I'm in the mood to pick up a stripper.
Who are you to judge? Did you just get mad about what I said? You have no reason to be mad. By the time you get done reading this post, you're going to want to pick up a stripper too!
See, I've been reading a book by Todd and Erin Stevens called How To Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are (affiliate link). Todd and Erin Stevens pastor Friendship Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
A few years ago, God spoke to Erin during a fast and told her to demonstrate God's love to people who are as far from the Kingdom as they can get. He told her to start taking food to strippers.
So she called the manager of a local strip club and asked if she could bring in a fully-catered meal for his employees. He readily agreed, and so she did. The Nashville Strip Church was born.
How did it work? It worked, and is working, awesomely. The ladies that work with Mrs. Stevens go into strip clubs, feed the employees, pray with them, take them gifts, and demonstrate God's love WITHOUT JUDGMENT.
Does that mean they agree with the dancers' occupation? No, absolutely not.
Does that mean they endorse that lifestyle? No, of course not.
But what it does mean is that they are meeting people where they are. Jesus said that we are to “go out and compel them to come in,” and that's exactly what Mrs. Stevens and her ladies are doing. They love on these women. They encourage them. They take them groceries if they need help feeding their children. They talk to them about Jesus as the ladies are willing to listen.
And they are seeing women decide that the eternal love of Jesus Christ is better than the lifestyle they are leading. So these former dancers are leaving the strip joints, getting saved, and getting mentored and discipled as they embrace the Kingdom of God instead.
That makes me want to pick up a stripper.
I want to go out and compel them to come in. I want to love on some women who feel wasted and used up. I want to show them how beautiful they are, how cherished, and how there is a Father in Heaven who longs to wrap them in His arms.
I want to see hope dawn in some eyes where there was no hope before. I want to see lost women get the revelation that they are more than a body for men to gaze at; that they are priceless treasures for whom one Man poured out His very life.
Do you want to pick up a stripper too?
I'm looking for, and finding, more opportunities to go into the underworld with the light and love of Jesus. What about you? What can you do? Who can you go help, love on, and serve–without condemnation–just showing them the compelling love of Jesus Christ?
- Can you take groceries to a single mom or dad?
- Can you give a 100% tip to that server in the restaurant?
- Can you participate in your church's dream center ministry and help rescue girls and women from prostitution?
- Can you take gifts to a woman who is STILL in prostitution, without preaching at her?
We have to go out and compel them to come in. That means, by definition, that the people we are supposed to be compelling are the ones who aren't in the Kingdom yet. And it's the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Who can we go show God's goodness to today?
Image courtesy of Angel Belsey on Flickr.