American Idol 2010: The Bush Pulpit


Only an evangelist who preaches in the open air could appreciate a crowd of thousands waiting in line.

Thousands had nothing better to do than stand, and stand, and wait, wait patiently to get their tickets to the American Idol Finals.

Knowing that these poor people must be very hot and bored as they waited and waited to get into the Nokia Theater, and understanding that the majority of them would miss church on Sunday morning, we provided a much-needed service: a five minute message warning of Hell and declaring the grace of God through repentance and faith in Christ.

Remembering how effective the Bush Pulpit was in 2008, we utilized it again.

We preached virtually nonstop for two hours—with no interference. I would preface many of my sermonettes with a request to “Please hold your applause to the end.” Amazingly, they did!

Fifty people at a time would stop for “church”, hear the message (they weren’t always listening), then move on down the line. Two hedgerows protected us from any angry fans jumping at us to throttle our throats. Yes, indeed…God provided a, uh, hedge of protection.

Think this is ridiculous? We were just following in the steps of George Whitefield, the Great Awakening preacher from the 18th century. He wrote: “Let the love of Jesus constrain you to go out into the highways and hedges to compel poor sinners to come in.”

And John Wesley wrote this encouragement in the same century: “…I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, speaking from a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city, to about three thousand people.”

Charles Spurgeon, in next century, spurred us on as well: “Oh, you that preach Christ, preach Him boldly! No cowardly lips must proclaim His invincible Gospel! Oh, you that preach Christ, never choose your place of labor; never turn your back on the worst of mankind! If the Lord should send you to the borders of perdition, go there and preach Him with full assurance that it shall not be in vain.”

There was virtually no interference from Security-types or police; and thousands heard the Law and Gospel from our lips. I did say “virtually.” We did encounter a bit of a dust-up. Tune in next week to see that video.


  1. Praise the Lord. Thanks for sharing.

  2. who’s the lady evangelist in the bushes?
    can you do a feature of lady evangelists at some point? (see paul latour’s the word street journal regarding tract handing 101)

    He has clearly double-blessed your ministry. may your nets always be full.

  3. Thanks Paul. I always appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

    Dede, that’s Carol Nicholson, a retired RN who’s made it her business to be an itinerant evangelist. She has been featured twice before in these two articles:


    I just might do an article in the future….

  4. Ah right, the demon atheist lady.

  5. Please don’t forget about the Strobel request from me! 🙂

    Did you get my email re: the tracts, also?

    • Hi Nohm,

      I sent you a reply via email last week. It might have gone to your SPAM. You should get your tracts this week. And I had to order Strobel’s book ‘cuz i lent it out to someone, but don’t know who. So, when I get the copy, I’ll send you that part of it in a week or so!

  6. By George! That spot sure made a good Bush pulpit! Ha HA.
    Steve, please pray that I will get lots of opportunities to open air preach in the Phillipines, and thousands will get to hear the Gospel. Also pray for our entire team of 27, especially for wisdom, direction, unity, and health.
    Thanks, blessings.

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