Sacramento, Pt. 3: Converts at the Capital


The image below doesn’t belie the importance of the moment: It’s just a guy holding a hamburger bag while talking to another man on a bike.

Big deal, right? Well, good things can sometimes come in boring photos. (This is part 3 in a series. Click here for part 1, and here for part 2.)

The burger bag guy is Brian, a new student from the one day evangelism class I taught in Sacramento last week. There was a problem here. We were trying to get Brian to sit down and eat with the rest of the students during the lunch break, but he was too busy sharing his faith. And the class hadn’t even finished yet! He had clothes-lined the man as he bicycled through a parking lot!

How rude!

Except Bike-man didn’t think so. He thanked Brian, shook his hand and, I think, gave him a hug, the keys to his car and put him in his will….

We had two goals for this small church in the ‘burbs of Sacramento before our team of five left L.A. to teach this congregation the principles of biblical evangelism: 1) We wanted the Pastor to get on board with street witnessing. 2) We hoped for at least two members out of this church of fifty adults to catch the fire.

It turns out that three adults caught the fire. The man in the photo above, (who will be teaching a class of his own); the Pastor’s son, Dustin; and the church’s administrator, Bonnie, who told me about her own witnessing experience.

She talked to man who didn’t care that he was going to Hell; Bonnie started crying and couldn’t finish the conversation. I reassured her that he’ll never forget that conversation. I reminded Bonnie of what Catherine Booth, wife of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once said, “If you haven’t got tears in your eyes, let them hear tears in your voice.”

Bonnie had them in both places.

And what about the pastor, Mark Dahlin? Did he get on fire for this biblical principle that is guaranteed to unlock the heart of a sinner?

I just received an email from him today; it was a letter to his church and it began this way:  

Leaning over into the security vehicle I heard these words over the security officer’s walkie-talkie: “We have a group of Born- Agains in the mall!”  The officer smiled at me, lifted one eyebrow and said,  “They’re with you aren’t they?” I smiled and told her, “Yes,” then explained the constitutional right we had to be there and told her what we wanted to do.

Uh, oh! I think he learned all too well.


  1. Can you imagine how good Brian’s burger tasted after that?

  2. Thanks Steve. You and your stories here help keep me going! Don’t quit.

  3. Wonderful, as always, to see the work of God through your ministry, Steve!

  4. We the body of Christ, have been so blessed by this method of presenting the Gospel, as taught by Pastor Steve.

    On our recent road trip to Sacramento I saw Brian walking through the parking lot carrying his bag of lunch and out of the corner of my eye I saw him reach out to give a Gospel tract to a man riding his bicycle. When we returned a few minutes later I saw the man shaking Brain’s hand.

    Now that was a real advanced evangelistic effort and should never be attempted by those who have not taken and completed Pastor Steve’s class on “Sharing Your Faith Without Fear.”

    I can justify myself in just about anything I do and when it comes to my Savior’s command to “go” I have been totally disobedient.

    What is it that unlocks the heart of a repented Christian to follow God’s command? Take Pastor Steve class and find out. Or better yet, come out and see for yourselves

  5. Hey Steve,
    Just wanted to write a quick note about yesterday. I was at a gas station and a car ran out of gas in the intersection next to it. There was another guy walking by and we both went out to help push this guy out to the street. After getting him into the gas station I pulled the million dollar bills out and went through the conversation with the guy helping me push the car. The other guy was standing there listening. As we talked the tears welled up in the guys eyes and he broke down crying. I felt led to ask him if he was ready to submit his life to the Lord and he did. I looked over at the other guy, and he was smiling like I had really given him a million dollar bill. He told me that he got saved about two weeks ago and he was so excited to watch all of this unfold right in front of him. When he ran out of gas he started praying for GOd to help. He had no money for gas and he did not knwo what to do. I gave him a few bucks, but he wanted more of the million dollar bills. I gave him some and we all went our way rejoicing. The last I saw of the guy he was walking around the parking lot of the gas station high fiving people and giving them the tracts. Just wanted to thank you for all you have done for us and though the best way to do that was to let you know that you have fruit here that is growing.

    God bless,

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