I've been asked several times in my life what I actually do during the day as an evangelist. It's a tough question to answer, because my days are always different and often unconditional. So, I thought I would write down one of my days to show what one of my days can often look like.I love the fair! It was opening day and admission was free if I got through the gate before noon, so I thought I would go and hangout with Jesus at the fair. He speaks a lot to me at the fair, as well as the theater, drives, walks and a few other "non-conventional" places. I don't do so well hearing Him behind a desk, or even kneeling beside my bed. My brain tends to click into gear when I am moving. My wife can usually tell when I have been on a trip in the car driving somewhere, because I usually come back excited with a mess of ideas and dreams.
I enjoy hanging out with Jesus in "real-life" situations, and I think that was his original idea when he made mankind in the first place. I noticed He made the stars, plants, animals, water etc. etc. but He never made a building where He could meet with Adam and Eve and they could pray to Him. I think Jesus enjoys when we include Him in the natural, organic, everyday life situations. Romans 12:1 says "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him." (The Message)
So, not only did I want to go to the fair, I felt like Jesus wanted to go too, and He wanted to go with me! How cool is that?!? (Sidenote; I think He really desires to do stuff like this with all His children, we just don't have the faith to include Him into our natural world. I think we tend to think it's foolish or sacreligious. However, I think keeping God at a distance and not allowing Him into our every-day life is sacreligious.) Anyways, I digress...
I just get through the front gate and my phone rings. It's a youth pastor friend of mine who I feel the enemy is trying to mess with his brain with "vain imaginataions". He tells me he's not exactly sure what he is supposed to do about his current situation and wants to know if he can process "out loud" with me. He begins to share with me his situation with his senior pastor, what it was really about and how he should handle it. Advice came into my brain very quickly which it often does when God wants to speak through me into someone else's life. So, while I sat there waiting for some other friends who were to join me at the fair, I began to speak into his life.
The point I would like to make is that this man of God called me. When he was done processing he said "OK, I've just 'thrown up' on you. Now tell me what your thoughts are." So I started "spewing" some stuff back. Some advice I felt God had given me. You know, If I didn't know this guy, if I hadn't walked with him and developed a relationship with him that went beyond "pastor/evangelist", if we hadn't "done life" together and if he didn't trust me, I wouldn't have been a person he would've called for help.
I have a statistic I keep in my pocket pc that says that 70% of pastors don't have someone they would consider a close friend besides their mate. Actually, I would say that the percentage is probably quite higher from my experience with all the pastors I have spoken to and hung-out with. I have found that most pastors have no one they can talk to, vent to or "throw up" on. Think about it, who are they going to talk to? How can they share their problems with someone in their congregation or even in their city when often their problems are about someone else in their congregation or city? Many pastors have no oasis, no place of rest they can go to unload. But to many of them I am a safe place to go to and vent, for many reasons. I am 45. I have been in the ministry my whole life as a preachers kid and as a minister myself. I have been around the block a few times. And it's part of the apostolic calling God has given me.
He desperately needed someone to "throw up" on. He needed some advice and he needed it soon. He was in a desperate and anxious situation and the enemy was trying to get him to do something that would only hurt the situation (in my opinion). He needed someone to help him think straight.
There are times "in the life of Steve Hays" that I don't want to update the calendar on my webpage! I know how, it's not that difficult (thanks to Jared from JTechproductions) to change it, I just don't want to. It's embarrassing when I don't have any bookings. How does it look to those who faithfully, month after month, support me financially, when my calendar is empty? I couldn't survive without these faithful supporters (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ALL)! How does it look to someone who visits my site to book me and they see that "no one has booked Steve Hays-I wonder why." Let's face it, in todays culture, that tends to say that this "evangelist" isn't too successful, so why should I support or book him? Personally, I think that my job is bigger than speaking engagements. I think most would think my job is to speak to the congregation, when in actuality God has me there to speak to the pastor in his kitchen afterwards. My assignment is often not what I am "being paid for". I think God often uses the "speaking engagement" as a way to support me financially and as a way to get me into the situation where I can speak into somebody's life personally, and that often means the leadership. I don't think many pastors would respond as my friend did by calling me and telling me they need some help. And I certainly don't think there are many pastors who would pay me to come and hang-out with them in their home or in a restaurant and give them "a word from God".
On the way home from a great refreshing day at the fair with Jesus and my other friends, I was thinking about my phone conversation. (God actually gave me many ideas and things to think about and do that day. He showed me some different ways to take the message He's given me and spread it around.) As I thought about it, I began to thank Jesus for using me to speak into this man of God's life!
All the way to the fair, I was calling pastors whom God put on my heart to call, just to encourage or listen. In fact, a couple days earlier, I had called a pastor friend of mine regarding a booking at his church, and the next thing I knew, he was telling me how he was thinking of quitting. I got off the phone amazed how God set that whole thing up (and no, I didn't get the booking).
I have started a painting company to help support my family when the ministry bookings aren't enough. I thank God for giving me another way to help support my family, however, I love it when my time is full of ministry bookings, because then I have the time to pour into these guys lives. I have the time to blog, and to do many other things regarding people's lives that I just don't have the time or energy for when I am painting all day long. So, please pray for more supporters, or bookings or for financial blessing so I can do what God has called me to do. (Yes, I know painting maybe what He's called me for right now. And I do know that I minister to people while I paint their houses or business. I have many cool stories of how God has used me and my partner Jim Hance, who is also my pastor, to minister to them.)
Another stat I keep in my pocket pc says 1,500 evangelical ministers leave the ministry a month, and that the average pastor who leaves a church leaves because of 7 people. Imagine how many will stay because of one! Hebrews 13:17 tells us to contribute to the joy of their ministry and not the drudgery of it.
For all of you who support me financially, who pray for me and speak or email words of encouragement into me, I say a million thanks! And I believe someday there will be many pastors in heaven who will tell you thanks too!
P.S. By the way, on the way home from the fair, I called my friend back. I felt like our conversation wasn't finished. Like God wasn't done yet. And my friend says "Steve, your calling me at the perfect time. I am on my way to Children's Hospital to minister to a couple who don't know Jesus yet, but they know me and they want me to come and dedicate their new but dying baby to the Lord. I'm about 5 minutes away from the hospital, would pray for me that I would know what to do and say?" And as I began to pray I could feel God show up in the car and began to pray through me. It nearly overwhelmed me. My faith was high and so was my courage. I was ready to do battle. And again I hung up the phone amazed and thankful.
So there you have it, just another day in the life of Stevo.