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, February 26, 2010

Trip to Mardi Gras Part 2

So as I mentioned in my last post, I finally arrived in New Orleans after driving 19 hours, 1,200 miles, through 7 states, all with 5 other people I had never met before (and who were going to Mardi Gras to party). A street-preacher driving partiers to their party...you can't script that!!

I departed from my new friends at the budget rental car return around noon on Friday. My preaching friends, from San Francisco, picked me up shortly thereafter. The weather in New Orleans was not warm and sunny, as I was hoping, but instead was cold, windy, and rainy. The high temp was around 38 deg...which is "warm" compared to 0 deg in Duluth but still not what I was hoping (but then again my trip wasn't really going as planned anyway). As you can imagine, after the long trip, I was pretty pooped (work, driving, driving, driving, driving, etc) I was awarded about 3 hours of "rest" time before we were heading to Bourbon street to preach.

My first impression of New Orleans....THIS PLACE IS A DUMP!! You can definitely see the impact the hurricanes have had on this place. Trash everywhere. Abandoned buildings/houses. It is by far the worst looking place I've ever been too. It was run down and beat up.

The place we were staying was a boarding house for homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. It is self-funded by a group of Christians who want to share the Gospel with those types of people. It is called Jesus Miracle Power. Because they are self-funded, they can pick and choose who they want in and who they don't. To them, it's all about sharing the Gospel. The residents can stay as long as they want (room/board/food provided) but there are rules they must follow or they are asked to leave. Anyway, it is set up military style. Two houses with many rooms. Each room has 2-6 bunk style beds. I picked my bunk and tried to get some sleep but preachers were coming and going. Introducing themselves, etc. Not to mention these houses did not have insulation in them or heating. This was a major cold spell for them and my room was freezing. I'm pretty sure I didn't get any sleep-eye while waiting to go out preaching.

Example of the rooms where we stayed at Jesus Miracle Power

At around 5pm all the preachers met in the sanctuary for debriefing and prayer time. There was about 15 of us, from all over the country, with one mission...sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. After prayer, we all jumped into our assigned vans, heading for Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is a one-way street with bars, restaurants, and rental houses/apartments lining it. You can fit one maybe 2 cars on it. The people line the street for about 20 blocks or so, walking up and down, drinking, talking, partying, etc. Bourbon Street during the day and at night

For the first night, we all stayed together. Most preachers had banners, bullhorns, and video cameras. It was pretty neat when we walked onto Bourbon Street. There were a lot of people, most were drunk but we walked right into their "party" holding our massive signs.
We set up and began preaching using our bullhorns. If we didn't use bullhorns our voices would be gone within in hour because of how loud it was on Bourbon Street. The response we got was very typical to any other place I've preached. Some people loved that we were there, most hated it (John 7:7). But all that mattered to us is that the name of Jesus was exalted and we spoke truth into these people's lives. The bible tells us, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." (Proverbs 27:5). We spaced out a little which allowed several preachers to preach with bullhorns all at one time. We just faced different directions. We took turns preaching, passing out tracts, holding signs, and videotaping (you can see me videotaping another preacher in the above picture right of center).

The first night was pretty much what I expected. A lot of people and a lot of opportunities to share the Gospel. Even if we didn't preach, the people would come up to us and ask questions. This is one of the many reasons why I love using banners. So often we pray for opportunities to witness (or say something like "I'll just wait for God to bring me someone), when in reality we are called to GO OUT and tell the people. Sure, we get to share our faith in many different circumstances (like when God brings people to us by "chance" - like my road trip), but I have found much greater joy in actually being obedient to God's call to GO and lay it all out there for people to come to me. Don't get me wrong, I am always nervous but the Lord has never failed me. You GO and they'll COME!

The first night ended around midnight. We jumped back into our vans and headed back to "camp". Back at "camp" there is a guy named William. He is not a resident at the place, he is a helper. He is the cook and he cooked us three meals a day (and I'm not talking peanut butter and jelly)! He cooked us spaghetti, steak, ribs, roast beef...it was always a 3-5 course meal. Even when we came back at 1 or 2 in the morning, William was in the kitchen cooking food for the preachers. He would serve us individually and he would always ask us if we needed more. This was probably the best blessing about the whole trip. Little William doing his part to further the Kingdom of God. He's not a preacher. He's not a bible scholar. He's a servant of the Lord doing his part for the body of Christ. He was a true servant, laying down his life for the brethren. Of course we did not take advantage of him, but he would do anything he was asked to do, no complaints, always with a smile on his face. He was a true blessing and no doubt one of the main highlights of this trip. While we preached during the day, he would go into our rooms, make our beds and clean up. After about the 4th day, he even gave all of us a trash bag to put our individual clothes in. He then did our laundry, folded it, and returned it to us. NOW THAT'S SERVING THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND LOVING THE BRETHREN!

The hardest thing about preaching on Bourbon Street was the beads (you know, the things everyone wears around their neck). People wear them, not because of the woman, but because everyone else is wearing them. Really it is pretty stupid! But, these things were weapons for the people, and they used them. They would WHIP these things at us from the Balcony's above. Thankfully our banners offered us protection (and the fact that most people were too drunk to throw straight). I wore a baseball cap and this helped as well. Some preachers wore safety glasses which I would no doubt bring if I ever preach there again. By the end, the people began to whip them at us right in front of us. We'd be preaching and you'd keep your eye out for a flying bead necklace. Once again, praise the Lord that no one was seriously injured. A few red marks but that's about it.

By the time I finally went to sleep on Saturday it was past 3am (after preaching, eating, showering), I had been up for over 48 hours. I was exhausted but the Lord had blessed me abundantly!

Acts 20:22-24

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.


Kari said...

Praising and Thanking the Lord for your courage, perseverance and faithfulness - May He be glorified because of it!

Anonymous said...

getting tired of the attack on the church. you home church goers are so anti-church its sick. what does God hate??? a brother who stirs dissension amoungst other brothers. nothing wrong with home church goers. nothing wrong with christians that attend an organized church that glorifies God. whats with the preacher yelling "you faggots, you homos"..thats the way i acted when i wasnt saved. hmm

Steve said...

Thank you for reading my post. I'd like to make a few comments in regards to the comments you recently posted.
First off, in regards to your statements about "church". The scriptures are very clear...church is NOT a building but rather, church is the people of God. It is an organism, not an organization. Man has made church something it was never intended to be, an organization (dues, membership, buildings, etc). All of these things take time and energy away from the real meaning of church, which is love and discipleship. If a church is able to do this, then I am all for it. Sadly, however, I know of very few churches in Duluth that put a passion for Jesus into their members (by passion I mean "holy living"). The same could probaby be said for "home" churches as well, they are by no means perfect. I just want to be around people that are on fire for Jesus, whether that is in the local church or in a home church. For me, I have found more "on fire" believers for Jesus in these home-fellowships, which is why I attend them. From time to time I do attend a local church but I'm always drawn back to the home fellowship.

In regards to your comment about the preachers yelling "you faggots, you homos", I don't know exactly what you are talking about (which video/picture specifically). However, "name calling" is not anti-biblical. Jesus called the pharisees and sadducees "foxes" "hypocrites" "brood of vipers"...he called the multitudes an "evil generation" and "evil". Paul told us who does not inherit the Kingdom of God, "drunkards" "homosexuals" "adulterers" etc. Name calling, when it is done in love, will hopefully be used by God to bring conviction to the sinner to bring them to repentance. The truth is a hard message but the bible says "Open rebuke is better than secret love".