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How to preach to the tattooed

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There's something peculiar about my ministry. God uses me to reach "tough guys." This is the last type of person I would expect to reach. I am decidedly not a tough guy.

I have always gotten good grades and done all my homework. I never cut a class. I graduated with honors. I've never used drugs, gotten drunk, been in a fight, or been arrested. I usually use good grammar. I even watch PBS and listen to Public Radio. A lifetime Christian, my testimony has none of the sizzle of a misspent youth. My sermons are long, doctrinal, and expository.

Nonetheless (see, there's a word tough guys wouldn't use!) ever since age 14, I've had an affinity for tough guys, and they seem to respond to me. As a high-school student, I directed an Awana club for 40 boys. I loved those kids and they loved me. My favorites were the troublemakers, the tough kids. I often wondered why the tough kids were so concentrated in this one local school?

What a shock when I attended the eighth-grade graduation ceremony. The ...

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