02 Nov

Alive 2016 - a look back

We had a tremendous 5 days of mission in October.  From 22nd – 26th, evangelist Jay Lowder preached the gospel and told his own personal life story,  from the point when he almost completed suicide, to today, where he travels the world telling of a new life, that can only be found in following the Lord Jesus Christ.

While many believers choose to “Do Life Together” we firmly believe that as a church, God has given us a mission to do more than that – we want to play our part in the great commission – “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel," and so after many weeks of prayer, after weeks of giving out leaflets, inviting friends and family, posting invitations on social media, advertising online and on billboards we stepped out in faith to hold Alive Belfast 2016, trusting that the Lord Jesus would bring precious souls to himself over the 5 nights of the mission.

Alive Belfast began with our youth and young adults leading the service. Our own youth band, The Well Band, were supplemented by a number of other musicians, and together they led worship. We were also delighted to have Ryan Griffith and his band to perform three songs, Howard Beverland to tell his testimony, and the well creative drama team. 

A ground-floor filled, filled on a Saturday night mainly with hundreds of young adults heard Jay tell his testimony, and on that night more than any other, many people stepped out of their seats to make a public decision to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Sunday we remained in Alive-Belfast mode as Jay challenged the church in the morning with a message on stepping out in faith. On Sunday Night, backed by one of our worship bands, the Tabernacle Choir, and Laura Dowey, all those in attendance were told honestly “The only thing you have to do to spend eternity without God is to do nothing.”

On Monday and Tuesday Alive Belfast continued. With worship led by another of our worship teams, we were delighted also to be joined on Monday by Maria Gilpin and on Tuesday by Simple faith to minister in song.  Each night the theme was different but each night the Gospel was preached.

 

Finally on Wednesday, we had a night mixed with celebration and worship led by singer and songwriter Robin Mark, and a final, short, closing, challenging message from Jay Lowder.

Why do all this?  Sometimes it’s easier to invite your friends and family to hear a different voice tell the same Gospel story, to hear a band play Christian music, or a singer present the gospel - and the message throughout each service was clear and unambiguous,  and thanks be to God, many souls came forward to give their life to the Lord Jesus, backsliders responded to the call – people who had been prayed for years had come to know the Saviour, and Christians were encouraged in the their faith.

In addition to the hundreds who came in person night after night, our ministry over the internet continued, with many more watching all the services live online, and we were encouraged by the contacts made from those online to Jay telling him that they had trusted the Lord while watching over the internet.

So thank you to each person who played a part in Alive Belfast.  From the most obvious visible positions of those on the stage, to the many unseen volunteers who gave up their time and energy for the kingdom of God, including our bus drivers, car park attendants, stewards, and technical crew. Thank you especially to all those who came out to pray for the mission, and to those who give our leaflets and invited their friends and families.

Alive Belfast has officially ended for 2016, but God’s work and our reaching out into our community with the message of the Gospel continues.