Last night in Immerse (a discipleship program) we talked about a very fun way to do evangelism: Treasure hunting.
If you don’t know what that is, then you’re totally missing out on some really fun adventures with God. Our heavenly Father has so many people out there that He considers treasures. What we want to do is go find them and show them that God hasn’t forgotten about them.
To start off we shared some stories about past experiences to give the newbies an idea of what we were doing. Pretty much everyone in the room was feeling nervous and unsure about the whole thing, but as the leader of the group I had to put my game-face on, “Oh yeah, I got this, no problem, this will be fun!” while inside I’m trying not to think, “We’re going to do what?! Is this dangerous? Is this even a good idea?! What if nothing happens? What if I screw everything up?!” But, I had seen God work before and was confident that he was going to do it again. He’s just fun like that.
I don’t know if story-time was more encouraging or fear-inducing, but afterwards we got down to business. We broke up into two groups of four and then asked God some questions.
Heavenly Father, what does this person, Your treasure, look like? What location should we go to to find them? What colors should we look for? What symbols? And what should we be ready to pray for?
Yes, the questions are very specific. That makes things a bit tricky. It’s really easy to pray general, abstract prayers like “God save Minneapolis” but… honestly, I’m never going to know if God ever answers that prayer. It would probably be better if I prayed, “God save George” but if I pray that… well… what if he doesn’t get saved?! What then? Does that mean that God didn’t hear my prayers?! Does that mean that God doesn’t like George?! George is a great guy!… a bit clumsy at times, but surely God won’t hold that against him. I find it’s a lot easier to pray from fear than to pray from faith. Specific prayers require faith because you’re going to see if those prayers actually get answered or not.
Guess what? He does answer. And, He’s a better leader than I am a follower. Sometimes when doing a treasure hunt you get a bit stuck waiting for some dramatic vision or voice from the sky to answer your questions. People don’t usually get that sort of response. What I try to do is pray, “Well Father, this is your adventure and that person out there somewhere is your treasure. I give Holy Spirit permission to speak to me, so please do, but right now I’m going to write down the first thing that comes to mind in each category.”
Not all the things that I “got” were helpful in the end. Here’s my list: Mini Mart, Long dark hair, Blue, Alligator (like a clothing brand logo), Orange Bow-tie, and that someone might have a headache and lower-back pain. After the four of us in our group put our clues together we had two different people who got “an arch” two different people got “blue” for a color and a number of other random things.
We decided to head to the Lowry bridge (featured above) for obvious reasons… okay, if it’s not so obvious, it’s a giant arch with the color blue. We actually met someone along the way, across the street from a mini-mart, who allowed us to pray for him and his mom (he was wearing red and white, which was two of the colors someone else had gotten).
After walking around for a little while we finally found our treasures. Danielle and Sam were travelling around the country by box-car (Yes, people actually do that!… I never knew) and had gotten kicked out of the rail-yard so they were huddled up with their packs down a flight of stairs next to the Lowry bridge. Daniel had dark dreads that went down to her shoulders. On the bridge, Rhianna looked up and said, “Oh! That’s what God showed me! I couldn’t make it out before.” It seems many of the clues that God had given us had led us right to them, right there.
The two girls walked and prayed while Tim and I went down the stairs to talk to them. We were up-front about our intentions and they weren’t very interested in prayer. So, we just chatted with them. We talked about traveling and their dogs. Tim talked with them about Kansas City and a recent explosion that had happened there. We asked what brought them to Minnesota and what they were going to do after camping out over-night. They said they were going to hike out of town until they were able to start hitch-hiking and then head west back our toward Washington state to meet up with some old friends.
After chatting for some time in the cold they finally allowed us to pray with them. We prayed that God would fill them with Joy and Peace and that His protection would follow them. Tim ended up giving them a couple bucks he had on him and told them to buy a nice breakfast in the morning. Sam got teary-eyed. I think they got it. They are so valuable and God just invaded their world with a couple of people crazy enough to believe that God is capable of leading them to the side of a bridge where these two were waiting, unknowingly, for a God encounter.
Thanks for reading this post. Please take 2 minutes and pray for Sam and Danielle. They were hoping to start hiking along I-94 today. Pray for safety and provision, but also pray that they start to see themselves the way God does: worth the blood of Jesus.