Spiritual thirst gets quenched at state fair
SEDALIA – As the heat of summer beats down on those attending the Missouri State Fair, one booth was offering to quench their thirsts, both physically and spiritually.
The Missouri Baptist tent was offering free lemonade and water to those passing by Aug. 20, but on the cups were Scriptures that aim at meeting their spiritual thirst. For example, in Revelation 21:6, God says to John, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”
Kenneth Taylor is a man who wants to give people this drink. Taylor is the pastor of Friends of Jesus, a maturing church plant in Osceola that has been working with people affected by methamphetamines. Taylor and his team were handing out drinks and Taylor was getting people to take IQ tests that ask trick questions and questions about God. Taylor talked about how his booth can meet people’s thirsts.
“Well, it is scriptural,” he said. “Jesus met people’s physical needs and then met their spiritual needs and we have examples of that in the Bible. We are just following his example.”
Taylor went on to say that they were doing “good will for the Lord.” He mentioned that they were limited in what they could do so he called their approach “passive evangelism.” Watching Taylor at work, however, there was nothing passive about his enthusiasm for using the tools he had to witness to people about Jesus.
He said his desire was for “half the people walking in the fair to get saved and the other half to know Jesus if they do not already.” Taylor also talked about how this booth could strengthen his ministry.
“The connection is that this is giving an opportunity for the people of my ministry to be exposed to passive evangelism and witnessing,” Taylor explained. “They can see how receptive people are. This is a spiritual learning experience for everyone involved in my church because they are new and maturing Christians and this is exposure for them.”
The tent also features face painting, witness bracelets, several music and entertainment groups and other witnessing tools.
Several churches have sent volunteers throughout the fair to work and help out. Jim Henderson, director of missions, Fellowship Baptist Association, was one of several who served. Henderson also talked about meeting the thirsts of people.
“The hotter it gets, the more physical thirst there is and at the same time people are surprised that we are giving it to them for free,” he said. “That opens things up for us to talk about spiritual thirst.”