I learn all kinds of stuff when I go to the Ambassadors’ Academy, a four day intensive evangelism bootcamp from The Way of the Master. Even though I go as a team leader, I am amazed at what some of the “students” do when encouraged to do more than they think they can do.
Case in point: I met Mike Stockwell, a tough ex-Marine from Long Island (pronounced LonGI-land) who 20 years ago had his guts rearranged in an auto accident the day after he left the Service. But what guts he displayed on the Huntington Beach Pier! I never thought of doing this, and I don’t know that I ever will do it, but Mike did it when he discovered a Great Unreached People Group: Surfers!
I encouraged him to go for it, that is, to preach to the guys in the water. Unafraid and full of the Holy Spirit and power, he cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted down to the thrashers in-between sets.
What were the results as he belted out that they had violated God’s Law by breaking the 10 Commandments and would be found gulity on Judgment Day and end up in Hell? Predictable.
“Huh? Can’t hear yuh!” one surfer shouted. “What?!! What did ya say?!!” another chimed in. Suddenly, the swells were alive with the sound of mock-ing! “Huh!” “What?” “Can’t hear ya!” Then it turned nasty.
“Shut the #$%!#@% up!” “Get out of here ya #$%!#@%!” “You #$%!#@%!” As they blasphemed and cursed, Mike kept right on preaching till the full Gospel was presented. A set came in and then washed everyone away.
What type of a tract do you think a tough guy like Mike would use? Something that would grab the attention and speak of the terribleness of death and Hell, right? Something lean and mean and pointed, aimed at the jugglar, spearing the heart, right? Nope. Mike’s favorite Gospel literature is a kiddie tract! A kiddie tract!
Think I was gonna say anything to a guy built like a brick? Think I would have anything constructive to offer a man who uses kiddie tracts and shouts at surfers in the water?
Of course. I ridiculed him mercilessly about the kiddie tracts. What was his response? He would skip like a little girl and hand out another one.
Oh! The things I learn at the Ambassadors’ Academy.