This an article from the Baptist Times this week…
The kind of Saints on the Street projects I have done over the past year has needed financing. Resources for the ViPs-only red carpet, or bread and jam for my failed ‘best thing since sliced bread’ idea – even the palm crosses for my unconventional readings on Palm Sunday had to be bought in.
However, recently I have been doing evangelism through something which may sound as if you need a healthy evangelism budget, yet in reality just requires some paper and a few pens: Treasure hunting.
The format is: 1) ask God for some clues as to the people he wants you to meet; 2) write them down, and 3) go off and meet them. Simple.
The scary thing is that it really does work! Over the summer I led six teams in different places in Treasure hunting. I can quite honestly say that I met many people who turned out to be my treasure and who were more than happy for me to speak with them about my faith and sometimes to be prayed for. A few weeks ago as I ventured off with a small group of people, at the top of my list of clues was the word ‘crocodile’. I wondered how on earth this could help in connecting the gospel with someone. Yet on passing a bric-a-brac shop, I felt I should go in and ask if they had a crocodile. To my amazement the manager calmly opened the counter drawer, produced a stone crocodile, placed it on the counter and with a wry smile asked, ‘Will that do?’
I then had to explain that I was on a treasure hunt following clues that I believed God had given me. The manager was interested, particularly when he saw that one of my other clues was ‘left shoulder pain’. He explained that he had pain in his left shoulder and lower neck for the last two weeks. He asked if we could pray for his lower neck and shoulder, but later, as it was a busy little shop with lots of people around.
As a memento he insisted in giving me the crocodile and said that I could show people and tell the story of how I had found my clues and met my treasure. On most occasions, with my heart racing, this kind of prophetic evangelism does take guts to do. There have been plenty of times I just haven’t met anyone who matched my clues. But when it connects with people in such a way it turns out to be faithaffirming and quite fun.
On one treasure-hunting training afternoon I was joined by a very nervous man who hadn’t done anything like it before. As well as being petrified he was rather sceptical – until five minutes into the hunt. One of his clues for ‘location’ was ‘chip shop.’ One of my clues was ‘right big toe pain’. So we went off to the chip shop and the only guy in there was, we found out, indeed in pain. He had been in hospital the previous day having his toe nail on his right big toe removed.
He was amazed that our clues had led us to him. The nervous dubious chap was equally astonished. However his nerves seem like steel compared to one shivering wreck of a man who agreed to join a treasure hunt because his girlfriend made him. He had five clues on his treasure map and for over an hour we hadn’t met anyone that bore any resemblance to his clues until right at the end. We met a man who had the right name, the right appearance of shirt and shoes, the right location of where we met and also the right thing to pray for. He was with his wife and little girl, and was so touched by what we had to bring to him that he shook our hands and said thank you. He was so pleased to hear that there is a God who loves and knows all about him. If you would like further information about Treasure hunting and how to do it please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org