NASHVILLE – San Diego megachurch pastor Miles McPherson is calling on Christians to move beyond their church walls to go to the least holy places and help those in deep spiritual need.
The former NFL player, who overcame cocaine addiction in 1984 after accepting Jesus, is known for leading his church in community outreaches. He spearheads a movement called "Do Something" that saw more than 100 different ministries and his church members contributing more than 600,000 hours of community services in 2009.
McPherson shared at the National Religious Broadcasters convention earlier this week about how churches can mobilize their congregations to put their faith into action and why it is biblically important to do so. Referencing the story of Jesus healing ten lepers in Luke 17, McPherson stressed that there are still plenty of "lepers" around us, in every city, such as prostitutes, alcoholics, homeless, and children in foster care.
"All this information is known. Everything is around you," the pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. said, noting the bars, strip clubs, escort agencies and abortion clinics someone would pass driving through San Diego.
Church members should not turn away when seeing those spiritually troubled around them, said McPherson. In all these places, "there are spiritual forces of wickedness that are there, hoping that you just keep on going," he said.
The pastor, whose church was founded in 2000 but has already expanded to 12,000 members, is currently behind initiatives involving youth ministries that go out of the church and into troubled places like bars and strip clubs to evangelize. One of them is a ministry involving exclusively women who go to strip clubs to pass out Bibles and spread the word about the Rock Church. The technique works, McPherson assures, as the all-female team has even encountered its own church member on one occasion.
"We go to our little church, or big church, and then we go home. And we leave all the good stuff in the church," McPherson said. "And the devil has it all [the rest], and that's why the society is going down."
Much of McPherson's message can be found in more detail in his 2009 book, Do Something! Make Your Life Count.