Art Fair Evangelism Report

Posted by Matt Postiff August 20, 2011 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Church 

Our church sent out a small crew to the Ann Arbor Art Fair last month to do some evangelistic work. The reports I received back were encouraging to me, and so I thought I would share them with you. Some minor edits have been made, including omitting of personal names.

L_______ writes:

Hi all,

I just wanted to get going on reporting about our time out on Saturday at the Art Fair, as we mentioned we would do...

As we set out for the Diag, we were somewhat surprised to find it less populated in the grassy areas than expected during Art Fair. We first approached a young woman who was on her lunch break from work/school. She was super friendly and when we asked her if she'd like to talk about faith she quickly reassured us that she's a Christian and attends a Lutheran church regularly and she and her parents do Awana, etc. She shared more about her devotion to the church, but it was soon apparent to us that her understanding was that she has always been a Christian. I tried to ask her if she knew at what point she understood her sin and need of a savior as I conveyed a bit about my upbringing of being raised in the church, but not believing. She didn't really answer directly and J_______ tried to drive home our inability to save ourselves and how it's not about what we do, but what God has done in Christ, but she took that in a wrong direction saying something to the effect of "yes, it's about caring for each other and encouraging one another and doing what you can" (or something similar). I think her name is D*. We can pray that since she is exposed to Scripture that God would open her eyes to the truth of the gospel. This conversation got us talking about how difficult it can be to share with people who profess faith in Christ. On the one hand you don't want to condescendingly doubt whether their faith is genuine, but on the other hand, there are many who will profess faith who are in great danger (Matthew 7:21-23). Any ideas and gentle questions you all might have asked these types would be greatly appreciated! :)

After that encounter, we were flatly rejected by a family of three who would not take a tract and were fairly objectionable to our presence, though kind enough to wish us a good day (they said they'd just been talking about religion, or perhaps proselytizing or the like - something tells me they were united against these things). Rejoice! - Luke 6:22-23

We walked and approached several more folks and though they did not seem open to talking, several took tracts. We can pray that they would read them, repent and believe.

We spoke with a Hindu fellow briefly who quickly reassured us he is not Christian and I told him we aren't out looking for Christians. I asked him if he had a faith and he said "yes, I'm Hindu, I'm on your side" - we shared that what we believe is very different but he did not seem to want to talk as per his dismissive, yet kind enough remarks, but he took a tract.

Lastly, we spoke with three gentlemen who were cooling off in the shade of a building closer to the Union. This was our most encouraging conversation. I asked if they attended church and they said they can't right now b/c they are in a program where they cannot go to church or attend any services (some sort of intense AA program). We asked what they believe about God. J1* said he believes there is a God and that He's been looking out for him thus far. They shared a bit about the AA teaching of a "higher power" that they don't call God, but focus quite a lot on in the program. We shared the gospel and shared that this is what the Bible teaches. I was able to relate some of my own life experience, having lived much of my life in a similar direction as they had, caught up in the lies that the world tells you about what's "ok". J2* was raised nominally Catholic, it seemed, and had some great questions and Biblical knowledge that was interesting to talk with him about. He asked "what if you fall away or backslide?" and I shared John 10:27. We talked more in depth about the gospel and I shared that there isn't anything any of us can do to make ourselves right with God, but it's through faith alone in the risen Christ. I was mentioning how amazing it was the way God taught his people about atonement throughout the OT and J2* said "what about when Abraham had to offer his son" - which I thought was God's grace that he knew such a story and that I was able to share how that was pointing to the gospel and that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. J1* expressed that he would like to read the Bible if he could get his hands on one and we quickly offered ours if he would read it - he took it and said he would. We recommended to start with the book of John. J2* said he had a Bible and J3* was very quietly listening the whole time. Though he was not interested in talking, praise God he heard the gospel too and they all took a tract. J_______ gave J1* Pastor's phone number in case he wanted to call with any questions. Pray that these guys would repent and believe the gospel, that they would read their Bibles, and that when they're out of AA soon they would find a gospel preaching church (FBC perhaps) to grow in grace in. They said they may look up FBC's website and come join us one Sunday soon.

I was extremely encouraged by all of your hearts for evangelism and to labor with you out in the fields sowing seeds! Pray that others will water them and may the Lord of the harvest make them grow. I hope to read more soon regarding A_______, J4______, and B_______'s time out on Saturday. Though I heard a bit on the way back in the car, I look forward to reading your reports!

Your Sister in Christ,


Then B_______ writes two reports:

Hi everyone,

Thanks L_______ for the detailed report. It has helped me to pray.

On the outreach, I wandered from the non-profits section eastward on the north side of the art fair. Then I looped around through the Diag, into the Michigan union, and then back to meet you guys at the non-profits.

I talked to a guy at a booth for Coexist ( They were fund-raising for a girls orphanage in Shri Lanka. I told him that Christ was the only way, but he refused to talk about religion other than to say we need to get along and the Muslim/Hindu war was partly responsible for the need for the girls dorm. Pray that he reads the tract I gave him, that he understands sin and atonement, and that the greatest love is found in God.

I talked to another guy who said that the Catholic church was the only true church, yet he condemned the church as corrupt and involved with dark conspiracies (like the Illuminati). He was very bitter and didn't want to talk at length. I told him that the Catholic church can't high-jack the truth and that he can go straight to the Bible, the original and authoritative source of the truth.

I talked to Z*, a Chinese Buddhist. He was very mocking at Christianity while at the same time praising the fact that it gave me happiness and wishing me success in my outreach. His children were listening and seemed to know more about Christ than he, though one began mocking to when he saw his dad's example. Z* (like most Buddhists) doesn't believe there is a God. He says he doesn't want to even consider whether or not there is a God. I told him about the evidences for God (the creation and the Bible) and that sin blinded his eyes from seeing that there is a God. Please pray that God would open his eyes.

I talked to T*, an old guy sitting on a bench and reading a thick book. He was a learned man who spent much time studying Buddhism and similar religions. When I asked him if he wanted a booklet that tells how to have eternal life, he laughed and said he wouldn't want to live that long. I then asked him if wanted a personal relationship with the Creator God who made all things. We then got into friendly discussion in which I managed to cover the main points of the Gospel. His view is that life would get tiresome if it lasted forever. Like most Buddhists, he believes that life has a beauty that is eternal even though it doesn't last forever. Buddhism has obviously mixed up his mind and made the illogical seem palatable to him. Like I told Z*, I told him of the evidence of creation and that I would pray for him that God would open his eyes.

Lastly, I had a really good conversation with an atheist named R* in front of Michigan Union. I'll tell more about him in a separate email.

In Christ,


Hi everyone again,

I wanted to tell about R*, but ran out of time yesterday.

I had a good conversation with R*.

I was able to tell him my personal testimony. He said no child would look at creation and think there is a God. I told him how, as a child, I thought there was a God and I was worried I would be good enough to go to heaven. R* asked "you weren't good enough were you?" R* looked a little surprised when I said that I wasn't good enough and that Jesus died on the cross to pay my penalty for sin. I also told R* about the difference Christ has made in my life.

R* said the Bible is no different than any other religious book. I told him it was inspired. He challenged me to show him a single verse from the Bible that says so. I showed him 2 Tim 3:16.

R* asked why I was talking to him about the Gospel. I told him it was because the Bible commands me to do so.

R* said that the world came into existence by random chance. I told him about the evidence of creation and that I would pray that God would open his eyes to the truth.

R* looked sincerely at me and asked me if I would be open minded and at least consider other possibilities. I told him I was open minded to the truth, but the Bible is the authoritative source of truth.

Towards the end, R* said "you keep threatening to pray for me, why don't you do that?" So I prayed aloud for R* right there with him. He said "If something good happens from your prayer I will have you to credit ... and the Lord too".

I am thankful for how the Lord used each of us on the outreach and for the demonstration of the power of the Gospel.

In Christ,


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