For the second time this season we had back to back Saturdays with an Ohio State football home game. This was a particularly exciting week because I had 8 fellow evangelists who wanted to join me!
A lot of folks don’t like to talk about “strategy” when doing ministry work. Employing strategy is considered a bit taboo because so many people have used man-centered and man-made strategies to try to attract people to churches.
But there is nothing wrong with using good wisdom to try to reach as many people with the gospel as possible — as long as the methods are biblically approved. And it is wise and caring to be sure that the folks you minister with are well taken care of.
Take, for example, the fact that 8 people were offering their time to get the gospel out at the Ohio State football game Saturday. In order to maximize the amount of time on the street engaging the lost, we need to minimize any wasted time. A big time waster on game days is “looking for parking.”
Here is a description of our pregame activities along with an explanation of why we do what we do. I like to believe that my preparedness and organization is a blessing to those who join me (as long as they can put up with the pedantic nature of it).
Our first goal is to be at the preaching location 3 hours prior to kickoff. So, since the game was scheduled for noon, that meant we wanted to be there by 9am.
Nine people from 5 different vehicles all met at a location about a mile away from where we minister. Our goal was to arrive at 8:30. After meeting, as many people as possible piled into my van, while the rest walked the mile to the location. This amounted to the “young people.”
Then I drove the remaining folks to the location and dropped them off along with back packs, a box of tracts, etc. Then I went back and parked my car.
Then I rode my bike back the location. The goal is to:
- cut down on the total time spent trying to get from parking to the “corner of righteousness”
- minimize any monetary spending on parking (we park so far away we don’t pay for parking)
- reduce the amount of walking that people have to do — standing on concrete for several hours to preach and pass out tracts is actually already very tough on your legs!
So after meeting at 8:30, and all the shuffling back and forth, we were finally able to begin together by 9:08. You can see how everyone has to do their part for the team’s success.
By the time of kickoff, most of us have already been away from home over 4 hours without a meal or a break. I encourage my team to take care of restroom breaks before the crowd arrives. We have a window of about 2 hours where there is a consistent crowd, with a large concentration about 90 minutes to 30 minutes before kickoff. You don’t want to have to leave your post to use the restroom!
After the evangelism is over and we are all tired, we normally try to make time for a fellowship meal where we enjoy each other’s company, nourish our tired bodies and share stories of what we just encountered. I am very grateful to everyone who helps provide these meals, as well as the gospel tracts we pass out. This year so far we have already passed out about 5,000 tracts.
This week, because of the maturity of the team members who all arrived on time, we were able to sing Nothing But the Blood and pray together before splitting up to preach and pass out tracts. I am so thankful for Mike, Jason, Miri, Nick, Allie, Joe, Kurt and Adam who labored alongside me.
May Jesus Christ be praised by those who heard His Word preached or received a tract this weekend. He watched over us as usual, keeping us safe from harm, sending encouragement through the brethren, and sustaining us as we endured the elements. Praise His holy name.