Following his debate with a leading atheist, Glen Scrivener explains...
Q&A: Brian Heasley
Brian and Tracy Heasley and their two children spent nearly eight years in Ibiza with 24-7 Prayer. Brian, who is now director of 24-7 Prayer in the UK, recently penned Gatecrashing, a book that describes their experiences in the party capital of the world.
How did people on the street respond when you offered to pray for them?
People were uber-surprised. They would go, ‘What? You’re not trying to sell me a drink, you’re not trying to get me into a club; you’re just offering to pray with me?’ And we’d say, ‘Yeah, we are, because prayer is probably one of the kindest things we can do.’
In the first year, 1,000 people said yes to prayer on the street. I had one guy who said, ‘I’m an atheist, but can you pray for my gran?’ I prayed with three men dressed up as Batman, Superman and Spiderman, and they all knelt down in the street.
We had Ibiza Bibles printed and people really loved them. One guy came up and said, ‘Brian, I’ve read it…and I’ve made a few changes.’ Another said to me, ‘This is so good. I’ve ripped out that chapter on love and I keep it in my wallet.’ People really engaged with the word of God out on the street. We gave out a couple of thousands of those.
Why does this type of evangelism work so well?
The best evangelism happens through relationship; people will see authenticity if you say you’re willing to move in and be among them. Our world went to a new level when we actually moved to Ibiza.
Did many people make a commitment to God as a result?
We had a guy called Chris who met the first prayer team that were in Ibiza before we went out. Each summer he’d come out because he was a DJ, and one summer he came and lived with my wife and I for a few months. One of the original team members sat with him one day and led him to Jesus. And then I think the following summer he came back with his girlfriend and we baptised him in the sea in Ibiza. He’s going on great guns with God now.
A lot of the time you’re just sowing seed, because you meet someone one evening, you pray with them and then you never see them again. It’s our responsibility to sow the seed; we need to trust God more that when we pray he’s going to do something.
I PRAYED WITH THREE MEN DRESSED UP AS BATMAN, SUPERMAN AND SPIDERMAN, AND THEY ALL KNELT DOWN IN THE STREET
A friend of mine years ago went to Amsterdam and a man offered to pray with him on the street. He refused, but the man kind of pestered him a bit, and in the end he said, ‘All right.’ Afterwards, he looked him right in the eye and said, ‘You see, it didn’t work.’ Six months later he gave his life to Jesus, but the guy in Amsterdam hasn’t got a clue. His story has always really inspired me to believe that every time we pray something happens.
Gatecrashing (Muddy Pearl) is available now