What’s Behind the Open Crowd Festival

When Open Crowd Festivals become part of your community’s anual rhythm, they can bring about a clear shift in the culture of community life. But why are they so effective?

Firstly Open Crowd Festivals are just one of eight components in a much broader Process of Mission, which when implemented in a community can produce transformation and lead to many beginning a personal relationship with Jesus.

Download our Festivals Handbook to learn more about the Process of Mission (Prayer, Research, Broad Legitimate Contact, Role Modelling, Education, Opportunities for Commitment, Integration into the Local Worshipping Community and Finding Ones Place in Local and Global Mission.)

Secondly, the way Open Crowd Festivals generate a culture based on Kingdom Values in which all participate is based on intentionally facilitating a journey through the Three Phases of the Open Crowd. The team is unreservedly committed to living out values such as Compassion and Kindness, Hospitality and Inclusiveness, Respect and Justice, Creativity and Celebration – all values of God’s Kingdom. Even the layout of the Festival and the activities that are chosen are based on these values. All these things are explained in our free Festivals Handbook as well!

As well as the Festivals Handbook, we’d love you to consider the following two areas: Prayer and some Key Principles to make things work really well.

Prayer

Mission and prayer go hand in hand. The Open Crowd Festival only comes together through prayer – so we have some pointers that you might find useful. We want to encourage all those involved with Festivals and particularly those in leadership roles to put prayer at the heart of all your planning and the delivery of your Festival.
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Prayer At Planning Stage

Look to God to guide you in all that is planned to ensure His ideas are taken forward. If at all possible have all those involved in the initial planning to meet together to pray before committees are set up and roles chosen.

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Prayer Walk Around The Community Venue

Look at your community afresh. Invite leaders to take some time in twos or threes to walk around the venue where you are planning to run your event and pray. Ask God to shine His light and reveal His purposes.

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Prayer Teams From Local Churches

Look to the local churches. Get leaders together from different churches to explore how they could pray for the area and what prayer ideas each can offer.

Prayer Themes

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Planning

Look to God to guide you in all that is planned to ensure His ideas are taken forward. If at all possible have all those involved in the initial planning to meet together to pray before committees are set up and roles chosen.

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Places

Look at your community afresh. Invite leaders to take some time in twos or threes to walk around the venue where you are planning to run your event and pray. Ask God to shine His light and reveal His purposes.
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People

Pray for:

  • People who will be invited – pray for them to be touched afresh by God’s love as expressed through the day.
  • People who will lead the Festival.
  • People who will be impacted – the wider secular community – businesses, shops, schools, police, media, and your local Council.
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Power

Pray for the Power of the good news to be communicated as your Festival takes place. Pray for friendships to develop, love to be shared whether in word, deed or prayer and Christians to be given the opportunity to invite people to take the next steps and share their story of Jesus.

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Purpose

God’s heart is for everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done in every aspect of the Festival and for all involved in follow up. Pray for a new sense of community spirit to emerge and for the churches to gain a new level of unity in working together.

Key Principles

that will help you ensure that Kingdom Values shape the culture of your festival and make your festival open, engaging, and relevant to your area.

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Preaching Happens Through Our Lives

This is because Open Crowd Festivals are within a Process of Missionwith a real emphasis on role modelling faith and establishing genuine and relevant contact with the community.

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Children Are The Stars

If the event is safe for children, it’s safe for everyone. Giving every child a joyful experience they will never forget will ensure that the child and their family will value and remember you.

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It's A Celebration

Help people taste and experience what God’s Kingdom is like. It has a John 10.10 party atmosphere.

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It's Open To Anybody

The event is for everyone regardless of age and ability. There are activities for each age group and ways for people of all abilities and backgrounds to feel part of the event.
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Everything Is Free

It’s like God’s love. It means that finance is not an obstacle for anyone to join in, not even for the large family down the road or the refugee couple in the shelter around the corner.

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The Life Of The Team Is The Ministry

The team all know their role, live the values, and share a common dream of a different community. People’s experience of the team is what they will remember.

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Centre Games At The Heart

This is where the community builds. It is the life and soul of the Festival. It’s where you most clearly experience the progression through the three phases of the Open Crowd.

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A U-Shape (Horseshoe) Design

This enables team and participants alike, to see each other and to see what is happening at the Festival, wherever they are in the festival.

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It's Just the Begining

It either begins or builds on to your community mission. Don’t make your Festival a standalone event. Make it a bridge- building opportunity.
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The MC Keeps the Crowd Together

The MC helps put into words what people are experiencing and seeing. They make the values of the festival explicit and help people orientate to the activities and culture of the event.

Need Any Assistance?

We are keen to help in anyway we can as you work to shift the culture of your community and neighbourhood.

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