Scott McNamara explains how his ‘Jesus at the Door’ evangelistic card, birthed on the streets of Northern Ireland and illustrated by Oscar award winning artist Charlie Mackesy is reaching thousands with the gospel
In early 2014 I was offered the job of full-time evangelist at Causeway Coast Vineyard Church, Northern Ireland.
I’d never been a full time evangelist and the church had never had one. Due to the uncharted waters in which we were about to set sail, it was expressed to me that my job would be on a 6-month trial basis, and was a “fruit-dependent” position.
On my first day I stood on cold rainy streets and heard the Holy Spirit speak to me. “Look at all these people and imagine they’re apples on a tree. When you share I’ll shake!”
In that moment I understood what evangelism was about. It wasn’t about my abilities. It was about how available I was willing to make myself.
In the coming days and weeks, as I would pray for strangers on the streets, the Holy Spirit would drop words and phrases into my spirit. Over time, a clear evangelistic message was forming in my mind. I wanted to write it down, but I needed an image to accompany it.
I posted on Facebook asking my friends for recommendations on artists I could approach.
Two names came back.
As soon as I read the words “Charlie Mackesy” I knew he was the man for the job. At this point I didn’t even know who he was, but the name was enough.
I tried to reach out to him, but to no avail. So I began to pray him in.
Eventually he replied, but said he was too busy to do it.
So I continued to pray, and send him testimonies of the lives that were being transformed on the streets through our evangelism.
One day he replied.
“Ok, I’ll do it.”
He added that I wouldn’t have to pay him for the work, and I could keep all the rights to it! I was amazed.
How it works
Jesus at the Door is now a simple yet powerful tool, which has helped many find faith. Each card contains Charlie’s illustration, plus a 9-step gospel message.
As many as 96 per cent of Christians are not leading anyone to Jesus. This resource can help. Since we launched it, many hundreds of people have encountered the love of God all over the world.
Why does it work so well?
Firstly, because of how anointed Charlie’s image is.
Secondly, this message came from the people, for the people. I didn’t sit around a table with theologically sound scholars seeking to formulate an evangelistic technique to win the masses. It wasn’t birthed in a church or seminary. It was birthed in the soil of a secular, sinful society, and there’s something miraculous that happens when God gets his hands dirty - just look at the garden of Eden. From the dirt the Lord birthed mankind (Genesis 2:7).
A couple of months ago my team and I were outside the pubs and clubs of Orlando, Florida. My friend Jeremy was sharing with a doorman when a young lady walked past. She saw the Jesus at the Door picture that Jeremy was holding up, and at haste began to tell him that just days before she’d seen a similar image in her dream, and Jesus was asking her to let him in. She prayed to accept the Lord right there and then, and within two weeks was out with our team sharing the gospel outside the same bars where we met her. She’s been part of our church family ever since, and so has her boyfriend, who was recently released from prison.
She prayed to accept the Lord right there and then
On another occasion, when I was working as an evangelist on the streets of Coleraine, I met Janet Gregson, along with her daughter, Tanya and son, Neil Jnr. I shared Jesus at the Door with Janet. As soon as I asked her if she’d seen the image before, she welled up and replied; “I can’t do this.” Realising she was going to leave quickly, I shared the word of knowledge the Holy Spirit had also given me, that she was a broken woman. As soon as I said this Janet ran off down the street! I think her daughter and son were almost as surprised as I was by her sudden departure. They awkwardly excused themselves.
Moved by compassion, I decided to run after her. When I caught up, Janet and her daughter Tanya were in a close embrace weeping onto each other’s shoulders. It turned out that Janet had lost her daughter. Devoid of the right words I just gave Janet a hug and asked if I could pray for her. As I prayed, they both cried even more uncontrollably. Right there and then they both opened their hearts to Jesus and immediately became part of our church family.
In the weeks that followed, I would go to their house to collect the three of them for our New Believers group. But one week, Janet’s husband Neil stood in the doorway and sent a tirade of verbal threats and abuse toward us.
Janet later told me Neil wasn’t happy about this fella (me) who’d been “brainwashing” his family.
It turned out that Neil had been the head of a 500-member gang of football hooligans and also part of English Defense League (EDL) and the National Front (NF). He had a thirst for violence, so as you can image, we were all shaken.
However, Neil came along to our New Believers group a week later, which was then held in my living room. In the presence of 19 new believers the Holy Spirit arrested his heart. He told everyone in the room, “for the past 20 minutes my whole body has been on fire and when I try to fight it, it comes back stronger!” I put the Jesus at the Door card in the hand of a brand new Christian and told him to read it to Neil. As he did, Neil’s countenance changed and his stoney heart was exchanged for a heart of flesh, as he was born from above.
Four days later Neil came to me on the streets and demanded; “teach me to do what you do!”
For the next 18 months, Neil became my wing man, working tirelessly by my side on the often cold, dark and dreary Irish streets sharing this message of transformation to anyone who would listen.
I went on to baptise Neil, Janet, Neil JR, Tanya, and Tanya’s husband Mark. How? All because I asked them a simple question. “Excuse me, have you seen this picture before? And do you ever pray?”
Why not try it?