Can God use clowns? In today’s Evangelism Podcast I talk to Chagy the Clown. He has studied with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus and performed with Cirque du Soleil. Now he is using his talent for juggling and doing illusions to bring people to Jesus through the power of humor.
Learn more about Chagy the Clown: http://www.chagy.com/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
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. I’ve never had a guest like this on the podcast before. Chagy the Clown. Thank you for being on the Evangelism Podcast!
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (00:15):
Yeah, baby. We’re excited. We’re just like, excited to, to do what God want us to do, you know? So we are here, what, what, what we need to learn today.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:25):
Now, I love meeting you and love hearing about what you do because I got started in ministry doing clown ministry. Okay. My parents were missionaries in Mexico, and we were going out on the streets trying to get the kids to come to the church. And we found that a great way to attract the kids was to put on a clown suit, put on horrible looking makeup, and we would run through the streets and, and the kids would come, and then we would be dressed up at clowns at the church, and, and the kids expected us to do something. So me and, and my brother, we started being funny and entertaining the kids. Yes. And so the whole first 10 years of my ministry dressing up like a clown. And so we learned to juggle ride unicycles, ventriloquism. And you’ve been doing that, but at a very high level, kind of talk to me about your experience. Okay. In, in doing clowning. Well,
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (01:15):
First you need to understand that the Bible talks about clowns.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:19):
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (01:20):
Why did you say that? In first Corinthian 1 27, it says, for God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wises. So yeah. With the foolish <laugh>, so, no. But we just started, I started 30 years ago actually in Puerto Rico. It was, I was trying to find a way to reach people in the streets. And I was a missionary for Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. And I, I saw all these evangelists in the streets doing evangelists the old way, which in some places it works. But in my country back then the people will not stop. We had this evangelist in the street, were screaming to the people and saying, you gonna go to hell If you’re not, you don’t, you don’t receive Christ. It, it was this kind of aggressive way to reach people that I don’t remember Jesus being aggressive that way.
And so I said, how can I stand in the middle of the street and do something and have everybody come? And so from there, I said, I started exploring different ways, juggling illusion. And then I saw somebody doing clowning. I remember somebody doing clowning, and I asked that person, I said, can you teach me how to do a little bit clowning? And he said, yeah, yeah. So he just got all this stuff and put me in clowning. And then something happened inside of me. It’s like it was a click. I went out there, and when I started doing clowning, people went crazy. And people will stop from, from 30.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:48):
So you make ’em laugh, then tell them they’re going to hell. What?
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (02:51):
No. Yeah. But I will make a bridge Yeah. To get to their heart. So I build a bridge to get to their heart with all this stuff, and then I will tell ’em and say, you know we have sin. We separated from God. But I, it was an easier way to bring the gospel. And that year, immediately I received a flyer and said, Hey, here, there’s a flyer. Because for me, it was important. I said, like, if I’m gonna do this, I have to be professional because I’m trying to reach the people, and I need to compete with what the evil is providing for, for the people, the social media, everything out there. The professional people are doing so good. They, they are attracting people. So I said, how can I be so professional? And then I found this training where I learned how to do clowning with people, retired staff from ringing brothers.
There were seven of them were in the clown Hall of Fame. And I got there, and the Lord just gave me favor with them. They were not Christian, only one of them was Christian, but they, they, I got favored in the way that they disciple me as a clown, as a professional clown. I learned the trade. They taught me how to be a, a very effective clown, because I wanted to be a clown first. And then being able to, with that, I will do the ministry because some people said, I’m gonna do ministry as a clown, and then you become a preacher dressed as a clown. I want to be a clown bringing the message, which is studying.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:25):
I was, I was totally a preacher, dressed as a clown, because I was always called to be an evangelist. Like I, that was my heart. Yeah. And so I was the straight man. Yeah. And then my brother, he was the, the, the funny clown. And so I would come out and try to preach to the kids. Yeah. Yeah. And then he’d start goofing off behind me. Yes. And he would make all the kids laugh. And I would turn around, and then I’d go back to preach, and then he’d come back out. Yeah. And it turns into a pretty good routine.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (04:52):
Yes. But in clowning, you need to understand is you need to learn movement, facial inspiration, everything of what is to become a character. Because through the clowning, you become a juggler of emotions because you express everything you wanna express through sometimes emotion. I go to countries that nobody speak my language, and I can do 30 minute show. And I have not spoken, spoken the language, but I, I conveying the message, and without speaking, but that happened because I, I don’t need to speak. I can do all this movement and show them, express it. When I, I’m, I feel sad when I feel painful, when I feel all this stuff. So I convey that message with my emotions and everything, and then the, they understand what I’m trying to bring until the moment they, they really get the gospel. At the end, at the end, I, I start talking. I had a translator, and they received a message, but I had to do it as a clown, not as a preacher, because if not, take off their makeup and become a, you see, that’s what I tell people. I said, don’t be somebody dressed as a clown. Be a clown. Bringing the message. So that’s why I learned the trade. I learned how to do juggling, illusion all this other stuff, how to perform on stage in order to bring the message. And so that’s how I, everything started.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:18):
I think that’s actually very valuable experience for an evangelist, because as a a clown, you learn how to capture the attention of the, the crowd. Keep their attention, make them laugh. Make them cry. Yeah. Bring emotion. Yeah. And if you can keep a big crowd of hyperactive seven year olds attention, then you can do the same thing for any crowd anywhere around the world. And so, I actually think more evangelists should start out by doing children’s ministry, whether it’s clown ministry or not. And they should do children’s ministry to learn how to communicate.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (06:55):
Yeah. And, and I didn’t do it to do it for children. My ministry never, never is labeled for child. I never labeled for children. I label it for the whole family, children of all ages. So I never, I never started because I wanted to children ministry or this group. No, I, I actually, I’ve been invited many churches on Sunday morning to do clowning and Sunday service, and they bring out the children to their classes, and I do the service for the adults. You’ll be surprised, because at the end, I take off my makeup and it becomes this very amazing experience, spiritual experience, because it is, the adults need laughter a lot children, it’s easy to bring laughter to that. But as also at the same, I’ve been in, in, in places in basketball court with 5,000 children. And when I get there, everybody is screaming.
You hear so many people talking and all that stuff. And I come out as a character, I started, and everybody sh and I, I don’t have to say anything. And I just start doing things as a character at the station. People just, and children are like, and I start doing little things that start giggling, getting the giggling of them and the families and all that stuff. And it gets to point that you have such a powerful tool to control the crowd so they can listen and hear the gospel in, in a, maybe in a silent way, way, because I do it sometimes in a silent way. Or, or just speaking, but with comedy. So that’s why they need to learn all these art. The experience of being trained with Ringling, that was Ringling Brothers was one. And then also I learned, I, I learned more when also when I work for CER sole I had the opportunity to work for them. And I never signed contract with Ringling Brothers because they wanted me for two years contract. And I said, this is, I, it is no negotiable me because I need to spend my time in ministry. If I go there, yeah, I will learn, but I, I wanna spend my time in ministry and c sole. It was just a small time where, not even months that I worked for them. And it was good for me as an experience and to bring it translated into the Christian world.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:15):
And so you’ve operated as a clown at a, the highest professional level, and now you have a heart for passing that skill onto others. Yes. Yes. And so talk to me about that. How are you training other people to use the art of clowning and illusion to reach people for Jesus?
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (09:35):
Well, first thing I did to do that, I, I’ve been teaching and have some disciples in some countries, but it’s not enough. I learned in ministry that what we do is not enough. It’s not enough what we do. So one thing I did, I did a whole training DVD session where I teach how to do clowning, how to do illusion, how to do balloons, how to do all this outreach with drama, how to operate a puppet. All that in how to juggle. I teach that in that dvd, which sometimes some countries, I go I go and give it to some people that I see that, oh, these people, this, I can feel that, you know, this is creative enough, they can do that. So I give it to people. Sometimes I, we sell it in some conventions sometimes because well, every proceed, everything that I make is just for doing more mission work in the field. And so, but, but yeah, I did that. And now I’m tr planning a mission missionary clown camp in in Guatemala next year where people will come, we will train them, and at the end of the week, we send it out to orphanage, to churches to do mission in the clown camp. Training never done before. Most of the training that you get in the States is like a one week. You pay for it, and that’s it. No, I, I want them to get an experience and live an experience as, as they get trained.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:11):
I think that’s a wonderful idea. A missionary clown camp. There’s a lot of people that should go learn how to be a clown. And some missionaries are already clowns. They should they should stop being clowned <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (11:27):
And, and the idea out of the camp is just to make professionals.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:31):
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (11:32):
Because that’s the idea, is how you become a character. How you become this powerful character that you made. The people fall in love with you, and they will listen. Because that’s what I do in the Muslim world. I go into the Muslim world. I’ve been in 53 countries, in some countries I’ve been over a hundred times. And with the Muslims, I, with the character, you’ll be surprised. I go to the Muslim world and they don’t bring me for the children. They bring me to do evangelism with the clowning for the adults. Wow. And, and I do this stuff, and, and they fall in love with the character, because that’s what I try to do, is made them fall with love, in, love with the character. And then they will listen. You see, they go like, oh my gosh, I love this guy. I enjoy this guy.
But then I go and I bring the message at the end, I, they go like, oh, what happened here? I have one guy from Baghdad in in Iraq. This is a testimony. It was amazing for me. Before I go on stage to do clowning, they reserve this hall in, in Iraq. And they tell me, the pastor said, Hey, I tried to keep it simple at the end. Don’t make a big invitation or something, because last week they killed a Christian here. And I go like, oh, okay. You tell me right before I gonna go on stage. So I did my thing over 31, Muslim came to Christ that day, after I did my thing backstage, I go backstage and this, this guy that look like salam hue, he appeared over there and said, shaggy, can I talk to you? And he would speak English.
I said, like, yeah, well, immediately my head is like, I’m looking. I, I, it is survival. I’m from the street. I came out from the street. So my thing is survival. I gotta look like Hannah. I’m not going down here. I’m not going down. But then I go to him and say, how can I help you? And he go like, you know, I’m from Baghdad. I came to this, and today your message got into my heart. And I go like, wow. And he go like, can I give you a, ah, he said, I’m from Badda and I’m Muslim. And I was, and he said, can I give you a hug? And I, he hugged me, and in my ear, he whispered, he said, you’re welcome in my country. And this is a Muslim. So how powerful this clown where people evangelists, and many other people always say like, oh, you know, how come a clown and this, well, you know, with this clown, thousands of people have come to Christ, people who are Muslim world.
It’s amazing what God can do through, through laughter. You know, we clowns bring laughter. This is a, this is my, my slogan. I always say, clown bring laughter, but only God brings joy. So yeah, it’s it’s an amazing thing. I seen that so many times. And you know, I will not stop. I’ve been doing it for 30 years. I, I encountered an a mission in a evangelist conference. Conference. I saw these evangelists and these beautiful evangelists. They dress, you know, sharp, and they’re sitting in the corner and says, shaggy. But they laughing. And I see, you know, how are they doing it? He said, shaggy, can you come here? I’m backstage right before I go to go up dress as a clown. And they said, they dress like flashy. They said to me, I said, do you think that Jesus would dress as a, as you dress as a clown?
And I said, I’m not sure, but I’m sure that he will not dress the way you dress <laugh>. And I go like <laugh>. I said, so bye-bye. I no time for you <laugh>. So yeah, it just, you, you can count so many people out there. So religious people that, you know, we need to understand that Jesus was creative. We just need, we are fisher of men. And I tell people, I said, as a fisher of men, you need to understand that you need to have a bait. So I’m here shark fishing for shark and killer whales. And if you don’t use the right bait, you will not fish. So sometimes we need to study where we gonna go, how it is, and see what is the best strategy to get to those people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:47):
Tell me about how you communicate the gospel. What is one of your favorite stories or ways of sharing the gospel that you found to be really effective?
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (15:59):
Okay. if you see my show, when I do a clown show I start all the way from the beginning making simple stuff. I do, I do a, a bell routine where I play with people in on stage. Jesus love me, and I finish. And I don’t say not much, but I say Jesus love. And we do the funny thing of saying, Jesus love me, and all that stuff with bells, and people laugh and they see everything, and I finish and that’s it, Joe. I leave it there. So I go from the love of g Jesus that he died for, for us. But then I go all the way to do other ads. I include in my show, different act that has different message all the way to him, to the end. But the other message is about sin, how disobedient we are, and how disobedient you know, destroy our relationship with God and things like that.
So I use different things, elements on the end. Then I do a mind as a clown with the music that says, allow Jesus to come, make your heart his home. And then I finish saying to the people, I say like, you know what your heart is like, like a house, like a home. And, and you know, when you have a home, when you have a house, sometimes you have guests and you bring guests inside, inside your home. But sometimes you don’t invite the guests to the rooms to see the rooms. Why? Because sometimes we have a mess in the other rooms. We only allow other people to be guests and, and stay in the living room in the kitchen. But Jesus wants to come to your home, to your house and has the key to have the key to be the one that goes and clean all your room or the rooms of your house. Even those little drawers that have all the mess that we have over there,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:51):
Even the one room in the back that you keep locked with the
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (17:53):
Key. Yes, yes. That you, you know, that if you open the dark, everything will come down out. So I, I explain all that through all the series of stuff that I do in the show. I can do a whole hour show with all this stuff. And, and during the show, people laugh, people cry, and people think because the idea of a clown, I know it is that we clowns our jugglers of different emotion. We guide them to feel pain, to feel, to understand their, their condition. We help them to understand their condition all the way to the end where they said, wow, I need this. Jesus, this friend of mine who is on stage is a friend of mine, because the way he spoke to me as a friend made me understand that I am a sinner. But he showed me that as a friend, as Jesus did as a friend. And he took me all the way to the process that I know now that I need this. Jesus.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:01):
Well, I so love how you are using your gifts and talents for the kingdom of God. Yeah. You found a unique way to share the gospel. We need many different expressions of the gospel.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (19:13):
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:14):
And, and so if someone is interested in being a clown or getting in contact with you, maybe inviting you to come to their church, what’s your website? You have an
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (19:23):
Egg here? Yes. Yes. You say, Hey, look, this is some of the stuff I used to explain. I don’t do magic because I know magic in the Bible is about doing witchcraft and all, you know, Santa, all, all the dark spirit, there’s no dark spirit here. Only the Holy Spirit. So what I showed with this little egg is that the hands are quicker than the ice. That I don’t do magic. I toss it up in the air, then got go like this, toss it up, but it’s gone. But actually, I left it here. This is what I did. I just did this. I kept it here. And then I went like this, and everybody go up looking like this. But actually I kept it here because the hands are quicker than the ice. You know, I can be deceiver, go like this, it’s gone. But actually it is guy right here because the hands are quicker than the eyes.
So it’s a deceiving art. And what I do is I tell people is that, you know what the devil is a deceiver. It is, it is the father of all the lies. So the first lie that he want to lie to you is about who God is and then who you are. So we had to be, so this is how I use things like that. But if they wanna seek for, for my ministry, and they can go to chk.com, C h a g y.com. That’s one place. Chuggy.Com. All my social media is simple. I am Chuggy I am, you know, h a g y, shaggy. So those are the places you can find me. And you know, you can look over there, the ministry, what we do. And it’s amazing. And I hope many of you just will become creative as you do ministry.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:02):
Well, thank you for showing us a little trick there with an egg. I don’t know how the people listening to the podcast will be impressed by it, but certainly the video people will. And it was an excellent trick. Oh very exciting <laugh>. So thank you. And thank you so much for being on The Evangelism Podcast.
Chagy – the Clown for Christ (21:22):
Nice to meet you and hope you be, you become successful in bringing people to Christ.