The launch of the college football season for 2018 has begun, and so our SFOI 1000 work has begun as well. Click that link to see the rest of the dates that we will be ministering at the Ohio State University. Here is an update from the first week of the season.
Be On Time
One important aspect of leading a team to evangelize is planning. Working with 5-10 people and trying to get people to agree on a time to meet can be difficult. One of the biggest time wasters is sitting in traffic waiting for parking. With a noon gametime, the goal it to get there by 9. Any earlier and it’s tough to get people out of bed!
I ran later than I wanted this first week, and so the evangelism time was cut short by about a half an hour. I had hoped to be preaching by 9am, but didn’t start until almost 9:30. We trust the sovereign God who knew that I would be the only preacher present. He may have saved my vocal chords as I was still able to preach for about 2 hours with a couple breaks in the middle of the open air sermons.
I can’t stress how vital it is that everyone is on the same page. Before ministering to the crowd, we pray and sing hymns together. If a person or group is late, then either everyone else has to wait to minister, or we have to sing and pray without the entire team. Once we spread out to pass out tracts, it’s really hard to reel people in for those important activities, so my goal it always to set an early arrival time for my teams.
Encouragement & Answered Prayer
God was gracious to us this Saturday by sending multiple Christians to us to encourage us. One husband and wife stopped to comment on the preaching, thank us for being there and pray for us. What a mighty God we serve! The man who prayed for us, Alex, asked if we ever did street evangelism and I said, “yes, we’d love to.” Maybe we will hear from him again as I gave him contact information.
Another man, Kadre, approached us as well, telling us he is also an evangelist. One of the things we prayed for prior to the event was that God would raise up more laborers to join us. We will see if that is what God is doing with Alex and Kadre!
My own heart is cheered by the men who came with me. Joe, Josh, Nicholas, and Fred all faithfully ministered through tracts, prayer and a willingness to speak one on one to people. I am grateful for my team of 5, but I hope to have 10-12 a few times so that we might reach more people with the gospel!
Light versus Darkness
One of the reasons we go to sporting events is strategic. We go where there are a lot of people, in order that the message might be broadcast to as many as possible, even if only a few heed what we are dispensing. Well, strategy isn’t a Christian-only concept, and our dear corner of the Ohio State University was also being used to peddle complimentary passes to a central Ohio strip club!
I absolutely loathe sexual immorality and wickedness, and so, armed with the best weapon I could think of, I stepped on my stool and began to preach against the very immorality being peddled on that corner. I preached hard, praying internally as I preaching.
How do you preach against a particular evil while also proclaiming the life saving gospel? Like Jesus did. He is our example. Jesus preached against wickedness and often directed comments at particular people in the audience, yet constantly called people to repent and believe.
I am happy to say, with God’s help, the evildoers were driven away from my corner. I have called it the corner where righteousness dwells, and, as long as I have a voice, I will continue to make folks like that uncomfortable and give them the life-saving gospel. I sincerely do hope the young people who are exploiting women for money will be saved by grace, and I also hope that I kept them from tempting people to stray from their marriages and families, even if only temporarily.
May God be Glorified
We thank the sovereign God for bringing us home safely, providing wonderful fellowship and a meal after we were finished, and for the loads of encouragement we received.
We trust that His sheep hear his voice and they will follow Him. Please take a moment to pray for us and all those to whom we will be ministering in the future, and for those whom we have ministered to.