In a tribute to my favorite fake news site (The Holy Observer), and it's return to the web, I present this satirical interview with a whole new kind of evangelist. I wouldn't dream of plagiarizing the fake name of the Holy Observer's newspaper, so I'll call mine the Redeemed Reporter:
Redeemed Reporter (R.R.) staff presents an interview with Larry Spivey, a modern day evangelist with a unique kind of ministry that seems to be taking off like Holy wildfire.
RR: Larry, tell us how your ministry got started. What was the inspiration?
Larry: It came out of a down time in my walk with the Lord. I’d been going to church for years, and I loved Jesus, but I was kind of a closet Christian, you know? Then one Sunday, one of our church’s missionaries did a presentation after going to
That’s when I started imagining how I’d feel in heaven, when Jesus asked me how many people I had shared the good news with. I knew that at that point in my life, the answer would be zero. The Holy Spirit was really convicting me, so I went to my pastor and asked what I could do.
RR: What did he suggest?
Larry: He told me that tithing was the answer to my problems, so I went to the assistant pastor. The assistant pastor reminded me that God did not expect me to convert the whole world in my own strength – just a few. He asked me if there were any groups I identified with, or clubs I belonged to, but I couldn’t think of anyone. I don’t have any hobbies other than bowling, and the local bowling alley is run by a really nice Mormon guy. I didn’t want to cause a scene there, you know what I mean?
RR: Of course.
Larry: So anyway, I prayed for guidance, and ONE word came to me. I’m not going to say it was an audible voice – it was more of a strong feeling really. Anyway, this voice/feeling (whatever you want to call it) imprinted that ONE word in my head.
RR What was the word?
RR: Bobs? As in the plural form of the common name for Robert?
Larry: Yep, Bobs. Now I only knew one Bob personally, so at first I couldn’t see how he alone could become a mission field. This Bob was a guy I knew from a judo class back in 7th grade, and I hadn’t talked to him since I broke his fibula. Anyway, I swallowed my pride, and called him up.
RR: How did the conversation go?
Larry: It was amazing! I told him that God had sent me on a mission to share the good news with guys named Bob. Well wouldn’t you know it, he was in the middle of a crisis in his life (somebody had broken his fibula again), and boy was he was ready to hear some good news! Somehow, my words came effortlessly, and by the end of the conversation I saw my first Bob converted. In fact, Bob has joined this ministry, which I think is a good thing. I mean, my name is Larry, so when people ask about the “More Bobs In Heaven” ministry, I can introduce them to an actual Bob.
RR: Is that Bob here to talk with us today?
Larry: No. He’s on vacation with his wife, Jennifer.
RR: Of course. Let’s move on then. Larry, is your mission exclusive to just Bobs? Do you deliberately avoid sharing the gospel with folks NOT named Bob?
Larry: Heavens no! I’ll share the gospel with anyone whose name starts with a “B.” Seriously, I’ll evangelize anyone, but it’s amazing how many Bob’s I meet. In my first week of this ministry, I met 17 guys named Bob! That week, I also felt a tug to talk to this homeless guy, whose name was Knuckles. Sure enough, once we got to talking awhile, it turned out his real name was Bob. He hadn’t gone by that name in 30 years!
RR: That does seem miraculous. Now obviously, Bob is a very common name. What about the Steves, Bills, and Janes of the world?
Larry: They’re important too, but that’s not my spiritual gift. You would need to talk with Matt Jones, who has a Steve ministry, Gary, who leads the Bill ministry, and Marlene, who’s considering a Jane mission.
RR: So there are MORE ministries in your church focusing their evangelization efforts on unsaved souls with particular names?
Larry: Of course! Where have you been, brother, under a rock? Get under the One True Rock, man!
RR: Are these other name ministries as successful as yours?
Larry: Well, I need to be careful here because I don’t want to judge. I mean, the Bob ministry is like the mega church of the whole concept right? There are some people who have picked some obscure names to witness to, and I’m not sure if theirs is a serious calling, or if they’re just picking a name that they know they won’t encounter much. For example, Habakkuk is a good solid Biblical name, and I’m not sayin’ anything against the guy who runs the Habakkuk ministry, but outside
RR: I’m not sure you’d run in to that many in
Larry: That’s just it. His glory, and His glory alone. Also, this is not a numbers game, right? We should remember the kind of trouble King David got in to when he did that census thing. If the Holy Spirit is really the power behind your ministry, you can expect results no matter how unlikely.
RR: For example?
Larry: Take a look at Jacob Weinstein’s Ministry to Men named Mohammed. He runs a ministry on Fridays right from his hot dog stand near a mosque. His numbers were really starting to take off before the hospitalization, and when he gets out, I’m sure the whole thing is going to bust wide open. Of course, Jacob was a professional body builder, and he’s got a disarming smile. Not just anyone could run Jake’s ministry, but I think that’s just an example of God using the right tool for the job.
RR: Doesn’t that contradict what you said about allowing the Holy Spirit to use unlikely players?
Larry: Not at all. Well, maybe. Yes, yes it does. O.K., we can’t put God in a box, alright? Sometimes our maker will break out in a way that nobody has even thought of. Take Brother Charlie, for example. For the longest time, he just couldn’t think of a first name to target for a ministry. He prayed and even fasted, but nothing came. Then, God made his carburetor go on the fritz, and the Holy Spirit lead him to a mechanic named Frank White. The two of them got to laughing about their names, and lo and behold, they ended up discussing spiritual issues. Frank’s a Brother in Christ now, but even more importantly, God showed us that this whole method could be used with last names too.
RR: Um, O.K. I’m not sure I’m following…
Larry: Don’t you see? (Clasps hands together and looks heavenward in prayer). Guys with the last name Black?
RR: (sound of crickets)
Larry: Evangelizing to guys with the last name Whi … Oh wait, I totally forgot to mention that Charlie’s last name is Black, didn’t I?
RR: Yes, you left that part out.
Larry: Well, that just goes to show you that Jesus can use a guy without a communication degree. It’s not about the obedience, it’s about the talent. Praise God!
RR: You meant that the other way around, right?
Larry: Meant what the other way around?
RR: Never mind. I think that guy over there might be named Bob.
Larry: Right. I’m on him!
RR: Amen to that!