What a glorious time it was to labor at Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis, Indiana February 2-6! After months of preparation, Bill Adams of Sports Fan Outreach International reaped the fruit of his labor as around 110 evangelists from North America joined together to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the hundreds of thousands of patrons visiting the Super Bowl festivities. I am so thankful to the Lord for this brother, who God used mightily to disciple other evangelists, foster leadership growth, coordinate the saints in evangelism, and provide an incredibly sweet time of fellowship with brothers and sisters that surely gave us a glimpse of what it will be like in glory.
The Lord really used Bill to personally edify me as he was an instrument to foster sanctification in my life with Christ. Whether it was growing as a leader, in my prayer life, in my preaching, in my love for the saints, in my compassion for the lost, or in my desire to be a faithful servant to my local church, God used Bill and the Super Bowl Outreach to this end. I do not say these things to boast in Bill Adams, but to boast in the Lord and His workmanship in Bill. We are to give honor where honor is due, and it is certainly due to my brother by the grace of God.
I am also incredibly thankful to the Lord that He enabled me to lead a team of 11 saints to herald the Gospel for three solid days at the Super Bowl. Who am I that God would choose me for such a task? Not only did He give me this weighty responsibility, but I don’t believe God could have blessed me with a more faithful, loving, compassionate, teachable, humble, respectful, patient, persevering, longsuffering, joyful group of saints. Most in the group had not met or spent quality time with one another before this outreach, but it was as if we had all known each other for years. There was no conflict or division, and even when admonishment was given on a couple of occasions from one another, it was received in humility.
To the glory of God, this team exemplified bearing and submitting to one another. We all worked with differing parts of the Body, but these different parts moved beautifully together, each having beautiful feet of their own, to declare the Gospel to the lost in Indianapolis. These dear saints included Shawn and Lisa Pander, Chris Landrum, Ed Leese, Buck Hamilton, Kent Blalock, Brian Ottinger, Aaron Beane, Cory McKenna, Sye TenBruggencate, Dustin Segers, and myself.
Within our team alone over the course of 3 days of laboring, God blessed us with the distribution of approximately 15,000-20,000 Gospel tracts, approximately 20 hours of open-air preaching, hundreds of one-to-one conversations, and dozens of opportunities for prayer. The days were exhausting and without much sleep, but the Lord provided for us and caused us to depend on Him to persevere.
I could go on for hours about the Lord’s work during the Super Bowl Outreach, but I want to highlight a couple of things that spoke to me most during this outreach. Firstly, it is amazing to watch God’s grace move in the hearts of His people. A few of my brothers had never open-air preached before, and all had gotten on the box before the end of the weekend! With the encouragement from the more experienced saints on the team, these brothers stepped out on faith to lift up the name of Christ by counting themselves as nothing. I’ve heard it said before that open-air preaching is one of the greatest flesh killers, and these brothers, by the grace of God, crucified their flesh as they delivered the Hope of Jesus Christ to the passerby’s. Whether these brothers continue to step up on the box in the future I do not know, but I am so thankful for the Lord’s work in them during this outreach. If anything, they sharpened their abilities to preach the Gospel and answer skeptics’ questions under pressure. May God continue to work in them mightily for the Kingdom!
Secondly, but perhaps the most edifying for me during the outreach, was how God uses open-air preaching to initiate one-to-one witnessing encounters. It was nearly non-stop over three days of preaching where people would stop to listen and then be engaged by someone on our team. Some people question whether open-air preaching is fruitful, and I can attest with absolute confidence that it is. While sowing the seeds of the Gospel to passerby’s through this proclamation is fruitful in and of itself, I take great joy in knowing the preaching sparks some of the best conversations I’ve ever had on the streets. I witnessed personally people being broken over their sins, some with tears streaming down their face, that might never had taken place if there was no preaching. To think that God would use the foolishness of our preaching to be the power of God in the salvation of the souls of men!
Most people walking by us during the weekend either ignored us or blasphemed God’s name. Much of these people are goats who will continue to harden their hearts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, God may still yet save those whose hearts were hardened last weekend, but by the preaching of the Word a seed may have wedged itself in the crack of hearts of stone, to be watered by the Holy Spirit in the creation of a heart of flesh. My perception, if a display of one’s humility might be an indication God’s working in the soul of a man, that many of God’s sheep heard the calling of their Good Shepherd, who laid His life down for them, who knows and calls them by name, who they will follow through the Narrow Gate. I pray these sheep will come sooner rather than later, that they will reap the joy and enduring Hope that is found only in Christ Jesus.
Before I close, I want to thank my pastor, Rob Tartaglia, pastor-teacher of Creekside Bible Church in Indian Trail, NC. While my family has only been attending Creekside for 2 months, the support and encouragement I have received for this outreach has been overwhelming. Pastor Rob took me under his wing, helped me prepare my first sermon (which will hopefully be posted soon, Lord willing), and led the church in prayer for our team. I am very much looking forward to being a faithful servant to this local body of believers, to be used however the Lord wills in the equipping of the saints for the ministry. If you are searching for a Gospel-centered and reformed, expository teaching ministry, I welcome you to visit Creekside Bible Church as you explore a new church home.
I also want to thank each and everyone of you who lifted us up in prayer in the days leading up to and through the Super Bowl Outreach. The Lord used your prayers to accomplish His will. He gave us perseverance, He protected our minds and bodies, He gave us the grace we needed to glorify Him, He provided us safe travel, He gave me everything I needed to lead my team and deliver the sermon He prepared for me, He caused us to be patient and show grace to those who opposed us and blasphemed His name, He brought conviction to many who heard the Gospel, and He hardened the hearts of those who continue to harden their own hearts for their destruction. God used your prayers to glorify Himself. I thank the Lord for your steadfastness in prayer and consider you to have been a critical element to the success of this outreach.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so they will help me be brief here. I invite you to check out the following videos and photos from the weekend (click here for photos and scroll down original post). If you’ve never taken the opportunity to share the Gospel in street evangelism, I hope they encourage you to at least give it a try. I don’t believe everyone is cut out to be street evangelists, but how will you know if you’ve never tried? If your church has opportunities for you, take advantage of this and hit the streets. If anything, it will encourage you to be more bold in sharing your faith with your lost friends, family, co-workers, and others who are in your circle of influence.
Be sure to check out our 2012 schedule if you live in the Charlotte area and want to join us in the ministry. To God be the glory, amen!
Please also check out the following links for more reports on our Super Bowl Outreach: