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Theodore Lawton
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I'm new to magic and was wondering how many of my brothers and sisters in Christ organize their shows.

Are all of your tricks Gospel oriented?

Are some tricks merely for entertainment value and some for the sharing of the Gospel?

Do you like to include tricks that share biblical principles that aren't necessarily Gospel nased?

I've done some street evangelism that may start with an attention getter like a Brainwave deck and then shifted into one or two tricks that let me share the Gospel, biblical truth and lets me leave them with a tract.

I guess I'm curious about different views on balance.

Thanks

Preston-
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Theodore Lawton
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*crickets chirping*

zzzzzzzz

huh! what? wahzat?! ...zzzzzzz
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Terry Owens
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In order to figure out how to routine your program, you need to know what you are after as an end result first. Are you wanting to just entertain in churches? Are you wanting to do an evangelistic type program? Family outreach? Kid's shows...These all speak to different ways you might routine your show.

My program for children is completely different in style and performance than my family shows.

So go kick a cricket and figure out where you feel you should go with your program. Pray, pray, pray...if you're wanting to do Gospel work, it must be backed by prayer. Otherwise, you're just another performer.
Theodore Lawton
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I agree with all that you've said, I was just hoping for some very basic examples of what others do so I can apply those insights to whatever I may do in the future.

Like answers to the first three questions in my post and how you might vary it for different audiences, just to give me some basic examples to work with.

Some things I'd like to do are: more street evangelism, evangelistic outreach at churches, kid shows.

Thanks again!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dan Bernier
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Hi Preston,

as far as using Gospel magic to street evangelize or even just street evangelizing, you should be part of a team, and never try to approach it alone. You should also have a good idea of how to witness on the streets, what to be prepared for, and a good understanding of the presentation of the four spiritual laws. Believe me, it's not as easy at it may seem. When you are on the streets it's a whole different world.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
gaddy
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That's true- it's really the "Bowels of Babalyon" out there. Smile Muahahaha!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Heres Tony
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Duane Laflin has a great formula for how to structure a gospel magic program in his DVD series "Art of Gospel Magic". I recommend it.

Tony Brent
KurtK
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Ive sen gospel magicians perform a few effects to warm up with then go on to the main gospel presentation. I think either way works.
Ken Northridge
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Preston,

I HIGHLY recommend Duane Laflin’s books on Gospel magic, as well. That would be a very wise investment. The fact is there are different points of view on the questions you asked. I can only tell you what works for me.

I have a 45-minute Gospel show in which I begin with 5-minutes of fast paced-visual magic to music. Then a fun trick to illustrate that I do illusions, not magic. (very important.)

Then I get into the gospel part by doing tricks that illustrate the Gospel message. Most of the time I am using the trick to demonstrate what I am saying however, on important parts of the message, I will step away from the apparatus and speak from the heart.

About half of my show is “just for fun” tricks (no message) I insert my favorite fun routines here. I don’t want my “show” to sound like a sermon. (I’m not a preacher).

The message of my show is strong and lends itself toward an alter call. But I let the Pastor, or whoever is in charge handle that if they feel led to.

This is what works for me based on my personality and my strengths and weaknesses. I hope it helps and I hope you get some of Daune Laflins material. Or better yet, get to see him lecture.

I hope this helps.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Terry Owens
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For shows...you don't have to do all Gospel, and I would actually recomend that you don't do one effect after another all Gospel unless they are connected to an overall theme. You can make it a blend, or you can do a show and end with a Gospel presentation in the end. That's what I do for my Upward Award programs.
Joe Marotta
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Preston,

It's great to hear you have a heart for using your magic skills for the spreading of the gospel. If you are looking for ways to witness on the street, it's much easier if you don't do it solo but have one person or a team assist you. Pray together and encourage each other.

For ways to effectively witness on the street, check out http://www.wayofthemaster.com and watch Hell's Best Kept Secret. It's a streaming video. You will get a GREAT teaching on how to be effective in one to one evangelism. Then check out their on line store and look for their Coins. There is a simple trick demonstrated there that shows you how to use a coin to start a conversation. Personally, I don't recommend using The 4 Spiritual Laws because ... well frankly, I don't find that it follows the biblical example on how to accurately present the gospel message. If you watch Hell's Best Kept Secret, you will understand what I'm saying.

Second, I recommend you go to http://www.adventuresinchristianity.com and click on VIDEOs. You will see Joey (not me) demonstrate a few magic tricks to use on the street to break the ice with a stranger and evangelism. Lots of good ideas and suggestions for people desiring to obey Jesus' command for us to 'go into all the world and make disciples'.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

(No offense was meant to anyone who uses the 4 spiritual laws tract. I used to hand out many of those myself. I just don't use them anymore for the reasons mentioned above.)
Theodore Lawton
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Thanks for all the great comments. I actually own the Way of the Master Basic Training series and like to use the million dollar tracts in the bill roll trick. It's a really simple trick, but gets good reactions for the most part, it's quick and they get to keep the prop. I also put the bills into the shape of a cross instead of corner to corner and use a Gospel patter. Works well.

Thanks for the "going out in twos" reminder. I've gone out by myself on days off and gotten good reactions, as well as not so good, after all, it is the Gospel. Going out with a small team or even one other person would be better.

Thanks to Terry and Ken and the rest who gave specific show ideas too. And the Duane Laflin suggestions. I now have some good advice from my brothers in Christ and victory comes through many counselors.

I'm hooked. I love the art that goes into a good magic presentation. Time will tell if it is an actual calling from the Lord, and in the meantime people will hear the Message.

Be blessed!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dan Bernier
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Hi Joe,
Law One: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Law Two: All of us are sinful and separated from God. Therefore we cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
The Bible says the result of sin in our lives is death–spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). Although we may try to reach God through our own effort, we inevitably fail. We just can’t ever be good enough.

Law Three: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
"I am the way, the truth and the life," Jesus said. "No one can come to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). He also said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish" (John 11:25-26).

Law Four: We must individually accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
We accept Jesus by faith. The Bible says, "God saved you by his special favour when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Accepting Jesus means first believing that Jesus is who He claimed to be, then inviting Him to take the control of our lives and make us into new people (John 3:1-8).

Just wondering, what's not Biblical about these? I believe it's vital to understand what the four spiritual laws are if you are going to reach people for Christ. I tried John, the Baptist's way, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is near!" which is a biblical example of street witnessing as far as I'm concerned, and perhaps the only example of it in the Bible. But I found it to be intrusive for the modern day.

I have seen "Hells Best Kept Secret" and it's very good. However, you'll find that a special permit is needed for that type of evangelizing, at least in most cities here in Canada, although I have seen some street preachers ignoring the law on occasions.

Have you used this approach on the street yourself Joe? What do you tell them when they want to except Jesus into their life? When I said you must have a good understanding of the presentation of the four spiritual laws, it was because we need to know what to do when we come across someone who wants to receive Jesus into their life.

I strongly believe that the four spiritual laws are very Biblical. How they are presented is up to the person.

EDIT: Just finished reading your post again Joe, and no offense taken by me. I also just realized that you're talking about tracts. I'm sorry, I wasn't talking about handing out tracts in regards to the four spiritual laws.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
marD
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I think that Joe, like myself, has nothing wrong with those "spiritual laws" per se, but we are not in a Christian culture contrary to popular belief. Those four points are wonderful insights into God's character, but there's something missing. What do those laws mean to someone that's not a Christian?

Unless a non-Christian understands why they need Jesus, they won't understand what salvation is. For them to understand why they need Jesus, they have to not only hear about sin, but to understand what sin is. Paul says in Romans 7:7 that he wouldn't have known sin except by the Law. The primary purpose of Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross was to reconcile us to God and provide a way for us to escape the judgment of hell. By showing people the Law (Ten Commandments) you bypass their intellect and sucker punch their conscience. You show them what sin is and how horrible it is in the sight of God. When they understand that and what is required of them by the holy, righteous and just God that they sinned against, then the gospel makes sense and they understand why they need Jesus.

I hope that I didn't offend with what I just wrote, but I've witnessed to people a few different ways, but I've never seen anything have the effect on people like telling them about the Law...

Joe - I didn't mean to speak for you so if I'm wrong, please correct me! Smile

Mike
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GlenD
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Sounds like you put it to written words very well. I know exactly what you're trying to convey and the Hell's Best Kept Secret message of Ray Comfort.
It's all good information and insight and hopfully we have helped Preston a little as well.

Glen
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Dan Bernier
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That's great and dandy, but what I'm talking about is what you do after someone is wanting to except Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. I don't open up with the Four Spiritual Laws. When someone has been moved by God's spirit and wants to go further with it, then the christian needs to undertsand the four spiritual laws if they are going to minister to them. If you really think about it, Ray Comfort uses the four spiritual laws as well, but he presents them differently.

I have several years of experience of witnessing on the streets, but don't claim to be an expert, only well experienced. I don't bring a camera crew with me, but if I did I bet I would generate a lot of attention too. As much as I like Ray Comfort's approach it's not everyone's cup of tea. Not only that, you have to get a special permit to do what he did in the video. You just can't set up mike and start preaching, at least not here legally in most cities in Canada.

I completely understand what you are saying, but you should understand what I'm saying as well. I'm not talking about handing out tracts, I'm not talking about preaching about the Four Spiritual Laws, I'm talking about understanding what they are, why we need to be saved, how to be saved, who saves us, and the results of being saved.

However, with all that said, we are talking about street witnessing using Gospel magic, and so I believe that the approach that Ray uses in Hells Best kept Secret would not need the use of magic tricks to witness to people on the street. What I'm talking about is strolling not setting up camp in a park somewhere.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Dan Bernier
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I would like to add that I fully agree of what is said in Hells Best Kept Secret. It is absolutely correct in my opinion.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
GlenD
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Tracts are just tools and anyone is free to pick and choose whichever ones they feel will help them reach folks. But they also can allow people to refrain from making relationships by going to public places and laying them around. But hey, that can still be effective in reaching someone too I suppose. There are no cookie cutter approaches, God uses people in different ways to reach the ones that they are able to connect with when we allow Him to use and work through us. Please don't misunderstand me, the message does'nt change but the methods and ways we interact with others certainly can and do.

The whole Ray topic has been a tangent. Although I think Ray makes some very important points in his message. It's not about him having a camera, a crew or whatever. It's about the rationale, the point to make about the necessity of a savior in the first place. This is the biggest stumbling block a lot of Christians encounter when trying to reach their unsaved friends, coworkers etc. They have what they need and most of what they want and feel as if they are good people.

What Preston asked is help in routining shows for church performances, if I read his initial post accurately.

I think the most important question when considering or performing gospel magic is the question of motivation and what you want to accomplish through your performances. Gee, did I do a good job? Were all my effects done well and without mistakes? Did I get applause and good audience reaction? All of these things should matter if we are going to peroform in this art but they are not the end all in evaluating the success of our performances. Did anyone hear the message? Did anyone respond? Is the Kingdom of God being advanced? Chances are without any follow-up we may not ever really know. Is performing in church settings to congregations effective in reaching lost souls? This is a good question, in my opinion. It depends on how active the follks are in inviting their friends and acquaintances. But even if there are only a scant few unsaved people in the building it is still worth it to present our message strongly and clearly and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way.

This is where street performing and outreach using gospel magic may be more effective in actually reaching people outside the church. I believe there is a lot to learn from those who are out there actually doing that as Dan seems to be. This is all kind of far removed from what Preston was asking but Terry had some good points and good questions for him to consider.

Glen
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
GlenD
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Dan, I didn't see your last post until after I put my previous one up. Just kind of took me awhile to put in words what I was thinking. This whole forum texting stuff can easily lead to misunderstandings in communication.
Take care.

Glen
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Theodore Lawton
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Thank you Glen, for the additional things to think about. And for getting the post back on track.

I'm new around here and I greatly appreciate all the encouragement, insight and tips that everyone has to share. But I would ask that, for the sake of Christ, if you have a dispute with someone, consider pming them. I think debate is great and has its place, but we are representing Jesus. Other people may be looking into this part of the forum to see what those Christians are up to. I'd hate to think they look and say, "Oh, they're bickering over their own religion. Can't even agree on that."

We want to show them that we are different and have something to offer that the world doesn't have, because we do. We can agree to disagree about a great many things, but because we are all family, by adoption, we can keep our family debates private and do our best to present the Good News. We all come from different church backgrounds, denominations, etc, but we all agree that Christ died on the cross for our sins, rose again on the third day and did it for us, so we could be forgiven.

I know that, in love, any disputes were settled because we are all brothers and, in that same spirit of love, that in itself shines light to the world. People seeing that we can come to an agreement. I just felt unsettled in my spirit over any initial disputes and wanted to mention these things because we have so great a cloud of witnesses.

My intention here is not to offend, nor to try and manipulate how others post. If you want to debate in public you of course have that freedom to do so. My only concern is for others who may be considering what Christ has to offer that may see us behaving in a way that is not necessary for the spreading of the Gospel.

If I have offended anyone, or any of you would like to chew me out for being...whatever...please do so via private message.

Be blessed! And again, thanks for all of your help!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
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