mini-vangie: My Wife’s Big Idea


My wife Karen is a great help-mate; I just don’t always realize it, you know, being a guy and all. I had to preach four sermons this past weekend on: What else? Evangelism. Karen suggested that I invite the congregation over to our house for P.I.E. (Pizza, Intercession, Evangelism) afterwards, then everyone would walk on down to the Redondo Beach Pier to hand out tracts and do some one-to-one witnessing. Being the kind, sensitive, Spirit-filled husband that I am… I said, “No.” She pleaded that I pray about it, then give her an answer. Being the kind, sensitive, Spirit-filled pastor that I am, and attuned to the very things of God, I sensed that it would be a good thing to pray. I prayed for a full thirty seconds. I sensed that it would be wonderful to invite a congregation of about 1500 people to my house for a pizza party… At the end of each service, I invited people to take a hastily made flyer which gave directions to our home.
My daughters were totally excited. I cautioned that only about thirty or forty people would show up; my very social girls were hoping for a hundred. I patiently explained that we were inviting Christians to go out and evangelize and in today’s day and age, Christians just don’t do that. Never-the-less, I offered each of them twenty dollars should a hundred people show up. Another pastor estimated three hundred.

Cars started arriving. Entire families were coming, babies in tow. Little kids, teenagers, twenty-somethings, single moms, grandmothers, singles. What an exciting event! This was a picture of the early church—right in our front yard!

I instructed how to evangelize using the 10 Commandments and
experimented on the Dominoe’s guy when he delivered the pizzas—in full view of the eighty gathered around him. After pizza and prayer, we walked en masse down to the pier.

I was concerned that there might be too many people to approach a limited space all at once—we might saturate the area in only a few minutes—but that worry quickly dissipated when we saw the tens of thousands swirling around the beach, the park, the bikepath and the pier, like locusts after a fast.
My plan was to meet at the base of the pier, fan out and meet back in an hour…

But God had other plans.

The apprentice evangelists—without any instruction—fanned out on their own! They swirled through the park with their million dollar bill gospel tracts, invading the space of hundreds of picnickers. Children ran up asking for more while Aunties and Uncles laughed with understanding smiles. Others hit the bike path, working their way south handing out ministry money to smiling cyclists and joyful joggers. Still others strode to the beach and blanketed the bathers with blessed bills. And back on the pier, little kids and Moms ran out of their stacks, mobbed by multitudes of grateful tourists.

A conservative estimate of how many tracts handed out in less than three hours: 10,000!

One brother was concerned that because the tracts were in English, many people wouldn’t understand the message written on the back of the bills. I assured him that curious families would get Uncle Bobo to come over and read the message of salvation to the family as they gathered around during a family dinner.

My wife overheard someone ask, “Are you Jehovah’s Witnesses?” Karen surmised that the person must have been quite surprised seeing a mob of Jesus Freaks spreading the gospel, because Christians just don’t do that anymore…


  1. Pastor Steve,
    Glad that you took the suggestion of your wife to pray. As Lisa Whelchel ???? (I cannot think of her married name–husband is a Pastor at the Church on the Way)–once said, “Did not have time to fast and pray over the decision so I prayed real fast”

    I had a great time Sunday afternoon. The people at the beach, for the most part, took the tracts. Lucy, who I met at your house, and I walked together. We had one challenging young man–my opinion is that he was stoned—who thought he was cool by saying half of him would go to heaven and the other half go to hell. He was tough but I think he finally got the point. Like you advised, I kept repeating questions when digression was attempted.

    Good to go with a large, enthusiatic group. However, even when their is only one, it is worth the time to go. As sad as it is that Christians are not interested, our job is to not be negative on them but pray for them for maturity and deliverance from the evil spirits that work against them as diligently as we pray for the lost. God wants us to have grace for the brethren. If they are critical of you, that is a whole different ballgame.

  2. Sounds like a blast! I can’t believe so many people showed up!! That is awesome. Tell Karen, excellent idea!

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