Purpose Of This Ministry

The purpose of this ministry is found in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This ministry seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in everything. We are are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ therefore we declare this Gospel in the highways and biways. We preach about sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment to a lost and dying world. Since Jesus' mission was to "seek and save that which was lost", this too is our mission, being empowered by the Holy Spirit whom He has given to all those who believe.

On this site you will find several resources we believe are honoring to our Lord. We hope these resources will help you take up your cross and follow Jesus - they have definitely helped us. We hope you find our site to be both a blessing and an encouragment.

I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. -Philemon 1:6

-Steve (theway1711@gmail.com)

Friday, June 27, 2008

5 Year Old Passes Out Tracts

Yesterday was a beautiful day, probably one of the (if not THE) nicest days of the year. Mild temps., little to no wind, and a small blanket of cloud cover to keep us from burning up.

It was an exciting day because two new people came out with us. Rob Skutevik and Nick Olson. They've been wanting to get out with us for some time, but job and other priorities seemed to be hindering them. So to say the least it was exciting to have them join us. Rob and I have done a lot of street-witnessing in the past together, so it was great to be in the battle with a tested warrior who I knew well. It didn't take long before Rob was back in prime-form battling for the Gospel. There is one picture in the slide show of him talking to a couple of people.

Another neat thing about yesterday is that Rob brought 3 of his kids with and for the most part they stayed around us to listen in on the conversations. At one point, I asked the girls if they wanted to hand out tracts, and little Gabbie (only 5 years old) was pumped. She was AWESOME! Very few people will take tracts from us, however put a cute little five year old girl in your path handing you a piece of paper...I don't think ANYONE can resist. And they didn't. She passed out about 10 tracts...more than most professing christians do in a lifetime!! Way to go Gabbie (see the inserted picture of Gabbie with the tracts).

Nick and Josh went to Little Angies while Rob and I stayed at Park Point. Rob and I were able to have a few good conversations with both believers and unbelievers. I believe seeds were sown and watered, and now God can do the increase.

Since Park Point was not as packed at it seemed, we decided to pack up and head to the Marine Museum area of Canal Park..and boy was that a good move! The canal park area was pretty packed.

I started with a conversation with several young christians on a mission trip. I asked them what I needed to do to be saved. Their response floored me because it was not the typical, "say this prayer", "ask Jesus into your heart", "admit you are a sinner", etc. Instead it was, to me, a very biblical response. In short, Repentance and Faith defined as a complete submission to Jesus, not just as your Savior BUT AS YOUR LORD. Believing in His death, burial, and resurrection and conforming your life to follow His will (i.e. obedience). And this was from a kid about 12 years old! Way to go youth leader!

I talked with the youth for about 20 or 30 mins during which time a professing believer approached and was questioning our method of evangelizing. I've written on this topic before, but let me mention again that "success" should not be measured on the response to our message, but rather if our message is biblical and if we are making disciples (in the long run - God saves them, we then make disciples). We MUST get over the idea that an "offensive" message is not productive. There is NO biblical support for such a statement.

Matthew 28:19-20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Mark 16:15
And He [Jesus] said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Here is something we get from a lot of people in regards to our "offensive" message. They say something similar to, "This fear tactic, hellfire and brimstone preaching might work for some, but others it will just turn off". Now, please read that statement again. Notice what is bold. Do you see the self-deception in this statement. The person is literally saying that our method DOES work from some people, but that we shouldn't be doing it (that is generally what their main point is - stop your message/method it is turning people off). The problem with this thought is this. If our method/message DOES work from some people, what would come of those people if we stopped doing our method/message? What if we stopped just to reach the people that need a different method/message? Do you see the deception behind this? I don't doubt for one minute that these people are being sincere, but they really are not hearing what they are saying. If we stopped, those who NEED our message/method would not get it, therefore leaving them high and dry. If we started to reach the other people, could we not say that our "success" is just as comparable to our first approach - some people are "listening" and others are "not listening"? It's foolishness. Just preach the TRUE BIBLICAL message in a style that is supported by the prophets, Jesus, and the New Testament Church.

Mark 6:10-12
And He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them." They went out and preached that men should repent.

I will stand on this truth...there is FAR MORE biblical references to open-air preaching, street-preaching, door-to-door preaching, and preaching judgment, sin, righteousness FIRST talking about the Love of God. Now, no doubt they are all tied together BUT the Love of God makes NO SENSE if we do not talk about the others first. I'll stick to what the biblical example is and when God brings me a relationship with a non-believer, I'll share the same message. There are far too many people who are not hearing the TRUE message because we as an evangelical church are failing in the Great Commission, relying on our "relationships" with unbelievers as a means to evangelize. By the way, what if you share the truth with your friend and they get offended...were you "successful"?

John 6:59-61
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?

The rest of the day was met with a few more good conversations. One in particular was as I was leaving. A girl by the name of Mandee approached me and was very excited about us being on the streets. She has a heart for street-ministry, was not offended by our method/message (meaning she thought it was right on), and stressed a desire to join us in the future. AMEN!

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grandma's Marathon

This past weekend was a definite learning experience. There were literally thousands of people who stormed the city of Duluth for running, fun, and seemingly most of all drinking!

We went out on Friday from 11am - 8:45 pm and Saturday from 8am - 8pm. It was a long and grueling weekend. At this point I don't have the time nor space to explain all of our encounters.

Tina came out with us on Friday and mentioned that although we didn't have a single conversation in the first few hours, just about EVERYONE who passed by was reading the sign - the planting of seeds!

Matthew 13:3-8
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

At one point, Tina left to go get some ice cream and when she came around the corner she was met with quiet a scene. I was engaged in a heated debate with a group of about 10+ homosexuals, some of which we had talked to on Tuesday. A few seemed to be mocking, but some were generally (seemingly) interested in what we had to say. The neat thing is that Tina was able to get much of the conversation on video, so be looking for that on the blog time in the future.

After the group dispersed, Josh was approached by two guys who, although "ok" with the message, did NOT like the method we were using. Very frustrating because there is little, if any, scriptural support to alter the method of "marketplace preaching" based on our culture today. These gentleman figured our method does not work in today's culture, trying to prove that by my conversation with the homosexuals. It seemed any "negative" response to our message was not a "success" to them. Hmmmmmmm

John 6:65-67
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more (see verse 60). Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

As the day progressed we were in and out of small conversations. At one point the POTATO CHIP guy approached us, pulled out his cell phone, and preceded to call the police. His message to them (a few feet away from us) was that we were "scaring little kids and telling them they are going to hell." He also stated that he was a "christian" and was offended by this message. Remember, he's the guy that throws potato chips around us and calls us "pieces of sh%$". As he walked away he said, "That's it guys. You're done. You're outta here." About 20 min later the Police showed up, and as usual, had nothing really to say to us. They know we are in our rights, even if we were telling "little kids they are going to hell" (which we were not). We shook the police officers hand and he went on his way.

The rest of the evening was spent in some good conversations.

Saturday was a long, long day. As I stated earlier, we got there around 8am, set up, and stayed until about 8pm. Nick joined us for most of the day, and Sam came around 4pmish, Tina was with us from 8am until around noon. It was a great day with MANY great conversations (too many to go into). As usual, we were approached by all types of people, attitudes, and backgrounds.

Sam did an EXCELLENT job when he and I were "manning" a sign. He came out just to "observe" but got thrown into the fire as soon as we put the sign out. We were approached by a small group (8 people). Half came to me, half to him. We spent a good 20 or 30 mins with our groups talking about sin, righteousness, judgment, and the Gospel, as well as answering their questions. As Sam was finishing up, I noticed he was praying with one of the gentleman, and the guy seemed to appreciate it because he thanked Sam and shook his hand. NICE WORK!

One thing that stands out to me more than anything after this weekend is just how full of sin our world is. The atmosphere done in Canal Park was one of sex, music, and drinking. The majority of women were dressed with such provocative clothing. The drinking was non-stop from 9am until we left. The music that was being played was loud, with a theme of sex, heartaches, drinking, and "having fun". At one point I saw a couple (I don't know if they were married) go into a porta-potty and not come out for about 15min. When they did, they were both "adjusting" themselves. My guess is they were having sex, in "broad-daylight", as kids were walking around.

The evening, by a large majority of the public, was spent in front of Little Angies with a mass of people playing drinking games, taking shots, while to hardly dressed "DJ's" were calling on people to drink more and more. All the while, families were walking around and being subjected to this. Don't fool yourself, God is NOT blessing the U.S.A. like most people think He is. Our Judgment is coming!

In the end, the weekend was, I think, a huge success (if you mark "success" as planting and/or watering "seeds"). We have a lot to learn for next year in terms of our approach because although we planted many seeds, many more seeds could have been planted if we were more prepared. I was a little disappointed to the lack of response to my invitation to join us. Again, please don't let the fear of man, doubt, or our "method" scare you way. Do you love to talk about Jesus and what he has done for you? Trust me, you'll be able to do that AND THEN SOME if you come out on the streets!

2 Timothy 1:6-8
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you...For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

4 Squad Cars

It's been a long time since I last posted a recent update of our street ministry. I was gone on vacation visiting family, but Josh and a few others remained faithful and spent a few days on the streets preaching the Gospel of salvation.

Yesterday was yet another day filled with many encounters. Josh, Steve, Val and Erik Larson came out to Canal Park from 4ish until 9:45.

It started with the same guy POTATO CHIP GUY from before, within minutes of us getting there, spreading potato chips all around us so the birds might poop on us. We tried to hold a conversation with him but all he did was swear at us (he told us he "loves Jesus").

I got into a pretty heated conversation with about 10+ homosexuals. I was approached by one that asked me, "If I'm a homosexual, am I going to hell?" I informed him it's sin that sends us to hell and homosexuality is one such sin. From that point on it was "fireworks" between him, me, and his buddies.

1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God

Regardless of what else was said, the message of Repentance and Faith (the Gospel) was delivered. Now it's up to God to cause the seed to increase. Remember, our job is not to save people, it's to plant seeds and/or water. When/If God saves them, we are to make Disciples of Jesus out of them.

Matthew 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

At one point the potato chip man came out and got very loud, "violent", and had to be restrained by several people because he was getting very angry with Val. It got pretty hot and heated but Val did a great job keeping his cool, even "blessing" the man that hates our message so much.

Matthew 5:44
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

It wasn't long after that that 3 squad cars (a fourth came later) pulled up and questioned us. I guess the "manager" from Little Angies called saying we were loud, our sign was offensive, and we were "harassing" people as they walked by. Our sign may be offensive, but the other 2 are simply not true. We talked with the Police for about 20 mins. or so, and they concluded that we were well within our rights and left us alone. At one point, one of the homosexuals asked that I be arrested for being against his lifestyle and telling him he was going to go to hell if he continued to practice homosexuality. Go figure. He asked me...I told him...then he wants me arrested??

The day continued with many great conversations, questions, encouragement, anger, and curiosity. All those emotions/reactions come with the territory. Hopefully, as time goes on, we will be able to video these encounters and use them as a learning tool and encouragement. Many things can be learned from watching others proclaim the Gospel.

My final hour or more was spent "debating" with a dispensational christian (I hate debating with professing believers on the streets, I need to learn not to do it). I had this same type of encounter before with a dispensationlist, very frustrating, seemingly non-productive esp. in light of unbelievers standing around watching us "debate". In fact they were encouraged by one of the homosexuals to come up to us and talk to us. I wonder if Satan was involved in any of this? Josh had a long conversation with a non-believer and it seemed to go well. She said she planned on looking into the things we are preaching.

May God continue to use this ministry, how He sees fit and may He get ALL THE GLORY!

1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.