Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Takin’ It To The Streets

DowntownParties133-LWe have joined a brand new program call Street Pastors.  The goal of Street Pastors is to mobilize the Church and put Christians on the streets at night to assist with problems that plague cities after dark.  It originated in England and in the past ten years, over 9,000 trained ministry volunteers have been released in 250 teams around the United Kingdom.  Street Pastors are not soapbox preachers, law enforcement officers, or placard carrying protesters.  Instead, Street Pastors respond to the needs on the street with Christ’s love and compassion.  Street Pastors are out every Friday and Saturday night from 10 pm to 4 am to reach out to the homeless, intoxicated people stumbling out of bars and night clubs, and others in need.

Chico State University has long had a reputation as one of the top party schools in the U.S.  The city’s streets are quiet by day, but at night they are transformed as thousands of students converge on local bars, nightclubs, and area parties.  The idea of bringing Street Pastors to Chico was introduced last year.  We found out about it in its early stages and jumped on board immediately.  We’ve since spent the past several months in training and at the end of August, we were part of the very first U.S. Street Pastor team which launched right here in Chico!  It’s exciting to be pioneering a brand new ministry and we’re hoping to help it eventually spread throughout the States.

Right now we have 6 teams that rotate from week to week.  Our team goes out once every three weeks and we’re out from 10 pm to 4 am.  Even though we consider ourselves night people. we do find ourselves pretty tired by the end of the night.  We walk a one mile square area that encompasses the most active part of the downtown Chico night life.