Two and a half years ago, I feared street evangelism. It felt strange and silly to talk about Jesus to strangers, and I was terrified to meet someone I actually knew! However, I realized that street evangelism obviously was something that Jesus and the apostles frequently did, and instead of trying to argue that we shouldn’t live like Jesus and the apostles (like many others tragically do), I decided to join some friends who were going out on the streets of Uppsala giving pancakes to people and sharing the Gospel.
It basically changed my life.
Today, I’m one of the local leaders of the Pancake Church of Uppsala, and I love to share the Gospel. My former evangeliphobia effectively melted as I discovered how easy and naturally it is to chat with people over a pancake. We try to create a relaxed atmosphere where people can hang around and have a good time. And many of the youths don’t have any problem with discussing religion – on the contrary, they often have strong opinions about it. Some are provocative, yes, but most aren’t. Actually, it’s quite amazing how many are interested in seeking God in this secularized country.
We’ve seen several come to Christ through this ministry. Some of them, we’ve followed through a process of months or years, where they have repeatedly come back to the pancake table over and over again. Others have been saved on the spot. One girl came to us when we were at a big music festival and suddenly started to cry. The pancake people asked her why, and she said that she didn’t know. Some friends to me named Christian and Thomas talked to her, prayed for her, prophecied over her and shared testimonies about how God had completely changed their lives, and she continued to cry until she said that she wanted to be saved. I’ll never forget the smile on Christian’s face when he ran to us to tell us these good news.
We also see a lot of healings. My friend Daniel (to the right on the picture above) once prayed for a young man who was cross-eyed to the point that he could only read big-sized text. After prayer, the guy’s friend exclaimed “Dude, your eyes look normal!!” and suddenly he could both read text messages on his cell phone as well as the Bible. Another time, my friend Johan prayed for a guy’s back and knees. Afterwards, he exclaimed that in all his life, he had never been able to bend his knees or straighten his back like he now was able to do. “All pain is gone, I feel absolutely nothing! It’s like air!” he said.
God seems to like the Pancake Church! I’m convinced that this is how the church is supposed to function. When Jesus healed people or called them to follow Him, He was almost always outdoors. If He for once was indoors, it was because He visited someone else’s house. When the apostles healed people or led them to Christ, they were almost always outdoors. If they for once were indoors, it was because they visited somone else’s house. It’s true, check the Book if you don’t believe me!
How in the world did the church manage to view the sunday service in a church building as the Christian norm while street evangelism is seen as an option for a few, “called” people? Why is sitting and listening to a thousand sermons in one’s lifetime viewed as mandatory, while telling people on the streets about Jesus is viewed as optional? It’s time the whole body of Christ take it to the streets and share God’s love where normal people hang around, instead of trying to drag them to foreign ground (=church). This clip says it well: