Here is some excellent, common sense information on open air preaching written by well-known preachers of the past who did it with success. http://www.biblebelievers.com/StreetPreaching1.html
May God raise up a new generation of wise, Spirit-led street preachers. Here’s a great idea I read on this site. If your church has a field or park like yard, why not use it instead of a hot auditorium on hot summer evenings?
Now this is the Living Bible:
His name is Tim. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.
He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.
Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it..
One day Tim decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Tim starts down the aisle looking for a seat.
The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.
Tim gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.
By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Tim.
Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.
How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?
It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.
The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.
And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Tim and worships with him so he won’t be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion…
When the minister gains control, he says,
‘What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.’
‘Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read!’
As Jesus continued his conversation with the guests who had been invited to the Pharisee’s dinner with Him, He challenged them to get their eyes off themselves and on the needs of others, Luke 14:15 tells us of one who missed the whole point by focusing on his own blessing at the Heavenly Banquet. Focused only on himself he remarked, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.”
With that Jesus gently refocuses his attention and our attention on our responsibility as Christians to reach out to the lost with the Gospel invitation by telling another story in verse 16-24. Let’s look at that story.
The Great Supper Jesus refers to is a picture of the supper of salvation to which many are invited according to verse 16. Actually, everyone is invited. Listen to just three of the many invitations in the Bible to be saved.
“Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1
Continue reading the rest of the invitation in verses 2 and 3. This Gospel invitation is for anyone who hungers and thirsts after righteousness to come to Christ and receive His free and gracious gift of salvation by faith alone. This is right in line with what Jesus said in His Beatitudes in Matthew 5:6. For more on this, see our series on the Beatitudes on this web site.
The next invitation you probably know by heart. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The final invitation of the Bible in Revelation 22:17 pleads one more time with sinners, “And the Spirit (God’s Holy Spirit) and the Bride (the believer) say come. And let him that heareth say come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Will you come right now and confess to God that you are a sinner? Ask Him to save and cleanse you from your sins. Trust Jesus, God’s Son in human flesh who came down to this earth to shed His blood and die as the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. He rose again the third day, proving He was God. The price of our salvation has been paid in full by Christ. Will you receive Him by faith this moment? He will give you assurance of your salvation and you can continue reading with joy, knowing you are a child of God. You can find much more on this all important topic of SALVATION on this web site.
Returning to Jesus’ story in Luke 14:16, note that a certain man planned a great feast and invited many. When the supper was fully prepared he sent his servants to let the invited guests know is was now time to come. They made excuses and refused to come. We will deal with those excuses in the next article.
Right now, let’s focus on the responsibility of the servants to go and invite the guests. When the guests made their excuses for not coming, the master became angry and said to His servants, GO out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor, and the maimed and the halt and the blind.
Many came, but there was still room for more; so the Master continued challenging His servants to go out into the highways and hedges and compel the people to come in that the house may be filled.
If all of us obeyed our Master, I expect our half empty churches would be filled to overflowing and we would have to plant sister churches to help reach our towns and cities and rural areas with the Gospel. Such evangelism is going on all over the world. What’s happened to us in America? Is it possible that America, who was once the primary nation for sending missionaries around the world, is now in our selfishness and self-indulgence going to become the mission field?
The most difficult thing for a Christian to do is to GO! Once we are talking with others, it’s not nearly so difficult! The difficult thing is GOING! That’s why The Bible emphasizes a Christian’s feet. “How beautiful are the FEET of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things.” Rom. 10:15
Speaking of our armour in Ephesians 6, Paul emphasizes that our FEET need to be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.” Vs 15
The invitation we bring is simple. “Come, for all things are now ready.” Luke 14:17 Christ died for our sins. All we need to do is receive His gift of salvation by faith. There is not another thing we can do to add to the completed work of Christ. Just receive Him as a beggar would receive a hand out. God will save you freely by His grace. Salvation costs you nothing but humbling yourself before Him and receiving His gracious Gift.
Once you are a Christian, you will be so overwhelmed with His love and grace to you, that you will gladly present your body as a living sacrifice to Him. Living the Christian life and serving our Saviour costs us everything. But that is another topic we will cover later when we come to verses 23-35 of Luke 14.
Our biggest fear of approaching people with the Gospel is the fear of rejection. Jesus was rejected of men. Is it any big thing that we should also be rejected of men because of our identification with Jesus? Understand that lost people are blinded by Satan, as we read in II Corinthians 4:4. Nevertheless, we have the obligation to warn them. What they do with the warning is up to them; but we have delivered our souls. Ezekiel 3:17-19
Don’t be too quick to write off an atheist or anyone who is violently opposed to the Gospel. Who ever would have believed that Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christians would become Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles? Sometimes, those most antagonistic to the Gospel turn out to be greatly used Christians. Don’t be discouraged. God can make you a bold witness for Him.
Luke 14:23 challenges us to “compel them to come”. How do we compel them?
Not with prizes and gimmicks.
Not by changing the message to make it less offensive to a rebellious sinner.
Rather, we compel them to come to Christ as they see the genuine love and concern we have for them. Be honest with them by showing them we are all sinners. Show them the evidence of the power of God by living a consistent godly life and showing them your genuine love and concern for them. Finally, present the Gospel to them as found in I Cor. 15:3-11 Remember that according to Romans 1:16, it is the Gospel that has the power to save sinners. Share it with others and watch IT work.
A Harris poll conducted in 2003 indicates that only 1% of Americans believe it is likely that they will go to hell. No doubt one reason for this low percentage is that a great many people have imbibed the teaching that God’s “passing grade” in only 50% (that is, ones good works outweigh one’s sins).
However, we know that the Bible teaches that God’s passing grade is 100%- which no one can reach (James 2:10 Romans 3:23). Bad teaching concerning a work’s salvation is so deeply ingrained in the heart of man that evangelicals must take every opportunity to challenge and dislodge such thinking.
As a preacher, we pray that you will faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Christ. In addition we want to encourage every believer in Christ to “do the work of an evangelist” II Timothy 4:6.
Making sound Gospel tracts available in your church is one good way to fulfill this Commission.
Recently I received a packet of Gospel tracts with the above note from the senders. As I examined the tracts, I was impressed to see how true to the Bible they were. Unlike some tracts, there was no confusion concerning the Gospel message. I recommend them. Visit this organization by going to http://www.mwtb.org
Can’t keep it quiet!
When a girl has just received a diamond engagement ring, she shouts it from the house top. She flashes her ring, showing her friends and even strangers that she is engaged. Her eyes sparkle like the diamond on her finger. She has good news to share and she can’t keep it quiet. So when one receives Christ as Saviour and is born again into the family of God, it is normal that he cannot keep it a secret. He just has to share the good news with anyone who will listen.
The Samaritan woman whose conversion is recorded in John 4, had very little understanding of spiritual things, but she went throughout her town talking up Jesus and as a result, the people came to hear Jesus. John 4:39 says, “and many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him, for the saying of the woman.”
In Acts 2 we read of how the early Church in Jerusalem mushroomed in growth as the Apostle Peter preached the Gospel. Later on persecution of Christians began and in Acts 8 we read of how the Christians were scattered abroad and everywhere they went they preached the Gospel. These were not Apostles. They were not spiritually mature, trained Christian leaders. They were simply excited Christians who could not hide the light of Christ that blazed wherever they went. That is evangelism, pure and simple!
Gifts to the Church
Ephesians 4:11-16 teaches that throughout the Church Age these past 2000 years, Christ has given gifted Christian leaders to His Church.
First it was the apostles and prophets who laid the foundation of doctrine concerning Christ, the cornerstone of Christianity. Ephesians 2:19-20 In Acts 2:42 we learn that the early church was grounded on the Apostle’s Doctrine. That foundation is spelled out for us in the epistles of the New Testament. However, a New Testament preacher is not to limit his preaching to the New Testament epistles only. II Timothy 3:16-4:5 teaches that he is to preach all the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, using it to instruct Christians how to live the Christian life..
Through the years Christ has called evangelists, pastors and teachers to edify (build up) and equip the saints to carry out the work of their ministry. Every Christian is a saint. Every saint is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is given a particular gift to enable him to fulfill his ministry. These gifts are listed in I Corinthians 12-14. The gifts are not given to us to make us feel pious and self-righteous. They are given for us to use to reach others with the Gospel. Some have the gift of teaching with such clarity that others can understand spiritual truth.
Others have the gift of hospitality. They can invite people into their homes and make them feel comfortable. Some have the gift of helping others, perhaps with an automotive or a computer problem. Some have the gift of helping a young mother with the care of her children. Some have the patience and empathy to listen to someone’s personal problem and try to guide them to Scriptural help. The varied ways of helping others go on and on. But in all we do to meet the needs of others, our ultimate goal is to introduce people to our friend and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, when the timing and circumstances are right.
The pastor’s calling is to first of all, set a godly example to his congregation by his own life and that of his family; and then through the preaching of the Word of God, to help individuals and families become beautiful saints who attract people to Jesus. In this age of fragmented and broken families and wayward children; a godly family with submissive, happy children is a tremendous advertisement for Christianity in a neighborhood.
We can’t save anyone!
In our efforts to evangelize the lost, we must understand that we cannot save souls. We cannot open hearts to the Gospel. Only God can do that. I Corinthians 3 teaches that some of us sow the seed of God’s Word. Some water it through acts of kindness and through intercessory prayer. Some have the opportunity to lead receptive hearts to Christ and thus be involved in the harvest. Whatever we do does not make us more important than other Christians. I Corinthians 3:9 teaches us that we are all laborers together with God. In Acts 16:14 we read of how God opened Lydia’s hearts to the Gospel. I Corinthians 3:7 makes it clear that God gives the increase.
Some Christians have the idea that they do not need to be involved in a local church. They fly off on their own, doing their own thing and ignore the church and end up just “spinning their wheels” and accomplishing nothing Every Christian needs to be in a church where he can receive sound Biblical doctrine and be fed. Every Christian needs a pastor who loves and cares for him and helps to hold him accountable and helps to steer him in the right direction as to how and where he can best prepare to serve the Lord. If you have a question about your spiritual gift, ask your pastor or some other mature Christian who knows you. He may be able to help you discover your gifts and God’s will for your life.
Share the Good News!
Though this web site is addressed to Christians, we try to weave the Gospel through many of the articles so that if unbelievers read it, they will understand the Gospel and be saved. My desire for you if you are a Christian is that you might grow in the knowledge of God and become a beautiful saint who is “always ready to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” I Peter 3:15 If this web site is a blessing to you, would you share it with another?
A witness is simply one who passes on to others what he has seen, heard, known, learned or experienced. It is important that we be accurate and honest when we witness. In a court room we swear to tell the truth.
When Christ returned to Heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection, He commanded His followers to be His witnesses. Our faithfulness in carrying out His orders is a life and death matter. People will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. In Ezekiel 3:18-19 God warns us to be faithful witnesses. The one to whom you witness may reject the message, but at least you have been faithful and fulfilled your responsibility.
If you are helped and blessed by the Hidden Treasures at this web site, will you share our web site address with others? As you can see we have covered a large variety of topics and others will be added, the Lord willing.
Thank you and God bless you as you seek to fulfill the Great Commission at home and around the world
and thank you for your prayers for us. Would you pray with us that God will use this web site to reach the hearts of many for Jesus Christ?
In Christ's Fellowship,
Pastor Mal Bicker