We often get push-back about going into strip clubs to share the love of God. We’ve heard things like “You shouldn’t taint yourselves by going into such seedy and dark places” to “Are you doing this to make yourselves feel purposeful as if you are conquering a project?”
One thing we know is this–we can’t please everybody, and we are not going to waste time trying to. What we are going to do, is what we believe we are supposed to do which comes directly from Jesus, Himself: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). It serves as an encouragement to us that loving people right where they are (in all the world) is never a mistake.
This story comes from one of our Strip Church Network leaders who visits clubs in her city on a regular basis. She shares the love of God by showing up with a smile, sometimes a gift, a Bible, a tray of cupcakes or she meets a need previously expressed by a dancer or a worker. She simply goes and does. No agenda but the love of God.
“I simply love the story that’s unfolding in the life of my friend *Susan. We met her last summer at a club when we gave out the “Jesus Loves Strippers” t-shirts. She was waitressing, and it was slow at the time, so she sat and chatted with us. There was something about her that stood out right away that we don’t typically see on someone in a club. She had Bible verses tattooed on both of her arms. One of them is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” As soon as I read her arm, I told her how much I liked that verse. I gave her a “Jesus Loves Strippers” Bible because I thought she would appreciate it. She thanked me for it, and we let her get back to work while we continued to pass out shirts and visit dancers.
At every visit, Susan has given us the opportunity to get to know her better. She shared how she got the tattoos while in a Christian rehab program years ago. She is a believer in Jesus but is struggling with the temptations of the world. She told us she was ready to change her life and with God’s help, deal with her struggles.
We invited her to a Christian based support group to help her with her recovery. She has just started going and loves it! She has been working in the sex industry for 13 years and wants out. So we set her up with with a career coach to help her leave the industry and find a job she is proud of. Susan has never had a drivers license. But because of the support and encouragement she is receiving, she took the DMV course required to get her permit, and today she passed the test to get her learners permit!
Susan has shared how she struggles to trust people to help her because of the hurt she has experienced in the past. But she now sees how God’s people: not only in our ministry but other Christians have come alongside her to show her love and support when she’s needed it lately. She’s very grateful and praising God for it. “
We love stories like these as it shows clearly how God’s unconditional love in the Strip Clubs is making an impact on the lives of the workers. It also makes an impact on ours…
*name substituted to honor her new life and her personal privacy.