Dutch theologian Gerard Vrooland pastored a regular church until the summer of 2009. His many contacts in local bars led Gerard to recognize a group of individuals who were interested in Jesus but reluctant to attend normal church services. So he decided to change course. Sensing a calling from God to give himself to these people, Gerard became a 'street pastor.' He soon launched a street church initiative called COTS (Church on the Street) at a venue called 'Pand 33, ' Dutch for 'Building 33.' In this book, Gerard shares the story of his work in God's fi eld: the bars and pubs in the city of Sliedrecht, the Netherlands.
'I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's easy to read and it centers on people's experiences rather than on theory - although the theory has been woven into the text. The words that came to mind as I was reading were: exciting, edifying, helpful, challenging. This story commands our respect. It's about new, uncharted terrain. I loved Gerard's thoughts on binding and unbinding, especially the part on looking for traces of God in people who are not committed to Christ. Many of the things Gerard talks about are on our hearts and minds here at Youth With A Mission. That makes his story thoroughly recognizable. And his practical approach is beautiful. Throughout the entire book, I sensed the love of God's Spirit for people out on the streets. It really is a story well told and I'm sure it will be a blessing to a lot of people.'
Sijtje Tollenaar, Youth With A Mission Base Leader at Heidebeek, the Netherlands
'I really admire Gerard Vrooland for leaving the comfort of pastoring an established church for a life as a 'street pastor' in the bars of Sliedrecht. The church needs courageous individuals who in obedience to God's calling are prepared to face new adventures and chart new terrain. This book will surely inspire more people in that direction. I hope a lot of people read it and venture out into new areas. The book describes one of many new ways in which the church can reach out to people with the timeless message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.'
Reverend Hans Eschbach, pastor and former director of the Dutch Evangelical Working Alliance.