five14 reaches youth and rocks NYC
Five14, MISSION U's companion program for teens and young adults, produced an outreach concert last month at Church For All Nations (LCMS) in Midtown Manhattan. At this event, we shared the Gospel through music, videos and Gospel proclamation.
Among the weekend's highlights, there was a homeless man in his 30s (at a glance he did not appear to be homeless), Radcliff, who came to the event. He was there when the doors opened, and he waited patiently in his seat. He didn't say anything to anyone, but he looked sad. I welcomed him and asked how he was doing. He said he was battling severe depression. I told him we were glad he was there, and I knew it wasn't an accident. (After all, the whole event was about Jesus-the ultimate Revolutionary-who came to bring us change!)
I checked back with Radcliff when the second band was performing. He seemed encouraged. He told me he really liked the opening band, An Epic No Less. I was glad to see him talking with the guys in the band out on the steps of the church a short while later. His demeanor seemed to be lifting.
Halfway into the night, after introducing the Gospel through music, drama and videos, we shared the Gospel directly. We encouraged the group to pray with us to receive Jesus. Some didn't, but many did, including Radcliff. Boom! Radcliff received Jesus into His life. Eternity changed!
After the group prayer, we offered an opportunity for individual prayer from our speakers and performers. Radcliff spoke with MYNISTA, who was once a gang-related rapper called Synista. Radcliff received prayer from MYNISTA and other male leaders of five14.
At the end of the night, Pastor Dave Haberer of Church For All Nations extended an invitation for our audience to join us at church the next day and become part of this church community. You can imagine the joy it brought me the next morning when I saw Radcliff at church, ready to worship. I asked how he was and told him we were glad he was there. He had a smile on his face.
After church Radcliff stuck around for sandwiches and refreshments with members and visitors at the church. I was sorry I had to leave for the airport, but I was overjoyed when I saw him connecting with the members of the church and with Pastor Dave around a meal.
Pastor Dave sent me this message a few hours later on Facebook: "God did great things this weekend. I got a chance to speak with people who have walked by the church for years. Some seeds were planted. Some seeds that were planted before were watered. Some ripe fruit were harvested. Pray for Radcliff. Tomorrow he is entering a rehab program for 21 days. He said we would see him again in November."
Wow! God's change in a person's life is more than remarkable. And how blessed we are when we're able to see His work unfold.
You don't have to be a musician or a speaker or an actor to shine for Jesus. Whoever you are and whevever you are-whether you play one of these roles or are in an industry completely opposite, when you use your talents to glorify the Lord, both you and the person you connect with will be blessed in eternal ways.
I can't wait to see what God does in Radcliff's life, and I look forward to hearing how the Lord uses the people of Church For All Nations to welcome and nurture him into the body of believers in Midtown Manhattan.
Upcoming Web Office Hours: "OUTreach at Christmas versus INreach"
What is a Christian's role during a Christian holiday stripped of its spiritual impact by a materialism-focused culture? How do we share the love that exists as the holiday's core? Find out Friday, Nov. 15 from 11-12:30 central during Mission U's Web Office Hours by clicking here.
Future Web Office Hours will be:
* January 17, 2014 :: 11:00am - 12:30pm central
* February 28, 2014 :: 11:00am - 12:30pm central
* March 21, 2014 :: 11:00am - 12:30pm central
* April 11, 2014 :: 11:00am - 12:30pm central
* May 2, 2014 :: 11:00am - 12:30pm central
Upcoming Webinar: Language Matters; Communicating Our Faith In Today's Culture
11/16/2013 :: 10am CST
Language Matters; Communicating Our Faith In Today's Culture
Speaker: Rev. Andrew Schermbeck
Demographic differences, diverse contexts, and a post-church culture make effective communication a challenge. Will our neighbors understand the words we use to share our faith? Pastor Andrew Schermbeck will lead us in a live presentation to explore the dynamics of language and communication. You can join the conversation by clicking here.
Pastor Schermbeck's experiences in Chicago, Tampa, and oversees in Vietnam add credence to his understanding of today's culture. Rev Schermbeck recently presented on this topic at the Regeneration Summit at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Pastor Schermbeck's practical and understandable approach will encourage you to ask your questions live and interact with him as he presents!
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