Parades are a blast. If you are an evangelist you should be excited at the fact that you can reach thousands upon thousands of people with the Gospel in just a few hours with tracts and pre-parade preaching. At the Hollywood Santa Parade our team of thirteen handed out close to 15 thousand tracts! But when the parade starts that’s when things really get cookin’. I’m not lying when I say that if you are courageous enough, a well placed tract can have the potential to reach millions around the world! (Click here to start at Part 1!)
Step 9: Invade the Parade. Watch the parade, yes, but be ready. Position yourself where the street is narrowest; that way you will only have to walk a few feet to get a tract into the hands of someone who is actually in the parade.
Unfortunately, at our Hollywood Santa Parade we were prohibited from running out into the middle of Sunset Blvd. because there was a strong police presence directly across the street from us and right behind us. Remember, it was a night time parade and we were in the bowels of Hollywood.
Besides all that, there was a very serious, mean looking lady, who made sure that we stayed behind the blue line, out of the way of the approaching parade.
She’d look at our toes, point and grunt, then we’d gingerly step back behind the line.
That’s why I’m showing you highlights from our (previously unpublished) local Hermosa Beach Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, where we were earlier in the year.
Step 10: Get photogenic tracts. The Giant Hundred Dollar Bill is best because it is so, well, giant!
People respond happily to this tract, not knowing what to make of it.
Step 11: Watch your body language. When I invade a parade I hold my arms out wide to show that I’m not carrying a weapon, then I lean into the car or float, honoring the personal space between the participant and the spectator. Kind of.
The last thing anyone needs is for the police to misread your moves…
How can you possibly influence thousands and millions of people?
Here’s the Mayor of my city, Redondo Beach, getting a Gospel tract. What if he reads, believes and repents? What if he should influence our city for the cause of Christ?
Or this Council member from the City of Hermosa Beach where my church is located? If this man gets soundly saved, think of the righteousness that could prevail.
This Torrance City Council member could lead a Revival, if he would just bow the knee after reading the back of this tract. Ya just never know…
At the Martin Luther King Parade, Stevie Wonder got a tract, too. Think about the songs he could write if God chose to open his heart, and his eyes…
…to the truth of the Gospel!
Step 12: Hand out tracts to everybody going home from the parade. Your evangelistic work isn’t over yet. All those thousands who enjoyed the parade are walking back to their tranportation; give them something to read on the way back. Stand in the center of the crowds and hand them the rest of your Gospel literature. Who knows what God will do with al your efforts?
Don’t let anyone rain on your parade. When the saints come marching in… to Heaven, it might just be the result of your efforts on Christ’s behalf.
WAIT! I JUST DISCOVERED A 13TH STEP: PARADE GAP PREACHING! Click here to see a short video on how to do this.
R.A. Torrey wrote this about a hundred years ago:
Oftentimes a conversation is impossible because of the place where you meet people. For example, you may be on the street cars and wish to speak to a man, but in many instances it would not be wise if it were possible, but you can take the man’s measure and then give him a tract that will fit him. You may be able to say just a few words to him and then put the tract in his hands and ask God to bless it.
Never be ashamed of distributing tracts. Many people hand out tracts to others as if they were ashamed of what they were doing. People are not likely to read tracts if you hand them to them as if you were ashamed to do it; but if you act as though you were conferring a favor upon them, and giving them something worth reading, they will read your tract. —From “The Use of Tracts.”