A couple of Bobby McCreery’s fellow evangelists climbed into a New Orleans taxi in 2013 when the city was hosting the Super Bowl.
“Are you guys here for the game?” the cab driver asked.
“Well, sort of,” they replied. “We’re here to tell people about Jesus.”
The driver’s face lit up and his eyes widened. “You must be the people that all my fares have been talking about all day,” he said. “They say there’s people talking about Jesus everywhere, and they can’t go anywhere without hearing somebody talk about Jesus.”
McCreery, of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Ga., is one of about 90 people who want to achieve the same result this week in Miami. They’re part of Sports Fan Outreach International (SFOI), a ministry founded by Bill Adams, who recruits fellow evangelists to take the Gospel to major sporting events all over the world — like the Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cup, Kentucky Derby and others.
For McCreery, this year in Miami is the 10th anniversary of his first Super Bowl, which was also held in Miami in 2010. He’s been to every host city in the last 10 years for the game except for New York in 2014.
“The idea is, the fishermen want to go where the fish are,” McCreery said. “They estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of a million people visit the Super Bowl host city during that weekend, so that means there’s going to be a lot of people out there.”
The Scripture talks about sowing the seed of the Word, McCreery said, with some planting, some watering, but ultimately God providing the increase.
“If a million people are coming in, that’s a million opportunities to bring the Gospel to people,” McCreery said. “The desire would be that even though a lot of people are obviously not coming in to hear the Gospel, by spreading out across the city, the Gospel would be almost inescapable to them.”
Paul Harvey, a member of Capshaw Baptist Church in Madison, Ala., is also part of the Sports Fan Outreach International contingent in Miami this year. It’s his sixth Super Bowl to visit as an evangelist.
“When I got saved in 2007, God really dealt with me specifically about sharing the Gospel with other people,” Harvey said. “And through the course of reading Scripture, of learning more about it, going out and making mistakes, trying to get better, having some good mentoring, I came in contact with a lot of other people who had a similar passion.”
The SFOI evangelism efforts take place over a three-day period during Super Bowl weekend — Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day begins with about an hour of corporate prayer, followed by a time of fellowship and teaching, sometimes by local pastors, and sometimes by SFOI participants. The theme for this year’s teaching is the theology of conversion.
Then around 11 a.m. or noon, the evangelists break up into teams and spread out across the city until late in the evening. They target high-trafficked areas where they will either engage people in one-on-one conversations or preach in the open air.
“We bring 100,000 tracts every year, and I can’t remember a year where we didn’t get rid of 80 or 90 percent of them at least, if not all of them,” McCreery said.
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Source: Baptist Press