(The Guardian) We sat in a minivan in an otherwise empty parking lot in central Atlantic City. Before going into Bare Exposure, the first strip club of the evening, we read a passage of the Bible aloud. “Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be right.” (Job 33:23.) The trunk of the car was filled with pink cardboard boxes holding cupcakes from a high-end bakery.

This was my introduction to Love’s Way Out, an evangelical ministry that visits strip clubs around Atlantic City about once a month – not as a means to proselytize, but to express what the ministry refers to as Jesus’ compassion. The group’s members describe the ministry as less focused on conversion than on being a pillar of support for women they perceive to be in need.

Their mission, in other words, is to make strippers feel loved and, therefore, worthy of love.