C-FLO JOHNSON MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA
JACOB WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
JACOB WITNESSES TO JAMAR AND MELISSA AT DOLORES PARK
DANIEL PREACHES AT DOLORES PARK
CAL SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
CHRISTIAN LIFE CENTER YOUTH DRAMA TEAM MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA
MATT WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA
MERCED YOUTH PRAY FOR HASHIM AT UN PLAZA
- C-FLO JOHNSON MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA
- JACOB WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- JACOB WITNESSES TO JAMAR AND MELISSA AT DOLORES PARK
- DANIEL PREACHES AT DOLORES PARK
- CAL SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
- CHRISTIAN LIFE CENTER YOUTH DRAMA TEAM MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA
- MATT WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA
- MERCED YOUTH PRAY FOR HASHIM AT UN PLAZA
Friday October 13, 20, and 27 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. October 14 and 28 5th St. and Market SF 12-4 PM
Sat October 21 Fisherman’s Wharf SF (Jefferson St. near Mason) 11 AM – 4 PM
Child of the 60’s: The Final Chapter
Dear Christian friends,
As I wrote last month, I was saved in a ministry called Shiloh in 1970. It was the largest of the Jesus people communes. The ministry existed from 1968 to 1978. At one time, perhaps 1500 Christians lived in a network of about 50 homes, most in large cities around the U.S. We worked together, mostly doing unskilled agricultural labor. All the money we earned was held in common, to pay ministry needs and personal needs. The house pastor would decide how our limited budget would be allocated. Later, all the funds in the various Shiloh houses was pooled, and the national ministry leaders decided how to spend the funds. We lived very simply. Much of our food came from “dumpster diving” in the back of grocery stores.
We were very evangelistic. We opened our homes to anyone who was traveling and needed a meal or place to stay. Up to 50 hippies would stay at our house each night. We would witness quite strongly to each one of them. We talked about sin, repentance, Hell and God’s judgment as well as God’s love and grace. At one time, it seemed that at least one person was getting radically saved each day. We would invite and strongly encourage new believers to move in with us. Many did. We had Bible studies every night, and sometimes in the morning as well. Routinely, a person whose mind had been destroyed by drugs would be totally healed within a few weeks or months. I do not know of anyone who lived with us for long and had any serious mental illness.
Shiloh ministry was an outgrowth of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA. Thousands of ex-hippies attended this church. Much of their teaching was based upon Pastor Chuck Smith’s expository teachings through the entire Bible. Calvary Chapel was more charismatic in those days, and Shiloh was also charismatic. We believed in and exercised the gifts of the Spirit, but were careful to avoid what we considered to be Pentecostal excesses. Like Calvary Chapel, Shiloh was pre-millennial and believed in a pre-tribulation rapture. We viewed the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and the retaking of Jerusalem in 1967 as signs of the soon return of Jesus Christ. We did not set dates, but expected Jesus to return within the next few years. For this reason, we thought there was little reason to pursue higher education or careers. We did not want to get entangled in worldly affairs.
Looking back, I would say we tended to emphasize the need to “work out your own salvation” while putting less emphasis on the next verse “for it is God who works in you” (Phil 2:12-13). Also, we tended to have elitist ideas that the only place one could really serve God was Shiloh. The people in Shiloh were extremely young. Most were between 16 and 25. Shiloh had pastors as young as 16! When I was saved in 1970, the leaders had been saved at most three years. God’s grace was upon the leaders, who showed much more maturity than one would expect from their natural or spiritual age.
We witnessed on the streets regularly. But most of the converts we saw were people who came to our house needing a meal or place to stay. Many hippies were truly seeking Truth. Our radical lifestyle–more than our words–was a powerful testimony to them that Jesus is the Truth.
I lived in several Shiloh houses for 4 ½ years. In 1975, I felt God’s clear call to move to San Francisco to do evangelism. After moving to San Francisco, I no longer lived in the commune but attended Bible studies at the Shiloh house and witnessed with Shiloh members until 1978.
After allegations of financial mismanagement, the ministry fell apart that year. By this time, however, almost every Jesus people commune had closed down. The Highway Missionaries continued for a short time in the 1980s. Jesus People USA continues to operate in Chicago to the present day, though it has changed considerably from its early days. I do not know of any other Jesus People commune that exists today in the US. There are a few Jesus People communes in Great Britain and Scandinavia. They are quite wealthy and are not as evangelistic as we were.
I believe that communal ministries like Shiloh are a great tool for evangelism and discipleship, and I wish such ministries existed today. My experience there was the most remarkable one of my life. I have not experienced the same depth of Christian fellowship anywhere else. The “Jesus Movement” was unique in human history. God raised it up to save a remnant of the hippies who were truly searching for Truth — though in the wrong places. The Jesus Movement brought life to a largely dead church.
Perhaps only a few hundred thousand people were involved in the Jesus Movement, but they directly or indirectly influenced hundreds of millions of people around the world to get saved. The worldwide Charismatic Movement of the 1970s and 1980s was strongly influenced by the Jesus Movement. Ministries such as Campus Crusade, Youth with a Mission, Jews for Jesus and Operation Mobilization were also influenced by the Jesus Movement.
On the Streets
On Friday July 21 we witnessed at 5th St. and Market. Cal ministered to Aqua, a Christian who asked for prayer. As they prayed, Cal sensed that she needed to forgive people. She admitted that she had a lot of bitterness and plotted vengeance on certain people. Dave witnessed to Chalmy, a Chinese student who agreed with the gospel message and said his English teacher had been witnessing to him. DeAnna witnessed to Bryce, who asked a series of questions about Christian apologetics. DeAnna graduated from Biola in May with a degree in that subject. They spoke for 45 minutes. Jacob witnessed to Peter, who grew up in an atheistic Jewish home. They went over Isaiah 53 and Jacob encouraged him to read the New Testament, starting with Matthew. Peter said he would do that. Mike witnessed to Lou, 20, who was selling marijuana. He told about being shot by some men who were trying to rob him.
The next day, we witnessed at Dolores Park. It was a warm, sunny day with thousands of young people in the park. Jacob witnessed to Melissa and Jamar, her boyfriend, who were there with their baby. They had lived together for 16 years. Melissa grew up in a Baptist Church in Michigan. She hated church and moved to San Francisco in search of freedom. Like the Prodigal Son, she initially liked it, and loved to party. She hung out with “gay” and transgender friends. They convinced her that she was really a transgender gay man. So for three years, she lived as a man, taking testosterone. When she tired of this lifestyle and wanted to be a woman again, all her “gay” and transgender friends deserted her. She became homeless, living on the streets. Melissa and Jamar now have jobs and a place to live in the Tenderloin. She was filled with guilt and shame about how low she sunk. Jacob ministered to them that they need to get married and that they need to be born again. Also, they need to raise their child in the ways of God. She said, “I certainly don’t want my child to go through what I went through.”
Cal witnessed to Jason, who had a church background, and Nick, who is Jewish. Jason said, “I feel lost and don’t know what to do.” Cal shared the gospel with them and read Isaiah 53. He also witnessed to Chris, who was with some other teens who were mocking the gospel. His friends tried to get him to leave with them, but he was really interested, and he stayed behind to talk with Cal.
Ministry News and Needs
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. On September 1 and 2, we had record-breaking heat in San Francisco, up to 106 degrees. Our ministry van broke down both days. On Saturday, we were forced to cancel the second outreach and tow our van home. For the past two weeks, Brandon Matz has been trying to fix the van, replacing quite a few parts. We drove it to San Francisco September 15 and 16. It made it, but the engine sputtered and almost shut down on the freeway. Please pray that we will get the van fixed. We need safe, reliable transportation to get to our outreaches.
I hope many of you will join us for an outreach this next month.
Yours in His love,