Last Friday night was our second night out with our Love Wins ministry; a ministry to the ladies that work at the two local gentlemen's clubs. It was an incredible night! The fact that we've been able to connect with the ladies and we're being trusted by the club managers demonstrates how this whole ministry originated with God. It's really amazing!
God has been taking me on such an incredible journey the last 9 months, busting my paradigm of what church is all about. I've blogged on this before, but I'd always been taught that doing church is about marketing and slick ministries that get people to come to your church. Although we are committed to helping new families join our mission and connect with God, I'm learning that church is about going out to those who may never enter your worship space.
I wonder how I would've reacted if someone 3 years ago had shown me a picture of myself sitting outside a strip club, staring at the front door, praying for and wondering how my wife was getting along inside the club. God is taking Erin and me to places we've never been before (I mean that in a literal and figurative way).
Here are some thoughts from the two ladies who went into the clubs; my wife Erin and Jaymie Beal.
Our second evening of delivering gift bags was a bit unexpected. We knew that we had to deliver the bags quickly because Jaymie needed to leave for work soon. When we arrived at the first club, a new door man was at the door. I was ready to explain our desire to bring gifts to the girls and let him know all of the fun, girly stuff that we had in the bags. After getting about two sentences out, he turned around to the manager in the window behind him, and the next thing Jaymie and I knew, we were being waved into the next door.
As soon as we walked in, we handed bags to all the girls that we could find. Then, I overheard one of the girls tell some others in an excited tone, "Hey, I got one of these bags last time. It had all kinds of stuff in it: a movie ticket, popcorn, and candy!" At that moment, I knew that we had brought JOY to someone and that we would continue to have the opportunity to repeat it. At that first club, we personally gave a gift to 20 ladies. Hopefully, they were able to see Jesus in a different way that night.
It was such an amazing experience and such a blessed night for each of us. God once again showed himself faithful. He promises to be with us and to shed light on our paths each step of the way if we will just be obedient to his calling. Once again, I was not certain if we were going to go due to the lack of numbers, but my-oh-my, had we not gone what a blessing we would have missed out on!!! The bouncers were happy to see us and in the first club we actually were able to go in and hand the bags-out ourselves to the ladies. No, we weren’t expecting to be able to do that, but the girls were happy to see us and we were able to cross yet another bridge. The girls were able to see us and hopefully were able to see the gentle Spirit of our Father. I do not know what God has planned for this ministry, that is why it is called faith, but I know that He is working and by His grace, is allowing me to be apart of His work. God doesn’t need me to do His work, but by His love and grace, He blesses me in order for me to be a blessing to others and show His glory.
It was a great night but if we're going to continue this ministry, we need help. We need a lot of items for our gift bags. We'll be going to the clubs the last Friday of each month and we take 40 bags each night, so we need a lot of gifts. Erin has some ideas for the themes of upcoming months and is getting everything together. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Trinity Family, for helping us become an "others-centered" church! I'm so proud of this church.