A Miracle in the Streets
By Chad Taylor
WE WITNESSED A MIRACLE THAT DAY
On Monday July 24th, 2000 we witnessed a miracle. The day was overcast and cold as we set up the sound equipment under the gazebo in Mt. View Park behind the Community Center. Nearly 2 weeks had met us with rain and clouds. We prayed. 2000 amps of speakers and wires were being prepared to amplify the name of Jesus in an area considered by most as "the ghetto." From noon to 3 P.M. intercessors and helpers arrived, a handful of radicals and reckless, daring to forfeit Saturday leisure to "launch out into the deep... and become fishers of men..."
THE CLOUDS ROLL AWAY
Sometime around 2:30 or 3:00 P.M. the clouds began to roll away, leaving a hole in the sky somewhere above our heads! As the sun began to warm our skin we shouted and praised God the keeper of the Heavens and the Master of the weather! The storm had been silenced. By three o'clock the Christian clown in her make up and Jesus stickers had arrived. Typhoon Teddy, a 12 foot blown up teddy bear that was filled with balloons invited kids to jump inside as the generator pumped her up. The commercial barbecue began to fill the air with the smell of coals and food. We started with 500 hundred hotdogs at 3:00 P.M., at the end of the evening we had passed out over 1500 hundred hamburgers and hotdogs! We had watched a miracle transpire. God's great love for the children. God's passion for the lost. We were only really spectators as the Lord poured out His abundance and grace upon an area the world deemed unfit. "Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound..."
SOUND OF PRAISE IN THE STREETS
At 3:30 the first band had arrived and began to jam. I.T.P. "Increase The Peace." A young rap band that rhymed and reasoned about the love of Jesus street style! See, you cannot expect the streets to understand your message unless you speak their language. Unless you are willing to look at them eye to eye and "become all things to all men to save some" you will never see them saved and set free. You will never see them "translated from the darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son..." For 45 minutes the rap and rhyme echoed through the park. Urban style worship with bass! The kids from the neighborhood loved it! They moved and danced to the beat, some even lifted up their hands and for the first time worshiped Jesus! In their own way, to their own sound. By 4:00 P.M. the band "Techno Worship" were ready to play. Four hip-hop worship leaders with a message for the hour. "God love you just the way you are!" Radical but true. Five bands were lined up to play until 10:00 P.M. For the next eight hours the line at the barbecue never stopped. They were hungry...
THE LITTLE CHILDREN WORSHIP GOD
As one band left the stage to give way to another, we would gather the children in the park to the front stage. Typhoon Teddy took a break, the puppets at the puppet stage directed traffic, and the face painters decorating their little faces with Jesus' love paused. Only the hotdogs and hamburgers continued moving! A mass of little faces looked up expectantly, hungry. We shared how Jesus died, a drama team demonstrated this statement more clearly. We asked the children to lift up their hands and wave to God. A sea of hands moved back and forth worshiping the Creator. Then we asked how many wanted to know Jesus and know Him in their hearts. Dozens, if not every one raised their hands. We had lost count hours ago.
Time after time in those eight hours the children invited Jesus into their hearts and lives. Children groomed to be gang members and prison inmates had their courses altered and their lives changed forever. Atleast five hundred kids and parents walked through that park July 24th. More drove by and watched and listened from a distance. Intrigued and curious at the sound of praise and worship not confined by walls and insulation. For many, it was their first time...
THE CHURCH IS CHANGING
From coast to coast this year, we have witnessed a phenomena. Churches breaking out of the barriers and perimeters of religious tradition and formality. Churches literally taking their sound system and congregation to the streets! In San Jose the entire church moved into their parking lot for the weekend! Passing out thousands of free hotdogs to the community and impacting even more souls!
In Frederick Maryland just a few days ago we participated with another church as they took the worship team to the mall parking lot! Bringing in a flat bed truck as their stage! Inviting local authorities and groups to set up shop. The state patrol, the fire trucks, the medics with their ambulance. Crisis Pregnancy Center had a table to give out critical information to the housing project community. Again a clown riding a unicycle told the children how much Jesus loves them! Hot dogs and hamburgers were in abundance as the sound of worship and joy resounded in the hi-ways and bi-ways of Maryland.
The face of Christianity and what the world interprets as Church is changing. From a formal unapproachable entity and institution, to a radical love filled living organism called The Body of Christ! Exuding the love and passion of Jesus! Not only in words but in extreme demonstrations of that love. This is what will change the world, this is what will usher in harvest and revival. Nothing less and nothing more.
THE STREETS WILL BE THE PLACE OF THE NEXT MOVE OF GOD
In Acts 5:15 they "brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that atleast the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them..." Why didn't they lay them in the temple gate as the lame man that was healed before sat? Or at the pool of Bethesda hoping for the angel to stir the water? BECAUSE THEY KNEW AT THAT TIME WHERE THE GLORY WAS BEING REVEALED! IN THE STREETS! IN THE OPEN AIR AND DIRT! THERE WAS WHERE THE GLORY OF GOD WAS BEING REVEALED UNPRECEDENTED AND WITH POWER! THAT EVEN THE SHADOW OF ONE CHRISTIAN PASSING BY MIGHT FALL ON THEM AND THEY WOULD BE HEALED! THE NEXT MOVE OF GOD WILL BE SEEN IN THE SAME WAY! DEMONSTRATED IN THE OPEN AIR AND PUBLICLY. FOR EVERY EYE TO WITNESS AND EVERY HEART TO PONDER.
The next great move of God will be seen in the streets. Harvest is not experienced in test tubes and sheltered places. Harvest is only experienced in the open air with the hot sun and the cool evening breeze. Harvest is not something confined and measured and grown in air conditioned buildings. But rather with sweat and effort bringing for an abundance. Harvest is outside. Harvest is where the people are. And church, harvest is upon us...Harvest is most surely upon us...