, is near Wakefield and has large concentrations of population, but small and scattered evangelical churches.
The Congregational Morley Community Church is small, but it has a heart for evangelism and has been working with the OAM in its outreach endeavours for many years.
For the past five years, OAM’s Bible exhibitions have played a major role in the annual mission week in early March. Working with evangelists John Hawley and J. P. Earnest, the church has used all four Bible exhibitions – Pilgrim’s progress, Life of Christ, Amazing Acts and the Amazing journey through the Old Testament – in five local primary schools. To date, 2000 pupils have attended 60 presentation sessions of these four exhibitions.
Each year, the Morley church has also used this opportunity to give each pupil attending a related Christian DVD or book to take home. For example, the Yorkshire Television DVD on Pilgrim’s progress has been enthusiastically received. A total of 1300 DVDs and 1000 Christian books have been distributed to pupils as part of the presentations.
While this has involved considerable effort, the church feels it is worth it, as the Bible exhibitions have now become part of the school year for participating schools and are eagerly anticipated by staff and pupils alike.
The Bible exhibitions have also been linked to an after school Bible club. The visiting OAM evangelist has supported these with advice and expertise. This year, more than 50 children came to the club.
The opportunity has also been taken to place Christian literature in schools and hand out books to teachers. Worksheets are marked and literature presented in follow-up assemblies for high scores and good work. This year, 30 children’s Bibles and other Christian books were awarded.
In May, OAM evangelist Andy Robertson was invited by the church to take an open air meeting in Morley town centre shopping precinct, and other OAM evangelists have been welcomed to minister at Sunday services.
The support has been two-way. OAM summer beach missions have been a blessing to those from the church who have attended as team members. Morley Community Church also supports OAM through prayer and giving.
Morley Church secretary Andy Dalton said, ‘Small churches such as ours really do appreciate the opportunity to partner with OAM. The practical help, imaginative methods of outreach and support make all the difference to the efforts to preach faithfully the unchanging gospel to our generation’.