Date sent: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 09:50:46 -0600 From: Jimmy Humphrey <jimmy@...> Out on the STREETS: "A Policeman Opposed but the Youth Gathered" -Jimmy Humphrey. Dear Brother Andrew, I recently heard your sermon, "Thunder in Nashville" and was greatly moved by it. I too, like you, have grown sick of the games many churches are playing. We end up investing so much time in all sorts of circus shows in the church. All thanks to the Church Growth movement, which has made many pastors resign being a shepherd, and instead have made them into CEO's. I am currently 21 years old, and believe I am called into one day being a pastor. However, I never want to become what I see in my own church, and many other churches that I have visited. We need to get back to emphasis on the Word of God, and having our flesh desire Him above all things. Sadly though, many churches would rather have an "outreach" that cancels Superbowl Sunday night services, so that folks might come together and have a Superbowl party at church. I know many pastors who did that, or moved their services back a couple hours on Sunday night. Even though I don't believe there is anything wrong in trying to accomodate people to some degree... but that reveals to me how carnally minded we are, and shows as Keith Green once said in a song of his, "preferring the light of our tv to the light of God's Word." Your sermon really stirred me. I've gone out on one occassion prior to hearing it to do some street preaching at a local outdoor mall. As an old Church of God evangelist said, "If I cannot attract people with the word of God, what can I attract them with?" Your message greatly stirred me, and after praying for about 45 minutes or so, I went out and preached once again at the same outdoor mall. If we are truly preaching the gospel, then that should be attractive enough. We don't need all the gimics in order to drag folks into our churches. I am in full agreement with you, that if another revival comes, it will be a street revival. I am fully believing God for a revival in my own town, and I believe very greatly that He wants to pour out His Spirit upon this town. I'd like to share all that occured last night, so that it might be some encouragement to you. Last night I went up to a pretty populated area known as "Birkdale Village," which is pretty much an outdoor mall with some condo's. I went to a rather busy area in front of the movie theatre, and stood up on a wishing well ledge, and started preaching. In this area there are usually a lot of bored teens who are smoking and carrying on. I went something along the lines of what the apostle Paul once did, noting how our town is very religious, and that there are a great many churches in our town. Then I went from there and noted despite how religious we are, we have many idols. And I named the two prominent America idols, prosperity- the american dream (which God told me is nothing more than a delusion and fantasy), and the idol of entertainment. At that point a police officer across the street heard me, and came over to me and wanted to talk to me. He informed me that I was being too loud, and reminded me that I was on public property, thus, my "freedom of speech" is restricted to the atmosphere rules of that place. He told me I could continue preaching if I wanted to, but that he would have to give me a ticket for a noise violation if he could hear my voice over the traffic or if he could hear me from over 50 feet away. Then some woman who had been listening to me preach came up and interupted the officer and said she could not believe he was stopping me from speaking. She then thanked me for having the courage to get up there and preach. At this point, a lot of people were watching on, as they thought it was rather entertaining that the police officer was talking to me. I thanked the officer, and told him I would do my best to comply with the laws of that area, and I lowered my voice. At this point though, I had many people who were desiring to hear what I had to say, especially amongst the older teens. At this point, many of them had taken a few chairs and formed a semi-circle around me as they desired to hear the Word of the Lord. There were probably about 15-20 teens around me intently listening to what I had to say. So, for a while after this I spent time preaching, and answering questions that they had. The Spirit of God was really upon me, and I could tell that I made quite an impact on a few of them. I was shocked to learn how many of these kids that went to church, some all their lives, could not even give me the basics of the gospel. Some had a semi-accurate knowledge of the things of God, but many did not. This crowd was rather diverse, some being atheists, wiccans, presbyterian and catholic. When it was all said and done, many shook my hand and thanked me for sharing the gospel with them afterwards. I was quite shocked at this response, and wondered if that is a good thing, as I have often heard many preachers say if you are truly preaching the gospel, folks will not like you at all. Some folks were Christians, and encouraged me in what I was doing. I could tell though that some of the people I preached to were truly troubled by what I said, and I am believing God to harvest those seeds. I think it can be a good thing if people respond in such a manner. Part of me wanted to do an "altar call" right there on the street. But, I have personally never been a big fan of altar calls. They surely have their place, such as the one Joshua made with the people of Israel.... "choose this day whom you will serve..." However, I'd rather people become miserable over their sins, and get James 4:9 into them, and then have a genuine response to the offered salvation of God. I just wanted to share with you what the Lord is doing in Huntersville, North Carolina (which is about 15 miles north of Charlotte). I believe God wants to send a revival in this area based on a dream He gave me some time ago. In my dream, I was standing in my backyard facing towards the south. The sky was clear except for a small cloud above. I then said, "Let it rain" and very quickly out of the west, rain clouds began to quickly form. It rained very lightly and almost as soon as it began to rain, the sky became clear again. Then as I stood in my yard again, I said, "Let it rain." For a moment, nothing happened, but after a short delay, very dark clouds began forming in the west. This rain was heavier and longer than the prior rain. However, as you noted in your sermon, revival does not have to happen. Joel's prophecy made that very clear, that the outpouring of God's Spirit would not come without repentance and seeking God. It will not come without us paying the price. ~Jimmy Humphrey, Huntersville, North Carolina (USA).