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Ft Lauderdale Exxxotica Outreach – The Recap

by Carl Thomas on May 28th, 2014 in Industry

Jesus Loves Porn StarsEarlier this month we wrapped up yet another outreach to the Ft. Lauderdale Exxxotica convention.  This was the eighth time we have done the south Florida show and it was absolutely our best effort to date. We were so happy to have Calvary Chapel back as our partners for this show. With 14 people from the church and an additional 3 volunteers from other parts of the country we took the message of Jesus to over 25,000 people in one weekend.

This was the first Florida show where we unveiled our brand new booth and handed out free “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” T-shirts that we silkscreened right there in the booth. The new look and T-shirts proved to be an amazing draw and again set us apart as one of the most popular attractions at the show. No half-naked women, no FREE samples, and no body-part shaped candy … just a team of people telling everyone Jesus loves you. 

We printed and gave over 500 shirts just in the first day and handed out over 2,000 Bibles by the end of the weekend. The conversations had and stories we came away with were amazing and everyone on the team agreed that this experience was life altering. Read for yourself what some of the team members shared with us. After that, if you think this type of ministry might be for you and are interested in joining us for an upcoming missions trip please go to myxxxchurch.com and sign up for one today.

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“This was my 3rd convention and each one comes with it’s own unique experiences. The team was a diverse group of men and women who love Jesus and were able to communicate that love with those who visited our booth. If people liked what they were hearing it was great having a local church to recommend them to. A lot of people said they were going to check out the church. I must say, I so enjoyed the debrief meetings as they were filled with some great stories as well as lots of laughter. It was a great outreach and I look forward to the next one.”
– Madeline K. (Team Leader)

“Whenever you are planning to minister to and in an unfamiliar culture, it helps to have people who can give you a heads up not only on the do’s and don’ts but also share their love and respect for the people you are engaging with. Our leaders gave us all the information, perspective, training and support to make this an incredible experience.

When on organization is very experienced and successful at something, there can be a ‘this is how it works’ mentality. Although the outreach goals were clearly defined and we benefited from XXXchurch’s extensive experience, we so benefited from a fluid approach. Each day the leaders collected our feedback in order to assess the previous day’s ministry and to then tweak the process. This allowed the team to not only capitalize on the unique make-up of the group but to also respond to the unique personality of this particular show. Although we had the confidence that comes from this being one in a long line of shows where XXXchurch ministered, we also had the acknowledgement that this team, at this time, for this show, brought its own requirements.

Every element from the interactive set-up of the booth and highly engaging visuals to the freedom to pull out to engage in an extended conversation, set us up to accomplish what I can only term the miraculous. Time after time, in the middle of the clamor of the show, people stood face to face with us and poured out their deepest fears and longings.”
– Anitra P.

“After just returning from Ft. Lauderdale, my fourth trip with XXXchurch, I’ve come to the realization that you really never know what to expect at theses conventions, and that’s a good thing. We never know what conversations we’ll have, who we’ll meet, how receptive people will be to what we have to say, etc. But what we do know is the Lord never stops working. He is pursuing every single heart. And that’s why it’s such an honor to join XXXchurch. People matter. People need to know they’re loved.”
– Natasha H.

“I LOVE XXCHURCH and the lengths they go to share the HOPE of the Gospel and the power to redeem, restore and rescue lives/marriages. Seeing as this is my third Exxxotica event I’ve been to it has been pretty cool to be able to reconnect with people that attend all the events… after all I think that’s the heartbeat behind this outreach.

I love how now they make shirts right on the spot!!! It allows us to have deeper conversations with many individuals and get to know the a little while we too get to share about XXXchurch. The leadership is AMAZING!!! I always have a great time with them! Thanks XXXchurch for allowing me to share this experience with you!”
– Adriana L.

“To volunteer with XXXchurch was an awesome experience! Definitely an out-of-the-box outreach. It is amazing how the people who go to these porn conferences have such an open heart ready to hear about Jesus. They just need a friendly face to love on them and to share three powerful words that before the conference I took for granted “JESUS LOVES YOU!” It is not about judging, but an act of love, it is not about looking perfect but to be very real about yourself in the eyes of others. Love it!”
– Margarita P.

“My experience volunteering with the XXXchurch was a wonderful one! Everyone in the team was kind and it was very organized. Every single person that was a part of the team wanted to reflect the love of Jesus and they accomplished that! I am very thankful that I was a part of this team. The team members were a blessing to me and everyone they met in the convention.”
– Deborah C.

“This outreach was a one of a kind experience. I could not think of a better way to reach and share the love that Jesus has for each of us to this industry. During this outreach many seeds were planted and lives were changed. I am grateful for XXXchurch, Madeline and the entire team. I thank God for orchestrating this team and for leading us. I enjoyed every moment of this outreach. I felt well prepared and taken care of during this experience. I am glad I was a part of this dynamic outreach.”
Yanique S.

“I really enjoyed this experience. It was not quite what I expected, but was really great!”
– Jennifer B.

“I had a really great experience over the weekend doing this outreach. I spent two days in the hotties room and one day at the booth.

On the first night I was in the hotties room and was blown away by the receptivity of the girls. They were so welcoming to us and many of them were doing the show for the first time and had never heard of the XXXchurch. It was a great opportunity that we had throughout the night to share who we were and the reason that we were there to love on people because of Jesus. Every one of those girls gave us such a great reaction and response to us being there. It was really humbling that God had allowed so many quality conversations to take place that night.

My next day I spent the day doing two shifts at the booth and that had some interesting experiences as well. I was able to talk to a few of the girls who were next to our booth working and we had great conversations about my church, her history, and much more. At the end of our conversation she came back and brought more of her friends over to talk with me. This group of girls became very special to me because as the course of the day went on I got to see them come back to our booth multiple times simply to talk about what we were all about and to learn more about Jesus.

On the last day I was back in the hotties room. We had a great opportunity to speak with one of the girls who we found out was a single mom. She shared her story with us and why she does what she does to pay the bills because of her circumstance. I got to share some of my testimony with her and my perspective coming from a single parent home and it was a really encouraging conversation. She asked about coming to church and we were able to give her information for that and also resources to help her being that she was a single parent. By the time we left the room four of the girls had asked about coming to church and so I brought the cards that we had as invites to give them. This last day was special to me because so many of the girls expressed thanks for us being there and saying how we were so kind to them for all we did. They were genuinely thankful and it was beautiful to see how in a weekend we could make an impact even just to let these girls know that God really does care for them.”
– Nicole N.

“As a kid I often traveled around with my dad to different conventions and trade shows. He was in construction, so most of what we attended were builders’ shows and home expos – a far cry from the environment of Exxxotica. Still, the idea was the same – attract people to your booth and, in turn, your product. Back then it was decks and fences hoping to attract a curious homeowner. At Exxxotica it was “booth bunnies” and sex toys. For us, it was a big banner that said “Jesus loves porn stars.”

In the midst of half-naked people, over the top sexuality and adult entertainment celebrities it is hard to imagine that a booth about Jesus would be among the most popular, but it was. And not only that, but our booth was undoubtedly among the most engaging. Unlike the other exhibitors there we were not selling something or promoting for profit. Everyone was selling something – sex, autographs, pictures, videos, hormonal supplements and even custom car detailing.

But what we had to offer was free. We were there to take a genuine interest in people and to communicate a very particular message that didn’t cost people anything: Jesus loves you. That was the message that occupied the center of all of our conversations, and it was that very message that made us popular. Yes, we were promoting the website, but there was no literature that said “Try X3 Pure for $99!” or “Pay x amount of money to stop your addiction” and no part of the training that said, “Hey, remember to push our stuff.”

In the end, maybe we were just a novelty or a cute sideshow for people, but in my eyes the XXXchurch booth was popular because of what it was giving away: the free love of Jesus, being offered freely by people who knew what it was like to be freed by Christ.”
– Luke H.

“When I was approached to volunteer for the XXXchurch at a Porn Convention it was the last thing I expected God would have me do!! I didn’t know what to expect, what I was going to say, or even see, for that matter!! I was so terribly blown away by the openness of the porn attendants and their willingness to be so raw and transparent with us! I loved their reaction when they realized we weren’t joking about Jesus! We were real Christians preaching a simple message: Jesus Really Does Love Porn Stars, and EVERYONE!

They were the most loving, precious people hungry for a listening ear and an accepting heart. I pray they would wear their new shirts, read the Bibles, look at the stickers and remember they have a God and Savior who loves and listens and wants to accept them as dear children! This experience was wonderful and life changing. May God be glorified and many lives changed.”
– Andrea H.

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