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Open Air At A Public High School

Open Air at a Public High School


I have a friend named Joey who loves people, and therefore shares the gospel with them. He has a unique approach with strangers. He calls it "iPod evangelism." He walks up to people with his iPod in hand and asks them if they would like to do an audio interview for a new website. Most are very willing and agree to let him record them. He begins with the question, "If you saw a human and a cat drowning in a swimming pool, which would you save first?" Most all say, "The human, of course." Then Joey asks, "Why?" which leads into a values and worldview statement and opens the door for Joey to say, "That's interesting. Is that because you believe in God or something?" By this point, people are deep in thought about what they believe, and why, and Joey walks them through the fact that we all have to die and talks about the issues of sin, righteousness, judgment, and grace, encouraging them to get right with God as soon as possible. He then posts the interviews on his website for us all to listen to (with the interviewee's permission). I love going to his site, listening to his uncensored witnessing encounters. You will too! Check it out at www.AdventuresInChristianity.com.


Recently Joey had another unique idea. He invited me to a local public high school to open-air preach. He assured me that the principal was a Christian and had given us permission to have our meeting. We arrived just before lunch, signed in at the office, and set up our box of tools (a small stand, Evidence Bibles, and " Save Yourself Some Pain" booklets) in the pool area just as the school had instructed us. As soon as the bell rang, Joey and I (along with some Christian students) spread the word about the meeting. We passed out Million Dollar Bills to as many kids as we could and then I saw an opportunity. The majority of students were hanging around the cafeteria tables eating and dancing where a DJ was playing some tunes. I asked the Rhyme Master if Mike Seaver could say a quick word to the kids, and he turned down the music and handed me the mike. With a few dollar bills in my other hand, I jumped onto a table top (missing someone's lunch by a foot) and said over the loudspeakers, "Excuse me, my name's Kirk and we're having a meeting at the pool in about five minutes. We're going to be talking about God and money and will even be giving away some free real money for anyone who can answer some trivia questions for me. So grab your lunches and come with me."


Just at that moment, I hear a loud male voice behind me say, "Get down from there! You can't do that!" I turned to see a very serious looking man with dark sunglasses pointing his finger at me. I quickly got down from the table and said quietly, "Sir, I believe I have the principal's permission to do this." With an even louder voice, he said, "I am the principal!"


I felt myself shrink a few inches as I tried to apologize for the misunderstanding (apparently he thought I was staging the meeting right there in the cafeteria instead of having it in the pool area on the other side of campus). I tried to explain that I was only letting the students know where to meet us, but he cut me off and said sharply, "Just give me that microphone and go to the pool!" I thanked him for his kindness and trotted off to the pool with lots of kids following me. When I arrived, there were about one hundred and fifty students waiting for the meeting to start.


I began by giving away real dollar bills to anyone who could answer trivia questions about money, like "What is the root of all evil?" and "What wouldn't you do for one million dollars?" I then switched to the subject of God and offered $20 to anyone who could pass the "Good Person" test. The students were clamoring for the chance to pass the test and go home $20 richer. I told them it was a four-question test:


1. Have you ever told a lie?


2. Have you ever stolen anything (regardless of the value)?


3. Have you ever looked with lust (which God sees as adultery of the heart)?


4. Have you ever used God's name in vain (which is blasphemy)?


Of course no one proved to be a truly "good" person (only Jesus could qualify), but all the students were quiet, respectful, and attentive to the open-air discussion. I shared with the crowd that no one (including me) is "good" according to God's standards (see Romans 3:10), and that we are all guilty and in desperate need of His forgiveness. I explained that the Cross was God's demonstration of His great love toward us "in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8), and that Jesus rose from the grave to conquer death and the power of sin. I pleaded with them to repent and trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ, so that they could have eternal life.


The crowd had a few great questions, which I did my best to answer, always trying to point them back to the Cross. When the lunch bell rang, about thirty kids came forward wanting Bibles and answers to more questions. Joey and I hung around for another hour talking and praying with seeking students. It was wonderful to see what God did that day with the principal's permission.