As Christians, we possess the only hope for a broken and increasingly fearful world. It is essential for the church in every generation to do two things: hold tenaciously to the truth entrusted to us and present the truth in a way that’s relevant to the needs of the present generation.
In light of this, and for the past 149 years, Outreach UK has sought to spread the gospel faithfully and effectively, primarily on a one-to-one basis.
Charles Spurgeon founded The Metropolitan Tabernacle Colportage Association in 1866, and it always received his special care. At the close of 1891, some 96 colporteurs (from a French word meaning ‘one who carried something around his neck’, suggesting a peddler or street hawker) were employed, and nearly twelve million visits had been paid to the homes of the people.
God was meeting the need for the increasingly unchurched population to receive the good news, and in 1874 the Christian Colportage Association (CCA) was born.
There were two major events around this time: the Moody and Sankey campaigns (where the CCA had bookstalls at all the London meetings and sold large numbers of Bibles and books); and the Keswick Convention (founded in 1875), where the CCA bookstalls were a regular feature.
The name of the mission has been updated over the years, from Christian Colportage Association to Home Evangelism to what it is today: Outreach UK.
Although the mission has an illustrious past, this is of no help when faced with the current challenges of making Christ known in a post- and increasingly anti-Christian environment.
However, in recent years Outreach UK has received much encouragement. We now have over 70 Associate Evangelists spread around the country, and many report a growing interest not only among unchurched people wanting to hear the gospel, but also among believers wanting to share their faith more.
He who wins souls is wise - Proverbs 11:30