I think all church planters have their story or stories that drive them to do what they do the way they do it. It’s like something happens and your eyes are opened to a whole new world of possibilities. One such story of mine happened about 15 years ago and has always been a driving force in my ministry philosophy.
Guerilla street evangelism is never easy. It wasn’t any easier on this particular day in New York City. With all of the strange looks, the angered responses and a few obscene hand gestures a miracle occurred. Now you must know this has never been my favorite form of evangelism, no relationship just information from someone they have never met. I am happy to say that it doesn’t have to be my favorite for God to use it occasionally because on that day a young man came to know Jesus in a powerful way. I don’t know much about the young man but I am reasonably certain he had a rough life. He spent the whole day hanging out with the team in continued evangelistic outreach because he had nothing better to do and strangely, for the first time in his life, it was actually true.
As evening came the young man decided to join the team at the church for some prayer and praise to wrap up the day. This was the first for him. He had never experienced anything like this but he seemed to really feel there was something behind this praising God thing as each person would shout out various phrases. They could be heard so clearly, “Praise You Lord!” “You are awesome Lord!” “God, You are faithful!” Then the room grew silent when the new kid shouted out his first words of praise to the one who had saved him. “God, You are so F@&$ing awesome!”
Maybe you, like me, could have gotten a little uncomfortable with God being praised in that way. Maybe your discipleship side would have risen up and taken the young man aside to correct his choice of adjective when referring the Creator of the world. The more I thought about it though the more I agreed with this young man, who was older than me actually. I had no way to express that God was even better than awesome but he did. To him adding that one word exponentially increased how awesome he thought God was. His outburst would have never been accepted upstairs in the Sunday service. In fact I am sure it wasn’t accepted by everyone in the room that night. That event planted a seed in me that has been growing for 15 years.
God, help me show people how F@&$ing awesome You are.
What’s your story.