The original circuit riders were Methodist preachers who rode on horses from town to town to preach the Gospel. Today, there is a new generation of Circuit Riders who are dedicated to serving Jesus. They are part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and they are bringing a big team to Tulsa, OK to tell people about Jesus. Today we talk with Ben King about what they hope to see God do in T-Town.
Find Out More About the Circuit Riders: https://circuitriders.com/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
The original circuit writers were Methodist preachers who rode on horses from town to town to preach the gospel. Today, there is a new generation of circuit writers who are dedicated to serving Jesus. They are part of youth with a mission, and they’re bringing a big team to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to tell people about Jesus. Today we talk with Ben King about what they hope to see God do in T-Town.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:37):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary, and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:02):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today. I have a very special guest with me, Ben King. Thank you so much for being on the Evangelism Podcast.
Ben King (01:13):
Excited to be here. Um, yeah, so, uh, excited just to talk about evangelism and got to hear a little bit of your heart and what you’re doing. So, um, yeah, just honored to be here and you led so many people to Jesus. So I think it’s just, um, awesome to talk about Jesus meeting our generation with the gospel and so
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:30):
Love it. Amen. So, Ben King is with the Circuit Writers, which is a YWAM ministry that is passionately following after Jesus Christ and calling other people to follow Jesus Christ. Now, the name circuit writers goes back to some of the original preachers here in America. Ben, tell me who were the circuit writers?
Ben King (01:54):
Yeah, so the circuit writers were kind of these radical, uh, missionaries, uh, of evangelists. Um, they were kind of these zealous group of young people that came. Most of ’em came over from the uk. Some of the original preachers like John Wesley & Francis Asbury was actually commissioned here by John Wesley. And, uh, they were really known for their zeal for the gospel. And then the Frontiers of America, what would happen is they would ride around largely on horseback from town to town. And, uh, the history books tell us that they would ride through towns and they would basically shout things to the whole town, like 6:00 PM we’re meeting at the courthouse or wherever they chose to meet. They would pick up public common area and ride through town, say, Hey, we’re meeting here. And then they would just stand up and boldly proclaim the gospel, call people to be saved.
Um, the testimonies are that as, um, well, Asbury Wesley was doing this in England for a number of years, and at one point in one of his meetings, he, uh, he said, who will go to the Frontiers of America? And this young man named Francis Asbury, uh, answered the, came to America and he started training preachers in America. He actually came, uh, during the Revolutionary War at first. So he, uh, he came and many people when he first came to America were like, this guy’s a spy. Like, so his first year in America, he had to hide. They said he would hide in this little room. And, uh, and then after the Revolutionary War started preaching and raising up preachers, I think he, uh, the history tells us that he personally, um, commissioned and trained about 700 preachers to do what he did. And they would all ride, all of these preachers would ride from town to town, preach the gospel. Um, they saw movement all across America, thousands getting saved, coming into the church, and then planting churches as well. And so, uh, really was this inspirational movement of mostly young preachers. Actually most of them, uh, traveled so intensely that they died by the age of, uh, 33. So Francis Asbury specifically, he wrote an average of 6,000 miles a year. And, uh, he would preach everywhere it says courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever people would assemble to heal. To hear him, it said, uh, that he would preach. And, um,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:10):
I think it’s really incredible neat to hear the story of Francis Asbury because just in the last few weeks there have been reports of revival happening Yes. At Asbury University. Yes. Which is named after this great preacher Francis Asbury. And, and so as you mentioned, he rode over 6,000 miles every year that wasn’t riding in a car or on a plane that was a horseback. On a horseback. And he would have his Bible in one hand. He’d have his theological book in the other he’d be writing Yeah. And studying. And then he’d get to a town, he’d call all the people together, he would minister to them, plant a church in that area, and, and then he would do a circuit. He would come back and, and, and, uh, he would go to the next town, plant another church, and, and tell he had a bunch of churches going.
Then he’d go in this circuit writing from, from church to church. Yes. And so over the course of his lifetime, it’s estimated that Asbury traveled over 300,000 miles and we have his journals. So he delivered over 16,500 sermons. And so they called him, uh, you know, they called, uh, the Apostle John, uh, camel knees cuz his, he prayed so much. Yeah. I think we should call Asbury Camel Butt because by the time he <laugh> traveled all that way on his, on horseback, he probably had some serious callouses. So, uh, by when, when Asbury arrived in America, there were 600 Methodists in the entire country. Yes. And by the time he died, there were over 214,000 members. Incredible. Incredible. From 600 to 214,000, one of the greatest revivals in history. And I, the question that our generation is crying out and asking God is, can something like this happen again?
Ben King (06:05):
Yeah, I mean, I think absolutely. I think we’re seeing it at Asbury College. You know, and this is a continuation of Francis Asbury’s legacy in many ways. Um, and you know, the Hunger, they had about 20,000 people. The city shut down, the city’s made for I think, uh, maximum of like 10,000. And so, um, definitely Gen Z is hungry for this kind of movement and revival and this experience of the gospel where people are getting saved, miracles are breaking out. Um, so I would say absolutely yes. And, uh, and not just on the Christian campuses like Asbury, but we’ve been traveling to secular campuses and we find the same hunger on the secular campuses where people are wanting the gospel. So.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:46):
And so you are with Circuit writers, it’s a ministry that is part of ywam, but you have hundreds of young people that are joining. Tell me, what does circuit writers do?
Ben King (07:01):
Yeah, so we’re, uh, we’re based outta Huntington Beach, California. Um, we started in 2011, really inspired by these, uh, early circuit writer preachers like John Wesley Asbury. Um, and so we travel to, uh, college campuses and high school campuses, but we also do inner city events. Um, really our, our heart is just to preach the gospel and, uh, really anywhere people would hear us, just like the early, uh, circuit riders. And so we, uh, yeah, I’m actually in the middle of a tour right now, going to, uh, secular campuses and posting up in the student union gathering students and just preaching the gospel. Um, but yeah, circuit Riders is primarily to reach, uh, our generation with the gospel. Um, and we’re focusing on college and high school campuses, but not limited to that. But
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:44):
Yeah. And so you’ve come here to Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is why you’re with me today. And you are planning an outreach here in Tulsa? Yes, and so we were just had a meeting where we’re talking about several different outreaches that are going to take place. Uh, we’re going to go partner with, uh, teen Challenge and, and bridging hunger and, and give away food in one neighborhood. And the circuit writers are gonna come and help us out with that. And then, uh, some of my interns are planning another outreach that they’re calling, uh, glow for Jesus, and they’re going to take some glow sticks and going downtown Tulsa and we’re gonna pass out the glow sticks and talk to all the people in downtown Tulsa around all the bars on a Friday night. Uh, we fe and I’m just excited that circuit writers is coming here because Tulsa still has a lot of people that need Jesus. Even though that we have great ministries here and great churches, there’s still people right here in Tulsa that need Jesus and Yeah. And this is all over America.
Ben King (08:43):
Yeah, I, I mean, I think the greatest misconception is as I’ve gone to, you know, we’ve been going to a lot of campuses in the Bible Belt and in the southern states of America. And I find that a lot of Christians in these places are blind to the reality of the need cuz they kind of have this assumption. Uh, most people around me are Christian. And I find as we go out and do evangelism in all of these places, that many people are waiting to hear the gospel. And, and actually there are people all throughout the south who have never heard the gospel. And so I think even in a place like Tulsa, like, um, you know, we met a young man a couple days ago who was, uh, he was, uh, involved in a gang. He was in drugs. And as I shared the gospel with him, he said, I’ve never heard Jesus talked about and forgiveness and the blood of Jesus talked about in this way. And he ended up giving his life to Christ and getting saved. And we pray for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So I think a hundred percent there’s need all around us. Um, and I think as Christians, we have to, even in America wake up to that need and be aware of our calling to evangelism and to share the gospel in these places to these people. So,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:46):
So let’s talk a little bit about the circuit writers. How do people join? How do they become a part? And then what are some of the core beliefs in the culture that you try to create in circuit writers?
Ben King (10:00):
Yeah, so, uh, we run schools every year, kind of similar to ywam, uh, discipleship Training School. It’s called a DTS Discipleship Training School. And, uh, they’re either, uh, they’re about seven to eight months long and you go through three months of training and then you go out and actually share the gospel. So it’s a very, uh, empowering model where we’re really believing our generation, um, is called to evangelism. So it’s mostly focused on, um, you know, our Gen Z Age group. Um, and, uh, we, yeah, so we invite people to our schools. So that’s one way to, you can join, you can just go to circuit writers.com, apply for one of our schools, and there’s more information about all that there. Um, but really our heart is, um, yeah, to see people come to Christ. So one of the primary things we’ve been realizing this year is that, uh, we want to, uh, share the gospel across college campuses and, and high schools in the cities, but also equip a generation to carry the gospel. Um, and I think, so evangelism is kind of at the core of what we do. Um, acts of service in the city, some of our core cultures, like our founder, uh, his name is Brian Brent and he passed away in 2000, uh, about it two years ago now. So yeah, I
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:09):
Never got to meet him, but I’ve heard such amazing things Yes. About Brian. And it was really sad when he went to heaven. Yeah. So
Ben King (11:15):
I was actually here in Tulsa when he passed. Um, we were doing an event at O R U, um, but just, he was incredible man of humility. I think some of the things that we would always say about Brian is like, he was such a, he was so happy I got to live with him for a couple months and with his family, he was so happy and lighthearted and joyful. But at the same time, Carrie, this just this edge of conviction, um, and the fear of the Lord. And, and, you know, so he, he wrote these manuals called the Freedom Manual, the Cultureship Manual, which kind of lists out the core cultures that we, uh, carry in circuit writers. One of them is like the culture of the Radical Servant, where Brian would, uh, just teach the, like the, the core goal in Christianity is to lay your life down and serve other people.
It’s not to, you know, make your name great or get a title or even to do something massively impactful, but it is to lay your life down and radically serve others. Um, and just he would talk about the joy of that. You know, he made up a song called Radical Servant that he’s sang in a sermon and we all started singing it. And um, so, um, and so, so many of these cultures in these manuals, which you can also buy online on our website, um, were just, they kind of set the foundation for what we carry as a movement. And, um, really for me as a young man getting saved at 17, joining the movement when I was 18, I’m 25 now. Um, some of the things that Brian would, would lead and teach, um, for me were so, uh, culture shifting and foundational even in my early Christian walk.
So, um, Brian definitely, you know, a lot of these things, obviously Brian led by the Holy Spirit. A lot of these cultures can be largely accredited to what he carried and steward even through, you know, his wife Christie. And, um, she’s still, you know, doing lots of ministry. But, um, yeah, so, uh, it’s definitely been since his past, it’s been different in our ministry. But definitely seeing the, his legacy walked out through all of the leaders that he raised up, cuz a foundation in RC Riders has been look for leaders, pour into the leaders and raise up the leaders and the places that we’re going to. So let’s
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:13):
Talk about evangelism and the circuit writer’s heart for evangelism. You’re starting to branch out and you just recently went to Burundi and you have a heart to go to other nations and you’d like to see a harvest of souls all over the world.
Ben King (13:29):
Yes. So we’re, uh, we’re just starting this. We’re calling it just carry the love festivals and um, you know, doing what you do in a much smaller way in the early beginnings. Um, but uh, cuz I know you’ve led millions to Jesus around the world and just have this incredible heart of love for Jesus. But, um, yeah, for us, we’re just, you know, group of, uh, 20 year olds and we’re, uh, really a believing God has led us in faith to do these festivals. We did the first one last year in Burundi, and it was a week long where we did most of the week, was training in evangelism and sending out the locals. So we trained about 700 local burundians and, um, here’s how you share the gospel and win souls and then bring people into the local church. And then we sent them out and, uh, in the week about five to, it was between five and 6,000 people gave their lives to Jesus.
Um, I just got a testimony actually of a young man who got trained in one of those trainings, uh, a couple months ago. Um, so this was, the event was about a year ago. A couple months ago, he went out and, uh, he left his city, went to a small town and began to preach the gospel. And he personally led 800 people to Jesus, a a young burundian man who came to one of our evangelism trainings and was inspired. So, um, our heart is to raise up the local evangelists and really do it together. Um, and so in Tulsa, uh, we’re planning that for April 21st, we’re doing a larger outdoor gathering and, uh, we’re looking at doing some, we’re in the downtown area, um, but we’re gonna do a week of outreach as you know, like you said, partnering with you guys, all these other ministries, um, to reach the loss. So, um, yeah, we’re doing eight, uh, different locations this year and just kind of, uh, you know, going after it in faith and we’ll see what happens. We’re really believing this year would be a spark of faith that we could continue in the years to come. Um, but there’s about five. What
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:12):
Are some of the other cities that you’re planning to go to this year?
Ben King (15:14):
So, uh, let me see if I can list them all. So we got Budapest, um, that, uh, my wife and I will go to, we’re doing, uh, uh, Louisiana, lsu, and then we’re doing, uh, Tijuana. Um, so, uh, I got about four, uh, we’re doing, uh, at, actually one of our core gatherings at Spark Circuit Riders was, um, at usc. And so we’re going back to usc. We’re doing a lawn in the middle of campus, so some of them are campuses and some of them are cities. And then, uh, we’re going back to Burundi again, um, for round two in Burundi, um, the uk. And then, uh, I think I covered all of ’em. I might have missed one.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:48):
Now, a big part of what you do is worship and in the circuit writers you actually have some really amazing worship leaders. Yes. Tell me about how worship and evangelism can work together.
Ben King (15:58):
Yeah, so, uh, o obviously we have Lindy in our movement who, uh, is incredibly well known and, and really a lot of her music was, uh, it was different because it had this edge of like, the great commission in it. So it was, uh, a lot of her songs were like, you know, every Nation, every Soul was one of her songs. And so, uh, it just kind of included this aspect of like, we need to go and share the gospel. Um, which has been massively inspirational to our, you know, really to the church and across the world. But she, uh, wrote these songs and, and so, uh, they really have this aspect of like, go, uh, and share the gospel, win the loss. And what we really believe in circuit Riders is, um, you know, wor the first time worship is mentioned in the Bible is it’s uh, when Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac.
Um, and so, uh, worship is obedience to God. And so I think, uh, obviously he singing songs, we’re gonna do that for eternity and it’s gonna be beautiful and amazing and it is now and we do that. Um, but one of the ways that we get to worship now, um, as well is our evangelism becomes an act of worship cuz it’s an expression of our love to Jesus. Um, and so I think combining, you know, the songs and the singing and the worship, this pure heart to Jesus with the proclamation of the gospel is perfect cuz it’s just a, it’s a continuation of like, Hey, we just worship for two hours now we’re gonna go out and find people that are lost and win them. It’s just a continuation of we’re expressing our love for Jesus through bold proclamation of the gospel and through singing songs. So, um, yeah, that’s what I would say.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:31):
I really love your heart for God. And you’re still young, but you are radically committed to following Jesus. What would you say to a young person who is looking for, for purpose and and looking for, for meaning? What would say to them to, to bring them closer to Jesus?
Ben King (17:53):
Yeah, I would just say run after Jesus with your whole heart. I mean, I was 17 when I got saved. I was addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography. My whole life was a broken mess. I contemplated suicide, pack of cigarettes a day. One night I overdosed and a few nights later I came home and I prayed and there was this incredible, uh, sense of the presence of God that filled my room that night. I fell on my knees, began to weep, and, uh, three months later got baptized, totally set free from drugs, alcohol, pornography, all of those things. And so for seven years now, I’ve been walking in this incredible freedom where, um, and when I first got saved my, I just started going to like Walmart in these places and just telling people like Jesus, I didn’t even know the gospel. I was just like, Jesus loves you cuz I was so, my heart was so satisfied and in love with Jesus.
And so I think, uh, come into the presence of God. Uh, Christianity is not, uh, a religion per se. It’s a, it’s a heart that has drawn so near to God that it’s so deeply satisfied. There’s an overflow of love for other people from that place. So, um, yeah, I would just say by the, you know, come to Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit into your heart, into your mind, into your soul, into every area of your life and be fully satisfied. And from that place of deep satisfaction in your personal life, having found everything you need in Jesus alone, um, go out and tell others about him and, uh, you’ll, you’ll experience joy that you maybe, uh, having up to this point. Some of my greatest joy has been watching other people receive Christ just like I did when I was 17. So, yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:26):
Well, Ben, you have a great last name. Your last name is Key. Yeah,
Ben King (19:30):
We have the same last name.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:31):
Maybe we’re related somewhere. I don’t know <laugh>, but it is a good last name. So it’s, uh, such an honor to have you on the Evangelism podcast. Thank you for being with me today.
Ben King (19:39):
Thanks so much for having me.
Evangelism Podcast Host (19:40):
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Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:43):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited telling people about Jesus and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from Hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the Evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with King Ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much and God bless you.
Evangelism Podcast Host (22:04):
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