God's Squad preaches at all times

Describing the God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club members as "chaplains to the biker community", Catholic David Hansen sees his ministry as an opportunity to follow St Francis' dictum to "preach the Gospel at all times - sometimes even with words".

Hansen, 38, president of the Sydney God's Squad chapter, said the club is an active Christian ministry that puts itself in the bike scene as an "outreach of hope", Catholic News Service reports.

"We feel we're doing the same mission that Jesus started when he went out to people at the very margins," said Hansen.

"Being on the biker scene, we're able to meet many types of people. We're a visible presence and a calling to Christ in places where his light ordinarily wouldn't reach."

Hansen said some members are ordained ministers who officiate at weddings and funerals.

"But we're all chaplains to the biker scene, and at various times our members will be found at bike shows, swap meetings, in pubs, and attending church services in prisons and juvenile detention centers," he said.

In June, the club formed a bike escort for the arrival of the World Youth Day cross and icon at St Patrick's Cathedral in Parramatta.

"We like to keep a high profile," said Hansen. "As regards evangelisation, I like to quote from St Francis, 'Preach the Gospel at all times - sometimes even with words.'"

God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club has chapters in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Founded in Melbourne in 1972 by a Methodist minister, the club is a ministry of the nongovernmental charity organisation Care Australia.

It is the only bike club started in Australia and exported overseas. The club has chapters in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Finland, as well as supporters in the US.

Another member of the club, Tommy Masi, 44, is married with three children. Masi joined the club in 1997 after what he described as a conversion experience.

"I always had a sense that God was grooming me for ministry. When I had my conversion experience I felt God calling me to testify," he said. "I'd reached a point in my life where I felt I wanted to give something back, that I wanted to be wholly claimed by Our Lord."

He added: "When I had my conversion I felt this profound feeling of Jesus' love for me. I understood then that he wanted me to be his instrument."

As he spoke, Masi pulled up the sleeves of his leather jacket to reveal elaborate tattoos of Jesus and Mary inked on his forearms.

Australian bikers' club offers Jesus to those willing to accept him (Catholic News Service, 7/8/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
God's Squad

8 Aug 2007