A great gospel invasion is preparing the ground for the ‘nights of freedom’ in Dudley, UK. It never crossed the mind of evangelist Jay Smith to do a gospel invasion in the small town, until God spoke to him. The last week Jay and his team have seen over 258 people make a decision to follow Jesus.
Every morning the team in Dudley prepares with prayer and intercession to see people come into the kingdom. Afterwards they go out and share the gospel on the streets of Dudley, which is located west of Birmingham. They have seen many people come to Christ while they hand out flyers and share the love of Jesus. Working together with multiple churches in the area, they expect a great harvest to come in. When Jay was doing a training in the US, God spoke to him to reach the area with the good news and started preparing the gospel invasion in August this year. The coming weeks will lead into a two day event at Dudley Town Hall, where they expect people to receive freedom and hope in Jesus.
Boxes of flyers have been passed on to reach the masses for Jesus. Jay’s personal conviction is that we cannot let people go on with their lives without having a chance to make a decision for Jesus. ‘If someone is drowning, they are not whispering, they are actually shouting for help. We have share the gospel on the streets to give people the opportunity to choose for God. When I just became a Christian I knew someone who shared the gospel, he was called the ‘Hallelujah man’, he was known by many people. This was the only person I knew sharing the gospel on the streets. I didn’t even know what being an evangelist meant. After my personal encounter with Jesus I was like: ‘If you know Jesus and what He did for you, how can you not share about him?’. Evangelism became a lifestyle for me. I preach out of compassion and out of what God did in my life.’
‘You do such bold things, are you never afraid?’
‘ Even though I do bold things, I still have fear. This is when I need to rely on the Holy Spirit. You don’t want to be found saying: ‘See how bold I was, preaching the gospel?’’ On the other hand, we should not give into fear by doing nothing. We should lean on His power and mercy. If you know what Jesus has saved you from, you don’t want to take it lightly. Imagine you are saved from a house on fire. If you see someone in the same situation, no one would just pass by and take a selfie.’
A week after becoming born again Jay decided to go to a houseparty of a friend. He just wanted to go there to share about his faith but was a little nervous and asked God for a confirmation. ‘God was patient with me in the beginning. I said: ‘God, if you want me to share, please send me a shooting star.’ At that moment, I saw one and shared at the party. Also, somewhere in the first days being in the kingdom I put ‘I love Jesus ‘ on social media. This was a big step for me since I only had friends who didn’t know Jesus. I just stopped caring about what people thought of me.’ According to Jay it is important to surround yourself by likeminded people. If you are not burning for the gospel yet, get around someone who does.
‘We should care more about eternity and stop selfish Christianity. God didn’t just die to safe me, He died to safe the world. The great commission is not a suggestion, it is a command. When Jesus says, go into all the world to preach, we need to go’Evangelist Jay Smith
When Jay had an encounter with God about eternity he found a new depth about God’s heart for the nations. God showed him the book of Revelation. Jay asked the Lord why the people have tears in their eyes. God showed him that we would see these people been thrown in the fire, thinking by ourselves : ‘Why did I care about what people think? Why did I bother so much about nice cars and extravagant houses?’. ‘I’m determined to do everything God asks me to do. People are perishing every day. If they don’t hear the gospel, how can they be saved? The Kingdom of God isn’t a democracy, it is a monarchy. We have a King and need to obey Him.
‘ Do you experience resistance when you speak about God in public?’
‘There is a mixture of responses, when we share about God in public. There was a time I shared white some football supporters and I became a part of a riot, trying to help while being cursed. But mostly the unreceptive people are apathetic and don’t care. However, there are moments people receive God under tears while I share.’
Jay became Christian in 2012 and has been preaching the gospel since. During the lockdown he was inspired by an Angelican priest singing ‘Amazing grace’ and put a speaker in the garden in front of his house. Every week at 20:00 people clapped because of the hard work limiting the effects of the pandemic. Jay used it as an opportunity to share. People came up to him later with: ‘Are you the guy who put a speaker in the garden?’ There are also people responding as if Jay puts religion down their throats. Jay believes they cannot reject something they know nothing about. He heard someone say this:’ I don’t need permission to tell Gods creation about him’.
Christians might have the impression evangelists only care about presenting numbers, but Jay gives another perspective. ‘Even in a great crowd you need to realize that God sees ‘ the one’. In every crowd there is always ‘a one’. God sees people, that is what really matters. Many people are touched by the Holy Spirit in crowds, that’s why I reach out to groups. There could be individuals who could miss out on a touch of God. Also, God cares about numbers: In Acts 2 they recorded 3000 people who made a decision for Christ. It is El Roi, the God who sees them. It is the Holy Spirit is touching lives and saving people. I am just determined to do whatever God asks me.’
You can join Jay at the Nights of Freedom from October 23- 25 at Dudley town Hall and follow their instagram page @nifghtsoffreedom.uk and @riseforchristinternational.