Project #2: CIAA Tournament

The evangelism outreach that took place on March 5th, 2011 at the CIAA tournament in Uptown Charlotte, NC was incredible!  Although threatened with rain most of the day, it could not have gone better as it seemed the Gospel was going forth non-stop from our gathering at the train station at 10:30am until returning to the same train station at around 9:00pm that evening.

TSTP and the Sidewalk Saints

Up from the Greenville, SC, the Sidewalk Saints joined The Speak:Truth Project for a day of fulfilling the Great Commission. It was such a wonderful day of fellowship and serving the Lord Jesus Christ together. Having never met in person before, we worked alongside each other as if we had done so for years. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and that’s exactly how it’s suppose to be. In total, there were 15 of us that came together to bring the Good News to a largely spiritually dead population focused on the things of this world.

Tracts on the train

Taking a cue from Chris Yarzab last week, we began handing out Gospel tracts  on the light rail. I really love the trillion dollar bills. They are such a great way to break the ice with people, and it’s always fun to see the reaction on most people’s faces. Then when the trillion dollar question comes out – “will you go to heaven when you die” – most answer with a resounding “yes”, or “that’s a good question”, or “I’d like to think so”. So with well over 1,000 tracts to be handed out on Saturday, needless to say hundreds were prompted to read the trillion dollar question, and dozens or more stopped to talk about their answer to this question.

As the rain came down around 4pm, we took shelter under an entrance covering to one of the skyscrapers at Trade and Tryon streets. We stayed there for a couple hours engaging various people, and this also sparked a few open-air preaching messages. As I am still relatively new to street-witnessing (been doing it for less than a year), this was the first time I had heard open-air preaching in person. And what a joy it was! Although, the crowd was very thin at this location, we nevertheless had the opportunity to engage some.

Night gets the Light

When the sun went down over Charlotte on Saturday, things really started to get intense. Aaron, who you will hopefully meet soon on our Meet the Team page, mentioned to me before we parted at the end of the night, something to the effect of, “did you notice that the darker it got tonight, both in terms of daylight and the party atmosphere, the brighter the Gospel message got?” In other words, we both noticed the intensity of the glorious Gospel getting brighter and all the more urgent as the seemingly benign daytime atmosphere transitioned into the revelry of the Uptown Charlotte nightlife. We were even blessed enough to face persecution by an obnoxious few as we finished up.

As we walked from Trade and Tryon back to the Epicentre area, we could see the crowds getting larger. In fact, the lines to get into the Epicentre were wrapping around the building. There were hundreds of people packed on the sidewalks, and it was perfect to walk through to hand out the 1-200 tracts we had remaining. What was incredible about this time was that we were all exhausted. We had been at it for 8-9 hours by this point. Our flesh would have liked us to just get back to the train after handing out a few tracts, but God, in His divine sovereignty, had different plans. I think most of us forgot we were running on fumes as the Holy Spirit empowered us to press on. Even in this rowdy crowd taking pleasure in the works of darkness, there were a few people who seemed to have ears to hear. Even one person who kept trying to get his friend to depart our company, ended up coming around to listen to what we had to say. In the end, both heard the unadulterated Gospel and received information to challenge them to examine themselves.

Preaching to the crowd

As we made our way back through the crowd, I got pulled aside by some folks who wanted what I had in my hand. No doubt they thought they were getting free tickets to an after party or something similar, but what they didn’t know was they were about to hear how they could freely receive the grace of Almighty God. As it turns out, they were a bit imbibed, but they at least heard they were not as good as they thought they were, and if they died today, they would end up in eternal hell where it will be no party. That seemed to impact them and they graciously took the information I had for them, so only God knows how He will use this encounter for His glorious purposes.

As I finished up with them, I heard my dear brother, Lee, open-air preaching to the crowd. He had been going for several minutes before I arrived, but I had opportunity to video tape his encountering of a few young teenagers. The video will be posted to the Media page soon, and when you view it, I want you to consider where he was preaching. We were in a place of darkness on Saturday night. Drunken revelry and sexual immorality soaked the atmosphere. And these teenagers, whose parents may have been partaking in the festivities, were exposed to these things that God hates. The sad part is, it was normal to these children. But as I said earlier, as the night got darker, the Gospel truth got brighter, and I hope one day I might be able to preach with the same passion, fervency, and pleading as Lee did with these young teenagers.

Speaking for myself, perhaps the most evident move of the Holy Spirit came when we first arrived at Trade and Tryon in the mid-afternoon. Lee and I engaged two young ladies and their male friend. They were very friendly and were happy to talk with us. What was most amazing was the transition of their countenance as we shared the Law with them. It might have been the most obvious example I have ever witnessed of the perfect Law of the Lord converting the soul (Psalm 19:7). Then as we shared the Gospel with them, it

Grace to the humble

was as if it was the first time they had heard it before. Or perhaps before Saturday they had never truly considered the significance or reality of what Christ did on the cross as we explained the sacrifice of the glorious Lamb of God. In any case, what I saw was brokenness and godly sorrow, and they actually asked us for our contact information. Our friends, Josh and Enas, continued to speak with them, and I pray I will see them in glory, worshiping our King together one day. For me, the entire day was worth the experience to spend 30 minutes with these folks. No words can explain my joy in tangibly seeing the Holy Spirit work in the hearts of sinners. It was both humbling and exuberant at the same time. I would like to add in case any of you three read this article, please do follow-up with us with any questions or joining us at church. It was no coincidence we met on Saturday, and I thank God for the opportunity to share His love and grace with you.

I wish I could go on, but suffice it to say Saturday was an incredible day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and make His name known. 2,000 or more people may have read or heard the Gospel this weekend, and who knows how many more will be impacted. The neat thing is, this event took very little time and effort to plan and execute. We had no vendor location – just a schedule of happenings, Bibles, Gospel tracts, willing soldiers of Christ, and the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and guide us. So the point is, you can do this too.

Just go to your local newspaper or whatever local print or online resource that lists upcoming events. Pick any of them. Arm yourself with prayer, Scripture, and Gospel tracts, go by yourself or round up a faithful crew, and put your boots to the ground. It’s what we did, and we hope you follow our example as we follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and His obedient disciples to go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Please go HERE to view all photos from the CIAA evangelism outreach.

For additional completed Projects, please see Projects Accomplished

For current and future projects, please see Projects


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6 Responses to “Project #2: CIAA Tournament”
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  1. […] our Project #2 at the CIAA Tournament outreach on March 5, 2011, a couple of occasions reminded me that I need to […]

  2. […] we did not have any Trillion-dollar tracts because we “spent” them all last Saturday at Project #2. But what we did have was the Good Person tracts, and this made for an interesting night of tract […]

  3. […] we did not have any Trillion-dollar tracts because we “spent” them all last Saturday at Project #2. But what we did have was the Good Person tracts, and this made for an interesting night of tract […]

  4. […] is that we did not have any Trillion-dollar tracts because we “spent” them all last Saturday at Project #2. But what we did have was the Good Person tracts, and this made for an interesting night of tract […]

  5. […] our Project #2 at the CIAA Tournament outreach on March 5, 2011, a couple of occasions reminded me that I need to […]

  6. […] This past Saturday we completed Project #2 for The Speak:Truth Project. It was such an exciting and edifying day to proclaim the Gospel on the streets of Charlotte, NC. I invite you to read all about it here: Project #2: CIAA Tournament. […]



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