Scalping Tickets for Jesus
Today was a home game for our local baseball team. So during my lunch hour, I headed out towards the stadium with a stack of Ticket to Heaven Gospel Tracts from Living Waters. I chose this type of tract specifically for this event because it not only has the word ticket printed on the front but it also has the appearance of such.
 
But what truly inspired me to use this type of tract and go out on game day was the ticket scalpers who often stood on the street corners near the stadium shouting their need for tickets. Often I would see scalpers with signs around their necks that read "I need tickets". Not being a scalper myself I can only presume that there may be some legalities with someone coming right out and saying they have tickets for sale, although many still do.
 
Desire of the Heart 
Nonetheless, about a year and a half ago God planted a desire in my heart to stand on a street corner in downtown Pittsburgh and shout, “Jesus! I need Jesus!” similar to that of a local scalper selling tickets. But God knew I needed lots of help in this arena and so six months later, out of the blue, a friend of mine sent me a seemingly innocent text message which contained a link to the video testimony of a little-known Evangelist from New Zealand named Ray Comfort.
 
That was all it took for me and before I knew it I found myself enrolled in the online School of Biblical Evangelism course from The Way of the Master. Several hundred tracts and many family members, friends, and perfect strangers witnessed to later, the rest, as they say, is history.

Channeling my inner scalper
Back in the present, I made my way through the hundreds of people that sprawled out all over the North Shore like a thick shag carpet. But it wasn’t until I reached the Roberto Clemente bridge that the Holy Spirit turned my attention to several people sitting there waiting for the game to start. I have to be honest here for a moment and confess that although I saw those people there and felt a tug from the Spirit, I made my way down a set of stairs nearby and began to head in the opposite direction. I was abandoning my post!
 
However, once I got to the bottom of the stairs I stopped and asked myself, “Who am I to say no to the Lord?” That's when I marched right back up those steps, tapped into my “inner scalper” and with a touch of hot dog vendor in my voice I began to yell, “Ticket! FREE ticket! Tickeeeet!”
 
Before I knew it I had people running up to me from every direction asking for a ticket. Even the scalpers wanted in on the action! 

Mixed emotions
“What is it?” some asked perplexedly.
 
“It’s a ticket to Heaven!” I replied with a grin.
 
While some folks received the tract with joy the elation by others quickly deflated in a matter of seconds. One young man, however, named Chazz wanted one and when he received it chuckled a bit at first but soon after exclaimed, “This is so cool!” I tried starting up a conversation with Chazz, who had a Christian background (Pentecostal). But, like so many others today, he too was in a hurry to get to the game. One man even kissed the tract after I gave it to him which I thought was rather odd, but hey at least he appreciated it. Nonetheless, it was an eventful day and I can’t wait to do it all over again next time! Hopefully though with a little more engaging conversation that will lead to an opportunity for me to share the Gospel.
 
Lessons Learned:
Scalpers need love too! Scalpers were some of my biggest "customers" primarily because they are in the ticket selling business. But maybe also because they wanted to see what sort of goods I was giving away for free. Who doesn't like free? Nevertheless, each of them who approached me willingly took a tract. And for those scalpers who didn’t ask, I went up to them and gave them one anyway.
 
Bridge the gap. The best spot where folks were most receptive to receiving a tract was the Roberto Clemente bridge. It's been said that a body in motion will stay in motion. Therefore, I often find it a challenge to get someone who is on the move to stop moving for just a few short minutes. But stationary personnel, especially those sitting around waiting, seem to be prime candidates for witnessing. Captive audience?
 
Don't forget the friend. If someone has a friend alongside them and only one person takes a tract then give ‘em two! I personally hate the feeling of being left out so it’s only fair that the person’s friend get an invitation to Heaven as well, otherwise think of the alternative! Besides, after the game is over and everyone is creeping ever so slowly through rush hour traffic this will make for excellent conversation for the drive home.
 
Make the most of every opportunity. Paul said it and it’s become one of the best bits of advice that have stuck with me ever since I first heard it (Eph. 5:16Col. 4:5). Aside from the folks on the bridge, there were two guys nearby with guitars, a mic, and a booming amp. They were jamming like nobody’s business and I soon noticed passersby were showing their appreciation for these talented musicians by tossing fresh, green $1 dollar bills into an empty guitar case at their feet. Not to be outdone and not trying to boast here, but I saw their measly dollar and threw in a cool million dollar bill from my own inheritance. (Well, at least a million dollar gospel tract anyway.)
 
Until the whole world hears…(Mark 16:15)
 
Run to win,
Den