The Church in Action
Not to preach or Bible-bash or promote a church or discriminate based on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age or gender.
The Church in Action to bring God’s love to the streets.
Who are Yarra Street Pastors?
Yarra Street Pastors is a community project aiming to create a safer night-time experience for people frequenting key entertainment districts of the City of Yarra (Brunswick St, Smith St, Swan St).
Street Pastors is an inter-denominational church response to challenges in urban nightlife hot spots. The front-line of the organisation consists of teams of volunteers who go out onto the streets at night, engaging with the people who frequent the nightclub scene and to engage, care, listen, dialogue and offer help. We will hand out bottles of water to sober people up, give thongs to those with sore feet from high heels, give blankets to the cold, help people get home safely, comfort the distraught, diffuse potentially difficult situations before they occur, protect the vulnerable, build relationships and connect people with help. The organisation has a significant and effective presence worldwide since its establishment in 2003, and our objective is to bring this to the City of Yarra. A team of people from different Christian churches aim to work in partnership with community organisations, local council and police to make this happen.
What is a Street Pastor?
A Street Pastor does not have to be a Church Pastor. They can be 18 or 93. The key is a heart to serve. A Street Pastor is a Christian (whether Church member or Church leader) with a concern for society – in particular young people who feel themselves to be excluded and marginalised – and who is willing to engage people where they are, in terms of their thinking (i.e. their perspective of life) and location (i.e. where they hang out – be it on the streets, in the pubs and clubs or at parties etc).
Street Pastors will also be willing to work with fellow activists, church and community leaders, and with agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary, to look at collaborative ways of working on issues affecting youth, and initiatives that will build trust between them and the Street Pastors.
As the Street Pastor gets to know people in the community he/she will find out what their needs are and what can be done to help. A presence of Street Pastors will earn credibility in the community, so that people know that the Church is there for them in a practical way. The role is not about preaching heaven and hell, but one of listening, caring and helping – working in an unconditional way that brings God’s love to the streets.
Who can be a Street Pastor?
To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a member of a Christian church and able to commit to initial training (4 sessions) followed by completing the remaining training as you serve. We ask each Street Pastor to pay the cost of their uniform (rain jacket, cap, beanie, polo shirt, polar fleece) and contribute towards training. The amount is $300, although we can accept $150, and the further $150 within two months of approval as a Street Pastor. Should you be able to contribute more we would appreciate it as the uniform and first aid training alone costs us close to $300. Should the cost be prohibitive please talk to us and we’ll sort something out.
Each Street Pastor team consists of at least three groups of four, each of which will work a minimum of one night a month, usually from 10pm to around 4am.
Apply now to become a Street Pastor here.
What is a typical night like?
The best way to understand a typical night is to come out on the streets one night as an observer. An outline of the night might looks as follows:
- Prayer time together.
- Briefing about the night (including information from Police)
- Walking the Streets in teams of 3-4 (women & men)
- Prayer Pastors praying through the night.
- Rest times throughout the night at the base.
- Debrief and prayer to conclude.
What training do Street Pastors receive?
Our comprehensive training program is designed to fully equip new Street Pastors to respond to the needs of all the people that they engage on the streets. Before going out you will need to complete the initial training and then the rest of the training will be completed over the next 6-18 months.
- Roles & responsibilities part 1 & 2
- Knowing your community
- Youth culture & child protection
- Vulnerable adult awareness
- Diversity & equality
- Mentoring & emotional logic
- Police matters, conflict handling, violence & aggression
- Drugs/solvent abuse/alcohol awareness
- First Aid/CPR
- Spiritual resilience & self-care
What is a Prayer Pastor?
Prayer Pastors pray regularly for the Street Pastor team. Prayer is the fuel that drives our actions. Some people may prefer to pray at home and may pray at various times during the week rather than the hours that the Street Pastors are out. This might be by themselves or with others.
One of the most encouraging things and most needed is to have people who will pray at the base during the hours that the Street Pastors are out on the streets. There will be a phone at the base so that Street Pastors can phone the Prayer Pastors and ask for specific prayers as situations occur. Prayer Pastors can also phone the Street Pastors with what they believe God is saying as they pray. The aim is to always have at least two people praying at the base. If only one person can pray on a particular night they might be able to go out with the team (as an Observer) and pray quietly while the Street Pastors fulfil their role. Some people may opt to pray from home while the Street Pastors are out and receive updates on their personal phone.
You can apply to become a Prayer Pastor here.
Register you interest in supporting Street Pastors in the City of Yarra here. If you would like to see the work of Street Pastors in your area, then we would love to have that conversation.
Maybe you’d like to come out with us one night?