Ice Cream Evangelism

On August 21, 2014 by Bobby Blakey

US Open of SurfingEvangelism has a bad reputation.

This is sad because the word evangelism comes from the Greek, “εαγγελίζω” which means “to bring the good news.”

In the noun form it is “εαγγέλιον” which is commonly translated in the Bible as “gospel.”

The gospel is good news. And this news needs to be delivered!

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”

-1 Corinthians 15:3-4

So why does bringing the good news have a bad reputation?

Because we are bad at evangelism.

This summer I went to the US Open of Surfing here in Huntington Beach. I heard there were a lot of people and thought it might be an opportunity to evangelize. I also heard it was a rowdy crowd and I should prepare myself for the worst of all humanity. What I actually found was a family friendly environment. It was a beautiful day to watch surfing. The crowd was not rowdy at all. The only disturbing thing I saw were the Christians who were there to evangelize.

sign guysOr as many people would probably refer to them: “the sign guys.”

Here you can see two different “sign guys” on the same corner.

In fact, as my friend Shane and I were leaving, all four corners of the intersection were covered with people holding up black and yellow signs.

The one directly next to us read: “God destroys all who forsake him.”

As I approached the “sign guys” they did not seem to want to talk to me.

Instead, one of them gave me a tract. The tract was full of Bible verses to present the gospel message of who God is, the bad news of sin and the good news of Jesus saving us. It even went through the response of repentance and faith and the eternal destinations of heaven and hell. The content of the tract was excellent, packed with relevant Scripture, but at the bottom was a disclaimer.

They were not trying to talk to us.

They were not trying to get us to go to church.

They just wanted us to read the Bible and let it do its work on us.

I am sorry but this is bad evangelism.

Evangelism is more than signs or tracts.

Evangelism is more than handing out Bibles.

Evangelism always includes talking to people about Jesus.

Otherwise the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch makes no sense.

You can read this story in Acts 8:26-40. The man from Ethiopia is already reading the Bible. In fact, he is reading Isaiah 53, which contains the essential gospel message. Now is the time for the Holy Spirit to do his work through the word! Right?

But  the Holy Spirit does a different work here.

His work is to bring Philip the Evangelist. In Acts 8:29 he tells Philip where to go and sends him to talk to this man.

As Acts 8:35 says: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.”

If evangelism is as simple as signs, tracts and handing out Bibles then why does the Holy Spirit do so much supernatural work to get Philip “the evangelist” there?

Let me make my own disclaimer:

I am in no way questioning the heart motives of those who use signs or tracts in their evangelism, but I am questioning their methods.

I am not even saying don’t use signs or tracts in your evangelism, but I am saying make sure you are ready to tell people the gospel! That is what the Holy Spirit has sent us to do. In fact, the greatest privilege of our lives is him speaking through us to save someone else!

Every Christian needs to be equipped to tell someone the good news in a good way, not because we have verses written down but because we have them written on our hearts.

app tractI was reminded of this the other night when I went evangelizing at the Farmers Market on Main Street here in Huntington Beach. This is another community event that brings out a lot of people. While walking around and talking to people, I saw other evangelists holding up signs and handing out tracts.

Someone from our team received the tract you can see here which looks like the front of an iPhone:

Inside it begins with the question, “Have you Found the Perfect App Yet?”

Excuse me, did you just compare Jesus to an app???

For real?!?!?!

We can do better than this!

We must do better than this if we are going to reach those around us in Jesus’ name!

Today marks two weeks of evangelizing every day for our Compass HB team. Before we go out we have a team meeting to remind ourselves from the Bible what we are going out to do and to pray God will save souls we talk to. Over and over again we warn each other:




ice cream truckWe have a training manual to make sure we know verses to use.

We have our ice cream truck to reach out in a friendly way.

Of course you might call me a hypocrite because as I am writing this we are making a sign to use in our evangelism. It reads:


7 Responses to “Ice Cream Evangelism”

  • Stacy Petersen

    Great blog, Pastor Bobby. I am praying right now-and shall continue to-that God is preparing the hearts of those to be reached by Compass HB. May the saturation of “bad evangelism” be blocked and thwarted by the all-powerful Holy Spirit. Keep at it! We love you guys and are continually lifting you up to our gracious God, whose return is IMMINENT.

  • Dana Dill

    Great post Bobby. Keep speaking the pure truth in pure love. You and your team are joy for my heart.

  • Andee

    “the greatest privilege of our lives is him speaking through us to save someone else!”

    I want God to use me to save someone right at their front door! Consistently praying for this!

  • Erika from SA, TX

    I was wondering if the training manual you are speaking of in this blog…is it available for purchase?

  • Hello Erika from SA, TX! Thank you so much for coming all the way over to this blog in Huntington Beach, California!

    Unfortunately this Evangelism Every Day training manual is not for purchase… but I will send it to you for free! It is a simple manual with verses and main ideas we use to communicate the gospel. I hope it will help you evangelize as well!

    If anyone else wants a copy of the training manual please leave a comment and I will send you one too!

  • Clarence from Madison AL

    Hello Pastor Bobby,

    I just found your site as I am preparing for new members class on evangelism. But the more I have read the more excited I become about telling people about Jesus! And the more I am aware of how fearless I was when I told people about Jesus as a child and how hesitant I have become as an adult, and I want to make a change. May I have a copy of the ‘Evangelism Everyday’ training manual and suggestions for how to use it to encourage adults to start evangelism and how to use it if I want to start ‘Ice Cream Social Evangelism’ events associated with my church?

    • Bobby Blakey

      Hello Clarence from Madison AL,

      Thanks for leaving a comment here on the blog and I am so sorry it took me so long to get back to you!

      I would be happy to send you our Evangelism Every Day training manual! If you email me your address I will get it in the mail. My email is May God encourage you to to evangelism with your church and use you to reach souls with the gospel of Jesus!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.