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Psalm Reading

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Country Tried: UNITED KINGDOM
Location Tried: Town (town centre)
Estimated costs: £5
Suggested frequency: Daily
Hosted by: You or Your Church
Activity: Community
Author: DioceseOfLichfield
Published: 24/05/2016

Description

Yes, you read it right, not 'palm reading' but ‘Psalm Reading’. I reckon this works at any event where there are unchurched people - Fayres, Garden Parties, Missions etc etc. It has been used in Lichfield Diocese at the Stafford Show, in Mission weekends and by numerous churches.

Here’s what you do: Print out 12 different verses from psalms which have something meaningful to say ( e.g. 27:1, 46:1 etc) about 12 to a side of A4 so each verse is on different coloured card. Set them out on a small picnic table with a coloured cloth as a base, put a small stone on top of each pile to stop them blowing away and a sign that says "Psalm Reading take a card - free". Most people were quite happy to do so when invited to have a 'psalm reading'. A handful refuse but you can easily tell from body language which ones not even to ask. People are invited to choose a card, any colour. You may choose to use wording such as “Which colour or stone is drawing you to it?”They then naturally read what is says and you ask if it means anything to them and explain it if needed. Sometimes no words are necessary and it’s private between them and God.

If you want to try it out, the verses are downloadable below. All you will need is some coloured card, some small pebbles, a small table, the right occasion - then off you go.   We recommend it. Simple. Cheap. Brilliantly effective.

The verses we have found useful are Psalms: 8:3,4 19:14 23:1-3 27:1 32:9 34:8 34:18 46:1 46:10 73:23 84:5 119:105

To save you creating pages of these, if you go to http://bit.ly/OAqlAb you will find them in a format ready for printing.

Rationale

We don't use it to ram the message down people's throats but just open them up to God and they can take the card away as a reminder of his word to them for today. They often come back bringing their friends or relatives for a ‘reading’.

Outcome

We have found it to be a wonderful and effective way of connecting people with God. Just three short stories of how it has worked for us:

I was talking to a Methodist lady when Lynne suddenly came into the tent with 6 teenagers. They went straight up to the Psalm Reading table and took a card each and started reading them. Lynne was talking to them about it and I said to the woman, "Look 6 young people reading the bible!"

At the end of the day one young woman was just leaving the tent and I invited her for a 'psalm reading'. "Why not?" she replied and came across. "Pick a card, any card," I said. She picked up Psalm 34:8 and started reading it. As she did, I noticed her t-shirt said on it "Home Brew" and realised she was from the Home Brew tent. The psalm said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." What a gift - it was so easy to talk to her about God.

Also in a recent mission weekend, the team were in a corner away from the main stream of people, simply because of the layout of the shops, so one of the team took one of each of the cards and fanned them out in her hand and went up to people and invited them to take a card. Many did. If the team had stayed in the corner, few people would have taken them. So do whatever you need to do to adapt to the situation you find yourself in.

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