Project Jimmy Buffett Recap

Last Thursday a group of us gathered together to take the Gospel to a dark place called Margaritaville.  There were thousands of people there ready to celebrate a care-free night by throwing back beer and

margaritas, dressed in leis, straw skirts, and beach affair.  Needless to say, we had a challenging night ahead of us – but that’s no excuse to shy away from proclaiming the Gospel!

It had not occurred to me just how challenging this would be until we sat in traffic about 4 hours before the concert started.  When we made the turn to the main road to enter the amphitheater, reality kicked in as we saw hundreds of Parrotheads decked out in their Buffett attire, carrying coolers, and driving vehicles with windows painted with Buffett lingo.  I thought to myself as we entered the parking lot that I used to party with these people, and I probably would not have taken too kindly to a Gospel messenger coming on to my turf to disrupt my night of revelry.  So such was the case with several people as the Gospel began to go forth among the crowd.

After prayer for strength and courage, we got started around 5pm in handing out tracts.  We proceeded to the entrance area of the amphitheater where there was a lot of foot traffic.  My friend, Dustin Segers of Shepherd’s Fellowship and host of Grace in the Triad , and I got in line to the Porta-Johns, which seemed to be about a 45 minute wait.  No doubt this long wait was misery for most of the people waiting in line, but for us, it gave us a chance to share the Gospel!  Each of us were able to speak with individuals about Christ, and the fellow I spent time with was a professing Christian.  I believe I gave him a lot to think about as it seemed he had a similar Christian upbringing as myself, but like me several years ago, was spending his time in college to party and do things his way.  Perhaps the Lord will use that time to cause Denny to examine himself.

After we met up with another brother, we returned to the Porta-John line where Dustin began to open-air preach as we handed out tracts to the people in line.   Even though there were a few hecklers, I could tell there were some listening intently to what Dustin had to say and the conviction on the faces of some was apparent.  There were even a couple people who came up to us to encourage us and thank us for what we were doing.

Several more of our team arrived around 6pm (there were 8 of us total), and the rest of the time was spent in tract distribution and one-to-one witnessing.  My estimation is 300-400 tracts were distributed, and we had the opportunity to speak with a dozen or more people.  But as the night went on to around 7pm we realized our conversations may become unprofitable, especially after our last discussion with a few people who were well beyond their alcohol tolerance.  We decided it would be best to move up the street to the UNC-Charlotte campus to engage some sober students.

After fighting the Buffett traffic, we arrived at the campus close to 8pm.  We proceeded to our newly discovered “free speech zone”, but quickly realized it was the night before Good Friday and this was the reason the campus was dead.  Even so, we had the opportunity to hand out a couple dozen tracts and witness to several students.

Matt and I saw a group of four far down the sidewalk and approached them.  Smoking cigarettes and goofing off, when we walked up to them and gave them tracts asking if they had received one yet, they dropped a few curse words to say they hadn’t.  I told them we were going around campus asking students if they consider themselves to be good people, and of course, they responded in the affirmative by using a few more expletives.  We proceeded with the Good Person Test and it was truly amazing to see the countenance on their faces change when the Law of God hung over their heads, and they realized they were not as good as they thought they were.  They listened intently to what we had to say, and we then were able to answer some of their questions.  Our conversation lasted nearly an hour with these young men.

One of the guys was a professing Christian and, in fact, was once a Young Life leader.  As his lifestyle was admittedly no different than his buddies’ party lifestyles, it gave us a chance to really challenge him to examine himself.  Another had to leave the conversation early, but he seemed to receive what we had to say and took our contact information for follow-up.  Another claimed to still be searching the various religions, and yet another seemed to be convicted by the power of the Gospel.  Two of them, the latter student and the professing Christian, told us there was something different about us and the professing Christian said it was so nice to see “true Christians” for once.  As encouraging as this was to hear, I pray that he would examine himself to see whether or not he himself is a true Christian.

In sum, we had an eventful night.  The Jimmy Buffett concert was a challenging venue for a witnessing event – I’d say an 8 on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the most difficult.  Even so, I’m confident the Gospel went forth and trust that God will use our faithfulness to His glory.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of results we see, but whether or not we are obedient to take the Gospel to all people, whether they are in a shopping mall or the circus of Margaritaville.  After all, we depend not on our own strength nor put confidence in our flesh, but the Lord is our strength and all of our confidence must remain in Him alone.  Soli Deo Gloria!

Our next event is planned for May 27-29 at the NASCAR Speed Street event in Charlotte, NC.  Please mark your calendars and stay tuned!

Below is a portion of Dustin preaching and a few other photos that were taken:

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Comments
2 Responses to “Project Jimmy Buffett Recap”
  1. Brother Justin,

    It was such a blessing to fellowship with, evangelize with, and work together in the cause of the gospel both with you and the rest of your team. Here’s my brief outreach report: http://graceinthetriad.blogspot.com/2011/04/outreach-report-preaching-in.html

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