In a previous post I told you about Mike Lawrence, the magician in New York whom I occasionally help with his programs. In April I flew out to help him with another set of shows, in a church in downtown Manhattan. If you accept the definition of Off-Broadway to be “referring to the location of a venue and its productions on a street intersecting Broadway in Manhattan’s Theater District”, then I was in an Off-Broadway show. (That was the original definition, which has since been revised to be more restrictive. Bummer.)
Like Andre, Mike uses the novelty of a magic/illusion show to draw an audience; and uses the first part of the show to build rapport with that audience in order to earn the privilege of explaining the gospel message with Andre’s Three Ball Gospel Illustration. And, like Andre, Mike also takes a one-minute break before sharing the gospel, so those in the audience who think they may be offended by what Mike will be talking about have the freedom to leave. He also uses comment cards to follow-up with the audience members after the gospel message – like Andre.
You may have noticed in the photos and video that Mike is UN-like Andre in some ways. That’s right – he is about 20 years younger (smile), and has a real good tan. And the obvious benefit of this is that he has fewer barriers to relating to people of his own race and cultural background.
It has been exciting for me to realize that Andre was not only a pioneer of the strategy of using the art of illusion to reach people for Christ, but has also mentored and equipped thousands of others to do so – both directly and indirectly. In addition to Mike, dozens of magicians have full-time ministries which they have modeled after Andre’s example. To see just how many, do a Google search on “christian magician”
By the way, these shows I helped Mike with yielded 14 people indicating receiving Christ, as well as another 10 who wanted more information about a relationship with Jesus.