Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Trouble With Security

Just got back from the East Coast, and I had a layover in the Twin Cities. I couldn't pass the Mall of America without giving out a few million dollar bills. That was pretty cool.

But, back in Los Angeles, we hit the Valencia Town Center on our usual Friday night. Tony Miano and the usual suspects were there tonight. I got into a good conversation with some guys and attracted the attention of a young security guard. He stood by and listened for a second then interjected, "Hey, what are you talking about?" I explained that there was a chance that the kids I was talking to were going to hell. The security guard told me that there was a good chance that they are going to Heaven. Wow, an opinion from a security guard. I was excited. Well, there is a way to find out, I told him. The kids I was speaking with already admitted to being lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterers at heart. They also realized that God, as a good judge, should send people like that to hell. I asked them all if they would like to know what God did so we didn't have to go to hell for our sin. Then the security guard told me that he wasn't allowed to talk about religion. I told him, that we wouldn't want to keep him from his work, so I would explain it to everyone. After I finished, I gave the guys the Good Person tract to have a 'home version' of our conversation.

The security guard told me that I would have to leave the mall at this point. I asked why, and he told me that having conversations like this would not be allowed. I said that I was merely conversing with my new friends. He asked when I met the people. I said, five minutes ago. He then asked what would stop me from meeting more people and having similar conversations all evening. I said I thought that was an excellent idea and excused myself.

I think he was a little perplexed and didn't know exactly what to do with me. But, he didn't have any confusion when he found other members of our group out in a different area within a few minutes. He asked them to leave the mall. We reconvened and figured that without passing out tracts, we should be able to continue our conversations. There were literally hundreds of people all over the streets talking with each other and we did our best to blend in.

The next day, Ian spoke with the mall management, and they said that as long as we weren't passing out tracts or soliciting for anything, we should feel free to have conversations with people. I'll post more if we get anything in writing from them. It seems that we are being stopped in just about every place we go to share our faith. I can see a day coming when one of us gets arrested for simply speaking.

In the meantime, I finished up the night by playing a game of Name 10 Get 20 with another group of kids. This is the recording for the podcast this week. A couple of them had received million dollar bills before, and didn't quite remember the whole thing. So, this was a nice refresher for them, and an intro to the Gospel for the others. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will nurture the seeds we sowed that night.

4 comments:

SeaLifeLover said...

http://www.aclj.org/

Chris Etling said...

DRU,
I thought I would share this real quick to hopefully help your situation there in the malls. This is an idea I have been toying with for some time. I think that if you have business cards printed up with your name your email address and a web address you can hand them these things so that the witnessee can follow up with you at a later time. This would solve your problem of wanting to hand out a tract to someone you have just witnessed to and on your site you already have some awesome tools for non believers and new believers. So you give your new friends your contact info and it turns out to be an online tract and follow up tool! Just thought I would share. Blessings.
Chris Etling
www.gnuattitude.net

Dru Morgan said...

The malls have strict policies about handing out business cards. They are just as bad as tracts. The people that usually do that are solicitors trying to sell car detailing service, or CD's or even military recruiters.

As we finished up with Westfield mall this past Friday, we spoke with their head of security and he said that according to their written policy (which we have) we are allowed to initiate and hold one to one conversations with people as long as they don't complain and we don't pass anything out. So, it seems to be working for now.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened a while back with myself and a friend of mine. Talking with some youths about Christ. We didn't even hand out a tract...yet. And this female security guard came around and asked us "What are you talking about?" and I said "Oh we are just having a good conversation." to which she replied "Evangelistic?" and of course I said "Yes". then she said "You can't do that"

We asked to speak to the mall manager who came down and gave us little pamphlet on rules - what we were doing was called "Expressive Activity" and we were asked to leave.

We did so, politely, but not without handing out some tracts to some other people.

But we still go back to that mall to witness.

Wow, Thought Police!!

How things are changing.

This is in Long Beach, California.

~Dale Jackson