Such exciting performances are standard fare for Kingdom Stunters, a high-octane urban outreach ministry headquartered in Midlothian, TX. Some missionaries go to the furthest corners of the globe to reach the lost for Christ, but Michael King, founder of Kingdom Stunters and its main performer, hits the highways and byways of the United States to spread the Gospel from the handlebars of his motorcycle.
“We want to show people the only way to be reconciled to God and pray that God would draw them to that goal,” King said of their mission. “That is our heartbeat; the stunt show is merely the method that allows us to share that message.”
While King is the primary stunt performer, Kingdom Stunters has a full complement of support staff to round out the team.
“It is a partnership with God,” King said primarily. “We also have a musician (my wife, Valorie), an MC (Ron Punch), and occasionally other people come alongside of us such as James Hollis, Michael and Bonnie Ferguson who have helped with events by setting up the sound system, MC’ing, filming and editing video and praying for the ministry.”
Since inception in 2007, Kingdom Stunters has remained a small operation in order to maintain focus on its goal of spreading the message of the Cross rather than managing an over-sized organization.
“I think the growth has occurred on the inside,” King said of his ministry’s development. “We have grown as disciples of Christ and we have grown in how the message is proclaimed.”
Safety is of the utmost concern for King and the team.
King reports that safety, “has always been an issue that I’ve had to compromise on with the event planner. We ask for more room and they want to give us less, so we settle for a safe distance.”
In fact, safety concerns often dictate which tricks King will perform.
“My least favorite (trick) is definitely the gorilla roll,” King said. “That trick is really hard to perfect because for a brief moment I really have close to zero control of the bike and it can get a little hairy. It’s basically doing a back roll off the bike and then trying to get back on.”
“That trick has haunted me, after 26 failed attempts I finally started getting the hang of it, but if I don’t have a lot of space, that monkey is staying in the bag,” King added.
The track record for safety speaks for itself.
“We have performed at over 80 events in the past 7 years and have never injured a spectator,” King said, “but people are concerned and I respect that.”
King had an early start in freestyle riding, which began in childhood.
“I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a tiny little kid,” King said. “I raced motocross from junior high until my college years when I had a bad crash landing on another bike over a big triple.”
The suggestion to switch from racing to stunting came from a college roommate.
“Around that time, my roommate convinced me to buy a Yamaha R6,” King continued. “We would go out on the streets and it almost seemed to be instinct or impulse to start trying wheelies.”
A lifetime of experience in motocross proved invaluable in learning to handle the bike in trick situations. His new skills lead the way into the next stage of King’s life.
“When it became apparent that I was turning into a renegade on the streets, getting chased by cops and aggravating other drivers, I started taking my bike to parking lots in industrial sectors to practice my new found passion,” King said. “The rest is history.”
The typical Kingdom Stunters performance is often sponsored by local churches as part of larger outreach events, but other venues have opened in the past with schools and public youth-driven events.
“Getting to perform at school assemblies and see the huge impact in such small towns has been incredible!” King shared. In looking to the future, he added, “I would also like to disciple other stunt riders and see them come to Christ and develop a similar calling in ministry.”
Teenagers are a demographic close to King’s heart.
“One of my [favorite times] was at a local church where we performed for their Wednesday night junior high and high school kids,” King said. “It was amazing because God showed up and we had a great time of worship and an opportunity where kids were repenting. Seeing the kids on their knees in worship with tears coming down their faces was really a heart-moving experience.”
Event preparation consists of bike maintenance and practice sessions, not only to stay fresh, but also to add and perfect new tricks into the Kingdom Stunters arsenal. Before ever approaching the bike, though, King and company take each event into prayer.
“Kingdom Stunters is a ministry, so preparation begins with determining who is the target audience for this particular event,” King said. “Then we spend time praying for the event, for God to prepare people’s hearts, that He would prepare us to share the Gospel and that the event would be safe. Then I’ll start typing out what He puts on my heart to preach.”
After the adrenaline-laced performance and stirring personal testimony, Kingdom Stunters takes the opportunity to mingle with individual spectators one-on-one. Occasionally these encounters extend beyond a fan’s praise for a favorite trick.
“A teenager we met at an event in Oklahoma professed to be a Wiccan and that he dabbled with the black arts,” King said. “But he was drawn to the show and after hearing our testimony of coming to faith in Christ he approached us afterwards and began to tell us what was going on in his life. We talked to him about surrendering that to God and prayed for him. Later that night they had a tent revival led by an evangelist, and after presenting the gospel, the young man came forward to follow Christ!”
At the end of the day, King and his Kingdom Stunters staff see themselves as ministers rather than entertainers.
“I think the most important comments have come from people in the audience, that came to us with a deep realization of a lifestyle of habitual sin and a heart of repentance. Having those conversations have always given us hope that God is actually using this ministry to expand His Kingdom.”
Visit www.kingdomstunters.com to read more of Michael King’s personal testimony and to view his performance schedule.