In 2004 I taught Bible at a private school in southern, CA. During my time teaching middle schoolers about the Bible I came to realize that many of these kids grew up learning facts about Jesus, but many of them did not understand the reality of walking with Jesus. One day I made copies of Jesus’ face (aka Jim Caviezal) and had them walk around with the visage of Jesus pinned to their shoulder. There was no assignment attached to this other than sharing their experience the following day.
“I didn’t say bad words all day.”
“It felt creepy to have Jesus on my shoulder.”
“My parents made me take it off.”
“I had a lot of conversations about Jesus because people kept asking about the picture.”
“Mrs. ___________ made me take it off during class.”
“It was weird checking out girls with Jesus on my shoulder.”
The experiment had a lasting effect for many kids that school year. Fast forward to 2020. >>>
In between services at The Chapel someone brought me this Jesus action figure!
I didn’t grow up in the Church so I never had a Jesus toy (if that’s even a thing “normal kids” grow up with in the church?) I used him as an illustration in my message then stuffed him in my backpack with his head and arms poking out. Action Jesus dropped the dab on my instagram followed an hour later with an appearance holding a coaster in front of my G’Boy IPA at my local brewery with the hashtag #Jesuslovesbartenders. My wife didn’t care for one of these posts, I’ll let you guess which one.
Even though I’ve been pastoring over 20 years now, I still wasn’t prepared for the response from strangers and onlookers. Something as simple as toy Jesus in my backpack completely changed my interactions for the rest of day. This is going to sound very “pastor-y”, but carrying Jesus on my back made me more cognizant of the Spirit of Jesus in me! My conversations changed. Strangers were asking questions (probably because it’s odd for a grown man to carry around a toy Jesus), and I had more opportunities to naturally share the gospel.
For the next 30 days I’ve decided to let Action Jesus take over my instagram and travel with me. A sort of Jesus on my shoulder experiment to see what changes in my life. In Old Testament the Israelites would setup stones of remembrance to remind them of what God had done in a particular location. This is my modern day attempt at stones of remembrance. Feel free to follow along @thewanderingpastor.
Amy, if you’re reading this, I’m not trying to be sacrilegious. I’m just trying to stir my affections for Jesus! 😉