Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Andy Bleyer on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Today you get a double dose of the Good News, so check out Matt Rogers entry as well. This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. Andy’s local newspaper is the Santa Monica Daily Press. Here is Andy Bleyer on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

The last time I shared the good news with someone, I almost got punched in the face.

It started when an unkempt middle-aged man – clearly already a couple cocktails into the morning – staggered into our worship gathering and asked me for the microphone. Not wanting to turn away a potential prophet, I handed him the microphone and gave him the stage.

He explained that on the streets, he was called Kid Rock (which I could verify from the tattoo on his neck) and that he was sleeping behind some bushes in the park where we gather to worship. He told us he had ended up on the streets after his wife had left him and taken his life savings. Now he was working on getting back on his feet by becoming a rock star and, as proof, he left us with a stirring rendition of Patience (Guns N’ Roses not Nick Lachey).

Kid Rock would randomly show up at our worship gathering after that and each time we would get him some food and clothes and ask him when he was going to get serious about getting off the sauce. Every time he would explain that he was checking into rehab on Monday.

This went on for several months until one Sunday, after our gathering, Kid Rock approached me with his friend called Alabama (which I could verify from his Crimson Tide hat) and asked me for a couple tacos. I told him that I didn’t feel right buying him tacos while he was drinking hooch out of a 32oz Jack In The Box cup. He said he just needed help with a couple tacos. I responded that God had created him for more than drinking and eating tacos and that I really wanted to help him whenever he got serious about getting well.

But Kid Rock did not want to get well, he just wanted 2 tacos. So, he came towards me explaining that on the streets if you don’t get what you want, you take it. Fortunately for me, at the last second, Alabama jumped in between us and exclaimed, “I don’t need no fuckin’ tacos, ’cause I roll tide!” I don’t really know what that means, but it might have saved me a couple teeth.

I don’t know if I did the right thing in that situation, but I share it because I would be hard pressed to come up with a better illustration of the good news. In our Church, Kid Rock found love and acceptance, food and clothes, and heard the message that his creator had made him for more than drinking and eating a couple tacos. Take it or leave it, that’s the good news.

Andrew Bleyer lives in Sunset park on the border of Venice and Santa Monica. He is trying to avoid getting in any more fights directly following worship and be as good of a person as his wife and son think he is. He regularly experiences good news through his brothers and sisters at Kairos.


15 Responses to Andy Bleyer on The Good News

  1. Dustin says:

    Andy,

    That sounds like an authentic LA story if I’ve ever heard one. You reminded me of the Proverb, “but the godly are as bold as lions” (28:1). It sounds like you were loving and bold.

  2. Sonja says:

    Andy,
    I would loved to have heared a group feedback session on this toppic: “take it or leave it thats the good news” and have used ‘kid rock’ as an example to challenge us as a church and a community of believers.Do you think Kid Rock had a problem with alcohol or was he hard- headed,?What was your analysed thought?
    If so how can we handle people with an addiction, a hardened heart, ? Is there a network?
    What are our limitations and where do we need help and wisdom to help those who are truly in need, but can’t make the right choice themselves anymore? We already know our possibilities by providing food and clothes, to give love and acceptance and a message..what would Jesus say or added to more in such a complex situation?


    I totally hear you. In Amsterdam and probably other cities too are dealing with this target group.
    I really liked your positive approach at first to hand him the mic ‘not wanting to turn away a potential prophet’
    Everytime he would explain that he was checking into rehab on monday” I wondered what made him stop from doing so? the addiction..was he not able to just walked the extra mile himselve? What if someone like ‘a buddy’ could have supported him there?
    “I told him that i didn’t feel right buying him tacos while he was drinking”
    It reminded me of the phrase ‘how God desires when we are able to give to do so with joy’
    I just wondered what state you reached yourselve there?
    Anyway i really liked your honest message of the good news.

  3. Sonja says:

    Andy,
    I like to add this scripture by Paul 2 corinthians 6:1-13. May this encourage you.

  4. Mustoe says:

    Andy! Great story, good use of an authentically dropped f-bomb.

    Just so everyone else knows, I remember hanging out downtown in Columbia Missouri with Andy when we encountered a gentlemen in similar circumstances as Kid Rock. We shared a meal of burritos at Chipotle. Andy invited him to The Rock (our church) later that night, even waiting for him, hoping he would show up. I’ll always remember Andy trying to feed much more than that mans physical needs. Add me to the list of people who admire Andy.

  5. Jason says:

    I love this story. Thanks for not resolving it.

  6. Andrew Bleyer says:

    @Dustin

    Thanks Buddy! I’m sure you have had similar experiences in H-Wood.

  7. Andrew Bleyer says:

    @ Sonja

    You have a lot of great questions. You might have more answers than I do – I certainly don’t have any great ideas that would work in any situation.

    Thanks for the encouraging scripture although I would hesitate to identify myself as suffering for the Gospel. Living in the USA, I doubt I even know what that means.

  8. Andrew Bleyer says:

    @Jason

    I’m waiting for resolution myself.

  9. JR Woodward says:

    Andy,

    It goes to show that not everybody is up for the good news. Sometimes we prefer our world of illusion. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I love in the bio how you regularly experience the good news through your brothers and sisters and Kairos. That is cool. Peace.

  10. Jen says:

    Andy,

    Sounds like you service didn’t go as planned. Did you find any meaning in the message of patience, lol. What a crazy story.

    I’m so glad Alabama knows how to roll. I thnk that’s what he was trying to say. Did you thank Him. Lord keep helping you. Thanks for the reminder to constantly be prayerfull. The Lord may have something for you there, and will keep you from being harmed, remember even the wild animals.

    You or me may have some openness there, what’s this love that works, and moves to complete and fill. He may just need some of you help with deliverance prayer. Jesus moved in Mark one just like that. I believe he can do that. That man didn’t make a decision to turn and be delivered, he was beyond it, Jesus just sensed it, followed through and completed the situation. Whew! Happy Day! Recognize, make it the prayer. You may remove some layers.

    Go crazy, get down with him on the mic with a song of addiction leave, anger here all you need is to go to the feet of Jesus. Jesus. Maybe you two could really help eachother out. Go for it Andy, if they’re coming around, keep them, some way.

    Life on the streets, empty and love lost, in need, in a bottle, I think without the peace of our Lord, leads then bitterness, hard and hurtful to the helpful hands. That’s what’s scary, but they have a way out. You understand his struggle, whey there’s anger, then abrassivness, he tells you his story, what should I do with this insight?

    Alabama too, may have walked like that, was there, was hurt, thinking what’s this life worth trying for? Why should I go to rehab? O, He is so worth the seek! Isn’t it awesome we have this, so good to share with people! I got what you need! Did you get to pray with him?

  11. linda says:

    you don’t mention anything about where kid rock is at with God. i assume you considered him an unbeliever. but did jesus ever refuse to feed anyone who came to him and tell them to clean himself up first i.e. get sober? i’m sincerely asking as i can’t think of an example. i think our focus is not to be merely on “sin management” but first and foremost on relationship with christ which does need to be preached but also modeled by our actions. isn’t it God’s job once he’s part of the family to then help him get sober? as i understand it the good news isn’t just preaching but also caring for the poor.

  12. sonja says:

    Andy,
    I didn’t mean to come across looking like i have all the answers. I’m sorry if i did here. And its really okay if i was totally off with the scripture too. I learn from that.I wasn’t out there to judge you at all.Thanks for your response.

  13. Joe Racek says:

    @Linda,

    I wanted to chime in on a question that you brought up in terms of refusing to feed someone. I also was involved in the community that was trying to help this person and for a least a few months we gave him food and clothes. We also offered to take him to a local shelter and drug rehab program. We were hopeful and prayed that this experience of love and grace would help him get back on the right road.
    After a few months it became evident that he was only interested in free food so that he could spend his money on alcohol and who knows what else. Then the question becomes, what does this person REALLY need? If we continue to just give free food to him are we simply enabling this person? Tim Keller in Ministries of Mercy talks about a point where we continue to show love and grace to a person even when we stop giving them what they are asking for, because we do know what they are asking for is enabling them to escape what they really need. Of course Tim Keller says this in a much more eloquent way and I highly recommend that book for further study. And of course there are many times that we see Jesus not giving people exactly what they want or are asking for, but out of love wanting them to accept what they truly need.

    Just some additional thoughts for consideration. I think in general it’s hard to have “black and white rules” on how to handle tougher issues – and it’s been a great experience for me to wrestle together as a community on how to show love in these situations, making sure we think and pray through our reactions together.

  14. Sonja says:

    joe,
    your add to andy’s story helped me to gain more insight in the picture.Thanks.

  15. Rob says:

    Hi Andy,

    I read this one in Viral Hope last night… it’s a good reminder that sometimes we share the best good news and justice we can with someone. It also reminds us that sometimes, the good news isn’t received. It also reminds me that sometimes what appears to be justice now has ramifications in the future that seem more like injustice. It’s part of being in the world I suppose.

    thanks

Leave a Reply