Typically when one thinks of Time Square or the Statue of Liberty or China-Town or any of the other various tourist attractions in NYC they think of vacation, not gospel-mission. This summer I had the privilege of traveling to New York City with a NAOBC mission team to partner with Gallery Church, located in city-center Manhattan, in the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for NAOBC sending me on this trip.
We left Louisville, KY on June 26th and returned on July 1st. It was a quick and intense trip. Our team partnered with a few other churches in an effort to: 1) prayer walk the Chelsea district in which Gallery Church is located 2) do a two-day block party for families located in the Chelsea district and 3) pass out 65,000 invitations to Gallery Church in a section of The City that has 66,000 people every square mile! It was hard-work, it was rewarding gospel-work.
On two occasions over the course of our time in NYC I had the opportunity to share the full gospel of Jesus Christ with New Yorkers who had no gospel knowledge (they had inklings of Christian knowledge, but they understood nothing about the gospel of Jesus Christ); on three occasions I had the opportunity to pray with New Yorkers on the busy streets of Manhattan (please pray for Tony and Taylor, the two men I had the privilege to share Christ with; pray that the gospel took root and did not fall on hard soil).
I’ve been to 16 countries, a couple of U.S. territories, and 20 states (ish), most of these to preach the gospel, but our trip to NYC was one of the most spiritual-transforming trip that I’ve been on. For the first time I realized that one of Satan’s great devices is not necessarily overtly demonic activity (though many of his devices are obviously demonic). Rather, he has blinded people to the gospel of Jesus Christ by raising up a plethora of people who “appear” to have made it in this life without the gospel–movie stars, broadway actors, professional athletes, wealthy CEOs.
Since leaving NYC, I’ve been overwhelmed. Not by the sites we saw, but by the vast lostness of those we interacted with in our own “backyard.”