Flea Market Outreach

IMG_3159On Saturday, June 16, we rented a booth at the local flea market for the first time, in order to set up a table and share the Gospel with folks passing by. Due to the registration rules and timing, we were only able to get a table outside the main market buildings, which posed some challenges — including being out in the sweltering Carolina heat and the prospect of considerably less foot traffic coming by our booth. Additionally, we were warned there was a booth of Jehovah’s Witnesses near our location.

God had a plan.

To deal with the heat, we procured a 10×10 canopy tent from the local hardware store. As for location, we gladly chose the closest available booth to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I brushed up on their teachings (by reading Ray Comfort’s “World Religions in a Nutshell” and John Gerstner’s “The Teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses“) in case we had any interactions with them.

Unlike our previous Gospel booth attempt, we were not allowed to give away free bottled water, so we had to rely on free Bibles as a draw. Because we were out of practice, I created a survey “cheat sheet” for myself, combining the exploratory questions of Evangelism Explosion with the “good person quiz” of The Way of the Master to create, what I called, a simple, non-confrontational “church survey.”

I didn’t have much luck asking passersby to take my church survey, so my wife started engaging people with the Million Dollar Bill and Optical Illusion tracts, which worked best to capture their interest. After joking around with them, she asked if they would take our church survey, which they normally did — and I was able to go through the questions and share the Gospel with them.

My wife drew them in with the funny tracts, then passed them off to me for the Gospel message. People walked away from our booth with a free Bible and an appreciation for our short time together.

Thankful for doing my homework beforehand, I did run into several Jehovah’s Witnesses. This was the first time I’ve engaged with Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I was prepared. I knew what they were going to say, and I had an answer. Surprisingly, one made a similar argument as that of Muslims — that what we call the Bible today has been corrupted since Jesus’ time. It’s much easier to prove this wrong with Muslims, because their “prophet” Muhammad actually promoted the Old and New Testaments (Torah, Zabur/Psalms, and Injil/Gospel) in the Qur’an. You can easily show that the Bible he promoted at the time of his life (571-632 A.D.) is the same Bible we have today based on the dating of the manuscripts in existence. This Jehovah’s Witness admitted that the Dead Sea Scrolls were “problematic” to his argument.

Another woman I interacted with believed that she was sinless. I went through the normal 3 or 4 commandments, but when she denied breaking those, I went through all 10. When she denied breaking those, I explained how Jesus said even thoughts of hate or lust make us guilty of breaking God’s law (see Matthew 5:21-30). But still she denied her guilt. To which, I told her that she didn’t need Jesus. He came to save sinners, not the righteous.

One woman laughed at the commandments and explained that I was talking to an adult entertainment promoter. By God’s grace and providence, I happened to bring a Jesus Loves Porn Stars Bible with me and gave it to her.

The biggest surprise to me was just how many Spanish-speaking folks came by the table. I’d say about half the people we interacted with spoke Spanish. And about half of those had a child that could help us translate. Thankfully, we did have a bunch of Spanish tracts and Bibles, which we liberally gave to them. (We’re definitely going to need more Spanish Bibles!)

After three hours of this, we decided to pack up our booth and head home. Most of the foot traffic died down around noon, and many other booths also packed up.

When I got home, I immediately signed up for Rosetta Stone, so I could quickly learn Spanish. My goal is to share the Gospel in Spanish before the end of the year.

Will you consider joining us for our next outreach event?

Using Twitter to Choose a Christian Ministry to Support in Charlotte

Charlotte Chaplains

Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

There are several “Christian” ministries I’ve been considering getting involved with here in Charlotte. Since my time is limited, I really must narrow the list down to ministries with an evangelistic focus. In order to do this, I searched the Twitter feeds of these ministries for any mention of the word “Jesus.” I wanted to know how often, and in what context, these ministries talked about Jesus and the gospel. What I found surprised me, and sadly, this exercise was a success.

There could be several reasons why a Christian ministry would not mentioned the name of Jesus, but honestly, I can’t think of a single good one. So, without any further ado, below is a list of local ministries in Charlotte that I’ve considered supporting this past year, along with their latest three (if that many) posts containing the word “Jesus”:

Habitat for Humanity Charlotte (hfhclt):


NarroWay Productions (NarroWayTheatre):


Justice Ministries (Justice_NC):


Cities4Life (cities4life):


Love Life Charlotte (lovelifeclt):


Salvation Army Charlotte (SalArmyCLT):

So, what do you think of all this? Should an organization raising funds in the name of Christ boldly proclaim the name of Jesus on their Twitter feed? Let me know in the comments below.

Open Air Preaching Laws in Charlotte

charlotte-skylineHere are relevant ordinances in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina (as of March 14, 2018) impacting an evangelist’s ability to hand out tracts and conduct open air preaching on public streets.


Chapter 15 – Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 15-1. – Distribution of handbills, advertisements, letters, pamphlets or other materials.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, deposit, place or distribute any handbills, advertisements, cards, circulars, leaflets, folders, banners, letters, magazines or pamphlets in or upon private property, except by: (i) handing the material to the occupant; (ii) placing or depositing such material behind the outer door; (iii) securely attaching the material to the doorknob or door handle; or (iv) placing the material on the porch or stoop, provided that it shall be wrapped, bound or lock-folded in such a manner so as to prevent the material from being blown or scattered. This subsection shall not apply to the distribution of the United States mail or to newspapers.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit in, paste on, or attach to any motor vehicle any handbills, advertisements, cards, circulars, leaflets, folders, banners, letters or pamphlets or to cause such materials to be deposited in, pasted on or attached to any motor vehicle, without the consent of the owner. Nothing contained in this subsection shall prohibit the attachment to a motor vehicle of a citation or public safety information issued or published by or on behalf of the city.

Sec. 15-64. – Amplified sound.

(a) It shall be unlawful to:

(3) Operate or allow the operation of any sound amplification equipment in the public right-of-way, including streets or sidewalks, or in the public city controlled parks: (i) without having actual on-site possession of a permit issued by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; (ii) so as to produce sounds registering more than 75 db(A) ten feet or more from any electromechanical speaker between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday or between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Friday or Saturday; or (iii) at times other than those specified in (ii). Sound amplification equipment operated pursuant to this subsection may not be located more than ten feet off the ground. In addition to the person operating or allowing the operation of sound amplification equipment in violation of this subsection, the person to whom the permit was issued must be present at the location and during the times permitted and shall be liable for any and all violations.

An application for a permit pursuant to this subsection shall: (i) be submitted to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at least one full business day but no more than seven calendar days before the permit time requested; and (ii) specify the proposed location of the sound amplification equipment and the date and time that the sound amplification will begin and end. Permits shall be issued on a first come, first served basis. A permit shall not be issued for a location that is within 100 feet of another location for which a permit has been issued for the same time or in or within 100 feet of the area permitted for a public assembly pursuant to article XI of this chapter unless issued to the holder of the public assembly permit.

The use of mobile sound amplification equipment (e.g., a car radio, unless the vehicle is parked) shall be exempt from the permitting requirement of this subsection and the prohibition of (iii) in the first paragraph of this subpart, however sounds produced during the times otherwise prohibited in (iii) in the first paragraph of this subpart may not register more than 60 db(A) ten feet or more from the equipment. Sound amplification produced in conjunction with public assembly permit shall be exempt from this entire subsection.

For more information on the free speech rights of street evangelists, please visit the School of Biblical Evangelism.

4th of July Outreach

wv-prayer-01Members of the Gospel Xpress team attended the 2011 Fourth of July festivities in Alderson, West Virginia, where we handed out tracts, set up a Prayer Station, and gave out free Bibles and bottled water to everyone who took the 5-minute “Good Person Quiz.” We shared the Gospel with approximately 30 individuals and made friends along the way.

After sharing the Gospel with one 16-year-old girl, her parents — who run a t-shirt printing business — offered to create this custom Good Person shirt for us to remember the occasion. We met several Christians and even pastors — one of whom made a generous donation to Gospel Xpress.

We’re hoping to make this July 4th outreach an annual tradition in Alderson!

Cherry Blossom Festival Outreach

On April 13, 2010, Gospel Academy students went into Washington, DC to hand out tracts and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people attending the Cherry Blossom Festival. We handed out million dollar bills, optical illusion, and other ice breaker tracts and talked to people one-on-one. Gospel Academy was a Christian evangelism class sponsored by Gospel Xpress and FUEL (a singles ministry of McLean Bible Church).