NEW YORK — Scores of Christians from across the country have touched down in New York City to share the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ with the thousands that have arrived to attend Super Bowl XLVIII as the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos.
Bill Adams of Sports Fan Outreach International, headquarted in Altanta, Georgia, organized the evangelistic effort, bringing a bus of approximately 40 Christians up from the Atlanta area. He said that there are nearly 100 Christians participating in the evangelistic outreach this year.
“All 92 of us are spread throughout the city from Battery Park to Times Square,” Adams told Christian News Network. “We cover the territory as much as possible.”
The international evangelist has led Super Bowl outreaches for the past six years, although he states that he has attended the Super Bowl for evangelistic purposes for over a decade.
“[It] provides the opportunity to communicate and preach the Gospel to a lot of people,” he said. “I bet there are 500,000 people downtown right now.”
The men and women that have joined with Sports Fan Outreach International this year gather each morning for a time of prayer, and are also challenged daily with speakers that encourage them to see the world with the eyes of Christ. The team then goes out into the streets to preach, speak one-on-one with passersby and distribute tracts.
“Preaching is our main emphasis,” Adams explained. “Faith comes by hearing. We sow and God gives the increase.”
“Preaching sets in motion all of the spiritual dynamics in a given area,” he continued. “It opens the way for people to receive a tract or reject it, and some will ask questions. So, preaching is the foundation of what we are doing, and everything else works to support that.”
Adams said that the evangelists, although spread throughout the city, keep each other updated on the outreach by texting each other prayer requests.
“Anthony is convicted of his sin. He is close to the Kingdom of Heaven,” read one text that Adams received. “Pray for him.”
“Julius is convicted of his sin,” read another. “He cried out to God on the street. Pray that it is genuine repentance.”
While some may assert that preaching belongs within the four walls of the church, Adams noted that the public proclamation of the gospel is not only biblical, but the most loving thing that a Christian can do.
“Jesus preached outside; Paul did it,” he said. “If you really believe it’s good news, how could you tell someone to ‘keep it to yourself?'”
Adams posited that Christians should not assume that those on the street are mainly Christians, or already know the gospel and don’t need to hear it again.
“What about the souls going by?” he asked. “Let’s say they don’t go to a church. This may be the only time in their life up to this point where they’ve actually heard the word of God or know that Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of their sins. … [W]hy put a lid on the good news?”
“What can happen in the moment is a tremendous conversation with somebody—a very deep, intimated conversation about what they believe and their place with the Lord or lack thereof,” Adams advised.
He said that as Christians, instead of cursing the darkness in our world, we should be moved with compassion to seek and save the lost.
“Jesus was on a mission to redeem His people,” Adams stated. “Obviously, God did not turn His back on His creation, and so, if we have the nature of God in us, why would we likewise desire to turn our back on God’s creation? I believe that the desire for the salvation of souls reflects the new nature that you’ve received from being born again.”
He encouraged others to use sporting events in their own cities as opportunities to share the Gospel.
“We’re not really looking at life in an evangelistic sense,” he said. “Get up and go out there and minister to people.”
Adams’ Super Bowl outreach will continue through kick off tonight at 6:30 p.m.