Quietly, all over the country, Christians are doing amazing things because Jesus has given them a heart to get alongside people in need and help them. Someone has audited this and discovered the value of ‘faith groups’ service to people was around four billion pounds! When the exercise was done here in Southampton it came to about £4.5 million helping around 98,500 people! (Figures from the Cinnamon Network).

Jesus told us to let our light shine before people so they could see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven. It’s good to know what’s going on so that we can let it shine in our conversations with people as well as being involved ourselves in acts of everyday kindness. If we don’t know about the possibilities, how can we be involved personally, even if it’s by simply praying?

But how do we find out about what’s happening and how could we explore ways to be involved ourselves in our city? What if people from most of the Christian projects in Southampton came together in one place in a market atmosphere sharing their passion for serving and telling anyone who wants to know how they could be involved? That could help.

Next Wednesday, 22 May it will happen as Love Southampton host the Church Innovation Fair in the City Centre at St Mary’s Church from 4-7pm. The recently refurbished venue gives opportunity to browse in comfort, chat to the people from the projects (if you want to) and there’s probably cups of tea on hand and places to sit for a breather before looking at more of the 30+ displays to take in.

I love these events because I can find out about a lot of great projects all in one hit, I can spend time meeting enthusiastic people – or just walk on by. If I choose to, and it’s up to me, I can dig deeper into one or two projects and maybe find something I can be involved with.

There’s a beautiful variety of people and projects sharing a common heart to love and share God’s love at a time of great need in our city and nation, it’s like seeing a miracle in slow motion. You get a chance to see what God is doing through his people in our city and once you’ve seen it, then it’s hard to miss it again. Once we get to feel the beat of God’s heart for lost people then we find our hearts begin to follow that rhythm. Don’t miss it!

John Ayrton