Motorcycles & Friendship Evangelism
by Gary McLain
The weekend was going to be big in Prineville, Ore. (September 9-11). Thousands of bikers were coming for the “Run to The Cascades” motorcycle rally. The Prineville Seventh-day Adventist Church is practically next door to the fair grounds where part of the motorcycle rally was taking place. In an effort to witness to the bikers, the Prineville church posted big banners advertising free cold water, how to ride until you’re 100, and an up-close look at an OC Chopper. Yes, the Prineville church had a world-renowned Orange County Chopper (OCC) in their parking lot. It was the chopper custom-built for 7-Eleven. They also had an old German-made 1949 Norton on display. Many riders came by to see and get their pictures taken on the OC Chopper. Miles Matthews, one of the people instrumental in making this evangelistic effort happen, was also on site to hand out water, answer questions about the bikes and give out packets of books. The books being handed out were Creation Health Discovery – Your Path to a Healthy 100, God Said Remember, and Steps to Christ. Can you think of a better way to get bikers into your church’s parking lot? Hand them some books, a nice cold water and let the Holy Spirit work on their hearts.
Does evangelism only happen in a church? I like the reference the definition of "evangelism" makes to an "enthusiastic advocate." This statement has no parameters to where and when you can share your faith. It should be evident in our day-to-day lives that we are Christians by how we treat and interact with those we come in contact with.
Jackie Johnson and her friend Laurie Olson, both bikers, felt impressed to go be a part of the “Run to The Cascades” motorcycle rally. Several of the Adventist motorcycle ministries were there to share their faith. Jackie and Laurie are both part of the Oregon Chapter of Adventist Motorcycle Ministry. Another Adventist biker ministry, Sabbath Keepers had a booth in the downtown park where all the activities were taking place in Prineville.
As Jackie was spending some time with the Sabbath Keepers group she wandered over to the booth next door where they were selling handmade jewelry and started up a conversation with the merchants, June and Ron. June asked if Jackie had a motorcycle to which she replied, “Yes. ” June then asked if she could sit on it and for the next few minutes they did a photo shoot with June on the bike. Then June looked at Jackie and said, “I have a pair of chaps that will fit you and I want you to have them.” Jackie replied, “I couldn’t accept them.” That wasn’t the answer June was wanting… Well, Jackie now has some really nice chaps!
They went back to the booth where Ron was sitting. As June was talking with some customers, Jackie started visiting with Ron and shared a copy of Steps to Jesus – the Ride of Your Life (Steps to Christ with a motorcycle cover). He gladly received it. June invited Jackie and Laurie to their home after the event had ended, so of course they went. God had opened a door and they were not going to miss this opportunity.
When they arrived at Ron and June's home, they got the tour and then sat on the front porch, overlooking a lake, and visited for a while. They ate watermelon and shared about their lives and were becoming good friends. That is what friendship evangelism is all about—going out and meeting people right where they are. Before Jackie and Laurie headed back to their hotel, Jackie asked if they could pray with June and Ron.
The next day (Sunday) June and Ron wanted to meet up with Jackie and Laurie in Sisters, Oregon on their way home. So they did. They visited with them for about an hour. It was a time that the Lord had opened up as an opportunity to share Jesus. Again, this is what friendship evangelism is all about—going and reaching out like Jesus did.
So what do you enjoy doing? Could you see yourself sharing a glimpse of Jesus through your hobby or passionate pastime? Friendship evangelism—everyone can do it!