Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Superbowl Outreach '09

A group of us went to Tampa for a Super Bowl Evangelism Training and Outreach. Donnie, Wes, Danny, Justin, Rusty and I rented a van (graciously paid for by a local church) and headed west. The event was organized by Sports Fan Outreach, Int’l (www.sfoi.org). There were some great speakers there including Tony Miano from Ambassador Academy. The days were long but the Lord blessed us with the stamina to get through it physically and spiritually. About 120 evangelists attended and we teamed with Robert and Edwin to go out to the masses.

We started at 6am for prayer meeting, then heard some great messages and off at noon to go to our assigned locations in and around the Super Bowl events.

Day 1 – we went to the Media Center and the central part of downtown Tampa where the restaurants are, etc. We quickly found out that this was not going to be about how many tracts got handed out or how many people prayed for salvation. This was about getting the True Gospel message out to as many of the 80,000 people estimated to attend as possible. We spoke to Mormons, Muslims, false converts, JW’s, “It’s all about me believers”, Hindus who converted to Christianity and many more.

After a few hours of one 2 one and ‘on the box’ preaching, we broke for dinner. While trying to figure out where to go next, Donnie suggested a spot and we set up the box and started preaching. We did not know (the Holy Spirit sure did though) that where we set up was the beginning of the line of the Snoop Dog concert. Within 30 minutes there were hundreds of people getting in line to get into the concert. They were there for an hour or more before the line moved – letting in a few hundred, then stopping – what an opportunity. We split up about every few hundred feet and preached up and down the line. Then a few of the other evangelists showed up. Everyone in the 10-block-long line was offered a tract (we had Super Bowl Trivia, MDB’s, Big 100’s, etc.). The hecklers were out in full force but no one threw anything.

Day 2 – We went to a park area which turned out to not work for us. We were told we could not hand out anything because it was deemed a private event. We went to the stadium instead. Had to walk about 2 miles from where we parked and on the way, we handed out tracts and talked to folks. Some great conversations were had and many seeds planted. A Scientologist said she would really consider and read what she received from us. I talked to a girl who labeled herself a Christian- she was bitter against God. She did ask several questions and seemed to understand more after we talked. I spoke to her brother earlier and saw he was reading the Gospel of John I had given him.

Then onto an intersection for some stoplight preaching! We got a new 'captive audience' every 3 minutes or so.
Day 3 – Super Bowl day and we were at the stadium at a choice spot. Hundreds of people walking by and we rotated every few minutes so there was hardly a time when the Gospel was not getting preached.

Too many stories to put into this post but we were covered by the St Pete Tribune and Baptist Press as well. Check it out: http://www.tampabay.com/news/religion/article972213.ece

Everyone should consider taking part in these events-we may not always have the opportunity to do this type of evangelism.