Working as an engineer in the Bible Belt, Matt Adams shared the gospel with coworkers, many of whom already knew Christ as Savior. He taught Sunday School and played the organ at his church, but felt God pressing him to do more.
“What more could God want?” he asked himself, soon realizing the answer — God was calling him to move outside the church walls to share Christ with those who had never heard about Him.
As a child, Adams developed an interest in magic and learned a few simple tricks. Later, he rediscovered magic while he and his wife Tonya were on their honeymoon at Disney World.
He knew illusions could gather crowds of people with whom he could share the gospel message, and in 2007 Adams began performing at a local outdoor mall, Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, where he developed his show.
“I learned how to build a crowd and also how to hold that crowd’s attention,” Adams recalled. “At the same time, I got to practice sharing my faith.”
Response to the message
That same year, someone asked Adams if he performed for schools and churches. At that point he hadn’t, but soon he carried out his first show for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event at a local high school.
Adams feared he had done a terrible job relaying the message of Christ, but afterward more than 50 students responded to the invitation to follow Jesus.
“I felt the Lord saying to me that this life-changing business was His job and not mine,” Adams remembered. “He didn’t need me to wax eloquent in order for Him to be able to work. He showed up in spite of me.
“And I was so grateful for that experience because I never want to slip into believing that the thousands who’ve trusted Christ at my shows are somehow because I’m an amazing speaker. It’s not up to me.”
Adams has worked to improve since those early days. He earned a master’s degree in global studies from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as a diploma in children’s ministry from KidMin Academy in Marion, Indiana. Now his training helps him craft messages for children-through-adult audiences as well as cross-cultural groups.
Training others to share Christ
In addition to community outreach illusion shows, Matt Adams Ministries offers fun, interactive workshops to churches on evangelism, apologetics and missions.
Evangelism events train learners how to share their faith in their own style using their unique talents. Missions workshops prepare volunteers with training on culture shock, reverse culture shock, safety and packing tips, and apologetics workshops teach believers to ask key questions about their faith in a safe environment.
“Growing up, I didn’t feel I could safely ask certain questions for some reason,” Adams admitted. “And because of the lies I was telling myself, I had a ‘dark night of the soul’ for a time because I didn’t know about apologetics and I was too naïve to ask for help in my struggles. So I want people to know there are answers out there even if we aren’t currently aware of them.
“Christianity is extremely rational — it’s not a blind faith,” Adams declared.
Entertainment with a message
He incorporates his illusions into ministry workshops, he said, noting that when audiences are entertained they often let their guard down, temporarily forgetting what’s going on in their everyday lives. This gives him an opening to deliver the gospel message in a way that allows people to think for themselves without being offended by the messenger.
“Ask anyone in America what Jesus did,” Adams encouraged. “They will immediately reply, ‘He died on a cross.’ Why then are they not converted? Because they’ve never been confronted with the fact that they have personally sinned against a holy God and must face eternal separation from Him.
“When I perform at a church for an outreach event, the audience is expecting to see something amazing. If I can deliver, they immediately buy into the program and are willing to listen to what I want to share about Jesus at the end. [This approach] allows the gospel to get a fair hearing.”
During the pandemic Adams participated in several Zoom events for ministries in Pakistan, in which he performed illusions for kids while sharing the gospel — preaching encouragement and teaching church groups lessons on brotherly love.
Adams has performed his stage show in more than 36 countries, he said, most recently participating in an evangelism conference in the Dominican Republic.
In January he will perform in India for predominantly Muslim audiences of more than 90,000 over three nights. While there, he also will provide theological training for church planters through the Christian non-profit Victory Baptist Association.
For more about Matt Adams Ministries, visit mattadamsministries.com.