Monday, July 6, 2015

What Real Evangelism Looks Like!

Yesterday morning, as we held worship once again in the Edwards Movie Theater here in Camarillo, California, I was reminded one more time of why I like New Church Development so much, and frankly:

What Real Evangelism Looks Like!

*  The morning began at 5:15AM as I pulled my car out of the driveway in the spritzing rain to go pick up our two worship trailers from the storage facility where they are parked.

*  Upon arriving at the storage facility at 5:45AM, I found out that the code that usually works to open the storage unit did not work on this particular morning.

*  In a panic, I scanned the facility for signs that might indicate why our team could not have access to our entire church's inventory.  "Closed for Fourth of July Weekend," said the sign.  "Back at 10:00AM".  "But church starts at 9:30!!" We screamed back at the sign.  The band would arrive at 8:00 to practice!!  The video team would arrive at 8:30!!!

*  Not knowing what to do, I decided to hop the tall security fence to the storage facility, and try to figure out another way in.  What I did not remember is that the jeans that I was wearing had a very small tear in the crotch area.  Actually, my wife Star reminded me the night before that I probably shouldn't wear them anymore.  I told her that it would be ok, because, you know, "I won't be jumping any high fences or anything.!?"

*  As I leapt the fence, I felt the tiny tear in the crotch of my jeans become a very large tear.  A cool wind could be felt in the area close to my nether-regions.  My jeans had a gaping hole in them.  Perhaps I could get away with walking with my legs closer together all morning, I told myself

Back to the task at hand...

*  I found a side door that I used my shoulder to jam open and to jimmy.  Our team made a last second decision to shuttle by hand our entire inventory of sound equipment for the three blocks between the storage facility to the front door.  But our cars would not be big enough to haul the equipment.  We would need a big truck.  A horse trailer maybe...We called one of the church elders to borrow their horse trailer.

*  6:15AM, I am driving a two-ton pick-up truck that is carrying an eight-wheel horse trailer sixty miles an hour, with a gaping rip in my pants, and yelling obscenities out the truck window, as I drive to the movie theater.

*  A team of four incredible volunteers shuttles, by hand, all of the equipment from the storage facility to the theater.

*  7:00 set-up begins in panic and haste at the theater.  We are easily 30 minutes behind.

*  7:30, I quickly go over the notes of my sermon in my head for a few minutes before the band arrives.

*  8:00, I join the band (I play the keyboard....sort of!?!) in practice.

*  9:25, a brand new person arrives at the theater who I have only met once.  He tells me he is a Hindu, but finds a deep sense of peace in the worship service that we offer each week.

*  I look my friend in the eye and say, "Oh yeah, we are real peaceful!  We've got peace down here at Mission Street Church!!  Especially this morning.  But welcome!"  I remember to hold my legs close together.

*  9:27, Star has mercifully brought me a change of jeans!

*  9:30, worship begins!!

This, I humbly submit to you is one version of:

What Real Evangelism Looks Like!

And so, my call to all of my evangelical friends in this country, who are so vexed about recent decisions regarding same sex marriage that were made by the Supreme Court, is to follow a 10 step process:

1.  Relax, leave it in God's hands
2.  Wake up early in the morning and worship in a location that is not your church
3.  Jump over a tall security fence, and rip your jeans
4.  Jimmy a lock open
5.  Drive a horse trailer at 60 miles per hour and yell obscenities out the window
6.  Haul 5,000 pounds of sound equipment to a movie theater
7.  Offer a kind and loving ear, and heart, to an outsider to the faith
8.  Play an instrument in a band
9.  Preach in a location that is not a church.
10.  Give God thanks for all things!

All For Now,


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