Cameron and Megan both moved to Manchester in September 2019 to join our 10-month Academy course, a place to explore and grow the call of the evangelist. We caught up with them to find out about their experience so far
Why did you join Message Academy?
Cameron: In the year before coming to Academy, my faith had taken a back seat. I came to a crossroads where I’d left university, relationships had ended and I didn’t know what was next. Some friends told me about Message Academy and I began to feel a stirring passion to tell people about my faith. I knew I needed to take this seriously – that’s why I applied. It’s been such a great place to grow and to have people constantly wanting me to win and go to the next level.
Megan: I’d heard about The Message through the church I was attending in Cardiff. I loved how they used creative evangelism and music to share the gospel – this has always been a passion of mine. So, I applied for Academy as I wanted to learn how to better use the gifts and skills that God had given me to share the gospel.
Throughout Academy, you are sent out on mission placements across Greater Manchester and the rest of the UK. How have you seen God move through these?
M: Homelessness has been an issue that’s weighed heavy on my heart for a long time and it’s great to have the opportunity to serve with Barnabus, a homeless charity based in Manchester city centre. It’s been cool to go every week, see the same faces and break down the barrier that there can often be associated with the homeless. In one of our teaching sessions we were told that leading someone to Jesus is about ‘winning the person’ before you share.
There are these two older men at Barnabus who I’ve got to know. At first, they were quite standoffish and didn’t want to hear what I had to say. I’m very open with my faith and one man in particular told me how he thought I was dumb for believing in Jesus. But over time, he’s slowly warmed to our conversations and now when he sees me he calls me over to talk.
C: One of my mission placements is heading out on to the streets to do evangelism. This is the scariest but also the greatest opportunity. A couple of weeks ago we were out in Wythenshawe and I saw a woman sat, looking down at the ground. I went over and asked her ‘Are you okay? Would you like prayer for anything?’ She replied that her husband had just had a stroke and she’d like prayer. I got to pray for her and her family and felt led to share the gospel.
I drew a simple diagram (known as the Three Circles) and asked her if there was anything stopping from her saying yes to Jesus. She said no. So, I asked her if there was anything stopping her from saying yes right in that moment. She said no. I got to lead her in a prayer of salvation. It was amazing to be a part of this.
What have you learned on the course?
C: I think it was Einstein who said ‘to explain something simply, you have to understand it deeply’. Academy has provided me with so many opportunities to learn, understand and live the gospel at a deeper level. And to then take this out on placements and use what we’ve learned whether that’s through conversations I have with people or speaking from a platform – it’s sick!
I’ve also realised that God has given me lots of talents that can be used for him. Some I knew about, some I didn’t. I’ve learned that these all come from God and now I know I need to use these for him.
M: I’ve learned to have a people perspective. God’s been opening my eyes to how much he loves each and every person I come into contact with. He knows them and he wants them to know him. Knowing God’s freedom, hope and love has changed my life and I want to spend my life sharing this with others.
What does being an evangelist mean to you?
C: Being an evangelist means being changed by God’s love so much that I can’t help but share it!
M: Evangelism is my response to the way the love of Jesus has saved and changed my life. I can’t help but talk about Jesus. And people can’t help but ask me about him because I look different, I love different, and I speak different compared to the ways of the rest of the world.
What are your hopes and dreams for once you’ve graduate Academy?
M: I don’t know specifically, but I hope to use music for evangelism. I want to serve God wherever he takes me. I’m open to serving God wherever he takes me.
C: I hope to use what I’ve learned in my mission placements to explicitly take the gospel to those around me, wherever that will be.