Need an Awards Ceremony Speaker?
I would love to come and speak at your church’s Upward™ award celebration or any other similar opportunity. There are a number of different messages I can use, but all my presentations focus on an informed telling of a Bible story that brings a clear understanding of the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
I am based in Northern Minnesota, where I am the Senior Pastor of a church, but I can travel anywhere. Because my priority is sharing the gospel, and I am happy to work with any sized budget. Please peruse the information below to see if I would be a good fit for you. If you are a league director, you can find me here on the Upward Sports Entertainer’s website: www.upward.org.
“Of the nine award celebrations that I have attended, Greg did the best gospel presentation that I have heard. He kept everyone’s attention throughout his presentation. I would not hesitate to have him again!” –Bob L, FBC, Sunnyvale, TX
“Greg has a tremendous ability to present the gospel in a truthful and entertaining way. I have never seen another Upward speaker present the gospel in such a thorough manner – nor have I seen such a response from the kids at our end-of-year celebration. Greg is entertaining, fun, creative and thorough in his ability to reach kids for Jesus Christ.” –David M, FBC Mansfield, TX
My presentations focus on communicating the good news of Jesus Christ in an engaging way. Using elements of evangelism born in open-air preaching settings where you must arrest the attention of passers by, I communicate the gospel in a way challenging enough for adults yet so simple even a child can understand. See below for videos.
I partially paint up a Bible story in advance and complete it as I present.
Kids love watching kids. Especially when it looks like they might get hurt!
While the truth is more important to the trick, for kids the tricks help a lot.
Here are videos of my three most commonly used messages for children.
This first message is called “He Calls You,” and it is my favorite these days. It tells the story of Jesus healing a blind beggar named Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). The first video is from a mid-sized crowd in Killeen, TX (skip ahead to the eight-minute mark for where I begin). The second video is an example of a smaller crowd and a slightly longer message. In the second video, the kid who volunteered for the rattrap trick later told me he used his little finger because he figured it was most expendable.
This second message is called “Lord Save Me,” and it explains the gospel by using the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 and walking on the water (Matthew 14:13-33). This recording took place before a mid-sized crowd in Farmersville, TX. The camera placement is fun because you can hear the children’s reactions well.
This third message is simply called “Heaven.” It has a more synthetic approach, and covers heaven, the creation of the world, Adam and Eve and the Fall, and the good news of Jesus as God’s answer. This recording is an example of a large crowd (1200 or so), and it took place in a school gymnasium in Burleson, Texas.
I graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 with a major in Pastoral Studies, from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2012 with a ThM in Pastoral Leadership and New Testament, and from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2016 with a PhD in New Testament. I wrote my dissertation on a comparison between Jesus and Paul as miracle-workers.
Though I served in evangelism previously, my training with the paintboard began in 2001 when I joined Moody’s open-air evangelism team. Yet I am most indebted to Open Air Campaigners, a mission organization whose members preach full-time using this method. After meeting Eric Briscoe in Chicago, I flew out to Boston in 2002 for eleven days of training with him and his team. They are the ones who taught me most of the messages and magic tricks I use.
I have been regularly using a paintboard to preach the gospel since 2001. For all four of my years at Moody, I was involved with the open-air evangelism team, and I served as the president and preacher-trainer of the group for the last two years. We preached every week on the streets of Chicago, and for three years I led a children’s outreach in Cabrini Green using the same paint-board technique.
Upon graduation I served for three-and-a-half years as the Associate Minister of Outreach at my home church in Michigan. In addition to other preaching and teaching opportunities, I continued to use the paintboard, both for children’s ministry and adult outreaches at college campuses and public venues.
Since moving to Dallas, I continued to use the paintboard to share the gospel with adults and children–with our church, on the streets of Dallas, and by visiting many other churches running Upward Sports™ programs.
Involvement with Upward™ Sports
My church in Michigan has been involved in Upward Basketball since 2003. During my time there I helped coach numerous teams and gave more halftime devotionals than I could count. I also served as the Upward Basketball Director for my last year at the church. The most fun upward experience, however, has been watching my own children play at our local league. My two oldest have played for several years now, and my third born is itching for his turn! I am excited about the program’s potential to reach children for Christ, and glad to be a continued part of this unique ministry.
“Greg was awesome!! Did exactly what we asked and kept the children and adults engaged the entire time. He even hung around afterwards to talk to the children. We really appreciate Greg!”–Amber M, Hampton Road Baptist Church, DeSoto, TX
“Greg did a great job for our Upward Soccer awards ceremony. He was able to capture the attention of everyone in the room and did a great job of sharing the gospel in a unique and interesting way. His gospel message was easy to follow for all ages and his method of delivery kept everyone excited about how the picture would continue to develop. Greg was easy to work with and a blessing to have as part of our ministry. I recommend Greg to anyone looking for an exciting speaker that presents the gospel in a unique way.” –James J, FBC Huffman, TX
“Greg presented the Gospel message in not only a unique fashion, but was able to captivate his audience of 50+ kids for the entire show. His clever use of coloring and magic along with his dynamic enthusiasm makes him a wonderful speaker and presenter of the Gospel. We would be thrilled to have him back for another show in the future!” — Brent L, Family Life Center, Bonham, TX.
“At the end of each season we have an awards night ceremony attended by all of the players, coaches, parents, grandparents etc. It is a great night of celebration. Several years Greg presented the Gospel message in a dynamic way through the use of a paint board. He has a gift of communication and has the ability to draw the audience into participation in the presentation. I would recommend Greg for an Awards night speaker for the Upwards Awards night program.” –Dwight W, Lake Superior Christian Church, Marquette, MI
“Greg uses compelling and memorable open-air board paintings to clearly state the Gospel. His response from the children and familes is amazing. Greg engages the audience while painting a picture of God’s eternal plan for everyone. Greg is an energetic, knowledgeable, and humble servant who has a passion to reach the lost through the Gospel.” –Terri R.
“Greg’s bellowing (yet soft and kind) voice is the first thing I think of when I remember that evening. It is often complemented with a smile. It’s just delightful to listen! And the sketch board itself attracts interest. Such an artistic flavor, it seems, leaves people pondering the picture just as much as the message. This is a good thing because the picture itself depicts the very things Greg is communicating. Greg in and of himself is a well refined communicator of Biblical truth. Yet, I think more importantly, he maintains a presentation that is fueled by the Holy Spirit. His manifestation of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control while he preaches is entirely evident.” –Tim H.
Feel free to contact me!