Are Outreach Initiatives Like at Bonnaroo Worth the Time and Effort?

“Larry, I know our church is not that evangelistic, but I’ve come to accept it. To be honest, I don’t think most of our people know how to lead a person to Christ anyway. Outreaches take too much effort and money, so we just don’t get involved.”

“Every church needs to find their niche. Outreaches to the lost are good, don’t get me wrong, but they’re more for young people and new believers. We’re more into expositional preaching so we leave the elementary stuff to less mature congregations.”

“God predestines those He wants to save and damns those He doesn’t. We’re all running toward eternal damnation, but He mysteriously and mercifully elects some to be saved from His wrath and sovereignly pulls them out of the crowd. Why waste time wandering around some event full of lost people – it’s not a wise investment of time.”

“Why lend support to these area-wide evangelistic initiatives? If anyone really does get saved, and I doubt if it’s genuine to begin with, they’re probably not going to get plugged into our church even if we manage to get their name on a card. It’s not worth our effort.”

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“But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers into His harvest.’” (Matthew 9:36-38)

Here’s the deal: While many shy away from evangelistic opportunities that pose challenges, take planning and require sacrifice, God calls us as His “ambassadors” to reach the lost, deceived and broken ones for whom He died.

Bountiful fruit from Bonnaroo

Here in our Nashville area, Bonnaroo is held yearly and is one of the largest music festivals in the world. Steering clear of drugs and decadent behavior by setting up tents outside the gates of the event earlier this month, servants of the Lord engaged in meaningful conversations using creative ways to connect with the passersby.

Providing a “Father’s Blessing” to those in need; “interpreting dreams” for curious inquirers; giving out free bottles of water and sanitizers; offering personalized face painting and holistic healing; sharing encouragement through spiritual readings from scripture and prophetic prayer; and allowing God to attract curious individuals hearing dynamic praise and worship, drew masses of people into unexpected encounters with God.

“OK, OK, but did you really experience good fruit, and were there quantifiable results?”

Some stats

For the sake of prayer partners and supporters as well as naysayers and skeptics, accurate records reveal:

  • More than 2,500 people were meaningfully engaged in conversation.
  • There were over 750 conversions plus lots of water baptisms.

A testimony

James came to the music festival to experience love and community. His grandmother was a witch who put curses on him, and when he was 11 years old he learned a prayer but was rebuked and told to stay away from those “Light Carriers.”

As this young man visited the various outreach tents, he experienced God’s presence and love for him conveyed through God’s people. He was instructed on repentance and faith in Jesus who was punished for our sins so we could be pardoned and find abundant and eternal life in Him. What an epic moment it was when James was later baptized amidst a celebration of exuberant joy!

Plentiful pictures

Scores of young people needing hope, forgiveness, direction and the opportunity for a new start in life discovered these realities through the transformative power of the Gospel shared through “LoveReach to Bonnaroo.” Kudos to Scott and Sarah MacLeod, Jason Ford, Bob Perry and the entire fantastic team that came and gave themselves to reach the lost as Jesus directed, in addition to the team of intercessors who prayed for weeks prior to and during the event!

We conclude with a pictorial display to encourage everyone to reconsecrate yourself to the Great Commission. We strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of the 5/24-minute free YouTube videos on “Loving Lifestyle Evangelism” to be equipped, inspired and engaged in sharing your faith consistently and effectively in these days of the harvest.

Enjoy these photographs from Bonnaroo 2018!

Larry Tomczak (Website) is a best-selling author, cultural commentator, 40 year board member for Intercessors for America, and public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see The Bullseye Challenge). Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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