Street Preaching Distinctives

In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. TItus 2:7,8

In this section I will be sharing my basic philosophy of ministry and what makes myself distinct in my street preaching ministry. I believe in the ministry of reconciliation therefore I derive most instruction from the New Testament. I do not regard the Old Testament prophets the same as Jesus, the Apostles, and other New Testament preachers. For example: Elijah called fire down from heaven and Isaiah walked around naked and barefoot for 3 years. I don’t think we are called to do that today under the new covenant. If we are to emulate anyone it should be Jesus and the New Testament preachers. I personally like Philip the Evangelist. Although I believe all scripture is profitable, I also believe that we are to get are primary instruction and mandate from the New Testament when it comes to preaching the Gospel. Phil. 3:17, 2 Tim 1:13, Titus 2:7, 1 Cor. 4:6, 1 Cor. 11:1, 2 Thess. 3:9

Although I mention sin, judgment, and hell, I do not practice the use of the law exclusively as a formula prior to sharing the Gospel. I trust the Holy Spirit to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. John 16:8…

I view the street preaching on the same level as preaching from the pulpit. Therefore I am not in favor of women preachers, however I believe they are to evangelize. They can accomplish this through tracts and one-on-one conversations with the lost. In the case of larger groups going out it is my conviction that the women witness, pray, and minister to other women – not to men. This is the model although there are times when this is not fully accomplished.

Furthermore, because of my high view of street preaching I do not think it should be thought of as “open mic night”. In other words it is not for the novice or casual Christian that who otherwise is not called or qualified for the pulpit decides he will try it on the streets. I have concluded through much experience not to allow any “Tom, Dick, or Harry” to use the platform that God has given to me. Having said that I believe there is a greater opportunity for young men who desire to preach on the street than in our churches. I am more than willing to aid any upcoming street preacher. Initially besides being born again the two initial qualifications in my opinion are to be teachable and available.

I am convinced that my duty as a street preacher is to proclaim the Gospel and the Word of God. One of the Greek words for preaching is: Kēryssō – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald a) to proclaim after the manner of a herald b) always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed 2) to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done 3) used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers. Examples: Usage of Paul when talking of his ministry. Acts 20:25 Usage of both words in these passages. Luke 4:18 and Rom 10:14-15.

Methodology

I believe in doing God’s work God’s way (with the light we are given). Therefore I do not believe in the modern method of music, secular entertainment, or gimmicks to bring forth the message of the Gospel. Scripture points us to the spoken word. The Lord Himself, and the apostles, proclaimed the Gospel both in public and personal witness using spoken, forthright, factual communication. I believe and therefore am committed to trusting the Lord for people’s salvation as the Holy Spirit works through God’s chosen method of preaching for getting out His message. 1 Cor. 1:21, Mark 16:20, Acts 8:4, 2 Tim. 2:4, Titus 1:3, 1 Pet. 1:25 are just a few scriptures on this subject.

I believe that less is better. When I am not preaching alone I like to work with just two, or at the most, three people on a corner. I have listed five main reasons below:
1. The Bible indicates smaller groups as the norm – i.e. Peter & John, Philip the Evangelist, Paul & Barnabas, Paul & Silas, Paul, Silas & Timothy.
2. Smaller teams are easier to manage.
3. Smaller teams are less likely to be challenged by authorities.
4. Smaller teams can obtain more coverage with the Gospel.
5. Small teams can maneuver easily and quickly if need be.

I desire to be disciplined in content. Although it is my aim to share the whole counsel of God, I focus on these main scriptural themes; Separation from God through Adam’s sin and the principle of imputation – Sin’s Penalty – Jesus Christ is God – His Death, Burial, and Resurrection – Regeneration – Repentance & Faith toward God.

You could sum it up by saying; Who is Jesus? And why do we need Him? I answer these questions for the audience. In contrast I avoid long stories, pet peeves, anecdotes, trivia, and other things that, although may be interesting, are of no eternal value for the hearer. Any testimonies or practical analogies are kept to a minimum. We ought not to be a long-winded preacher and straying way off course of our objective of getting out the Gospel. The street preacher has no right to pontificate on subjects outside of the Gospel. Our lips are not our own. Psalm 12:4, John 5:19

Contrary to many street preachers I believe in sharing one’s testimony because it is biblical. I would agree with my contemporaries, that sometimes it’s like putting your pearls before swine so you would have to be discerning. When it comes to sharing a testimony (conversion or otherwise) be encouraged to do so as the Lord leads you. Sometimes this is accomplished through a one-on-one conversation that stems from the preaching. The reason we should not minimize a testimony is that in John chapter four some of the Samaritans believed because of the woman’s testimony. The demonic went and shared his testimony to decapolis (ten cities) on what the Lord had done for him. We also have the Apostle Paul sharing his testimony several times in the book of Acts.

Code Of Conduct

I believe we should be of a gentle spirit. Jesus in Luke 9:54 tells James and John that they do not know what kind of spirit they are of. The manner of spirit is just as important as the content of one’s message, like both wings of an airplane. I believe in following Jesus’ style by emulating his humility and meekness, gentleness, and His other character attributes. Our demeanor. countenance and body language can, and will have, an impact one way or another. May we have the face of an angel as did Stephen. This can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. As ambassadors we have the ministry of reconciliation and we represent the King by our lifestyle as well. Please read Romans 12:14-21 Definitions = (Demeanor: somebody’s behavior, manner, or appearance, especially as it reflects on character) (Countenance: somebody’s face, or the expression on it) More Scriptures on the subject: 2 Cr 5:20, Luke 9:54-56, 1 Cr 13:1-3, 2 Tim 2:19-26, Phil 4:5

Dealing With Hecklers

If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. Proverbs 29:9

I personally do not engage hecklers. There are many street preaching ministries out there, perhaps most, that would disagree with me on this issue. In fact, the advice of most is to welcome the heckler and use them for your good. Although this is the common thought it is not my philosophy. Some ministries have a venue of engaging the public in questions and debates, even providing them with their own microphone. Ray Comfort is a master at this. I am not against this style but it doesn’t work for me. When in the posture of public proclamation I believe it to be a monologue, not a dialogue. I have developed a discipline to ignore the comments. I have found that in most cases the heckler is bored and leaves. Some Other Scriptures: 1 Pet 2:21-23, Proverbs 9:7-8, Proverbs 15:1-2, Matt 5:11-12, Proverbs 17:27-28, Proverbs 18:6, Proverbs 21:3

Being A Credible Witness

Definition: A credible witness is one who is competent to give evidence, and is worthy of belief. In deciding upon the credibility of a witness, it is always pertinent to consider whether he is capable of knowing the thing thoroughly about which he testifies. 2. Whether he was actually present at the transaction. 3. Whether he paid sufficient attention to qualify himself to be a reporter of it; and 4. Whether he honestly relates the affair fully as he knows it, without any purpose or desire to deceive or suppress or add to the truth. Source: dictionary.com

I would advise to just be yourself. Looking at me one could say I blend in with the crowd. In other words, I don’t stand out by the way I look. I dress nice but contemporary. I try to not look, or act, in any peculiar way to draw attention to myself. As much as I can I look people in the eyes as they pass by me. I believe one has to be approachable. Jesus Christ, although God, was approachable. Even with His miracles, authority, and rebukes, people could approach him for their needs and questions. We do not want to do anything that would detract from the message and the glory of our King.

Imagine you are on jury in a court case. You are being asked to evaluate the testimony of several witnesses. These may be expert witnesses such as a scientist or forensic expert, or just someone who has knowledge of the case and tells what they know. Both prosecution and the defense will in some way try to discredit a witness if they can. We have an enemy that will try to discredit you, namely the devil. Devil means slanderer. Satan means adversary. If you act goofy not many will take you seriously.

Although God can save someone despite us, which should give every reason in our testimony to take away a person’s excuse. Don’t let someone justify their unbelief because you act like a goon. Give them a credible witness! I do believe that how we share the Gospel and represent Christ matters. Luke 24:46-48, Act 1:8, John 15:26, Acts 10:42, Acts 20:24, Rev 19:10

“Shock & Awe”

He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. Proverbs 12:17-18

I do not believe in or practice “Shock & Awe Preaching” This is a method used by open air preachers, which is essentially when a preacher starts off his or her open-air message with statements that are purposely designed to cause people to become offended and/or angry. The preacher can also purposely use signs such as  “God hates fags” or scriptures used out of context to purposely cause people to be angry and thereby giving the preacher their attention, although negatively. The intention of these offensive and often abrasive statements are to provoke the unbelievers to heckle the preacher, which in turn draws a crowd. This is not just preaching against sin or preaching about Judgment Day and Hell. It is purposely saying hurtful, angry, overly controversial, or wild statements in order to stop people, because they are genuinely offended at what they are hearing. Proponents of “Shock and Awe” preaching say that it will cause people to listen to the gospel. However, this is an inappropriate way to gain a large crowd to hear the gospel, because it purposely offends the listeners and hardens their heart towards the preacher, and in turn, the message. Also, it “provokes people to wrath” Eph. 6:4, which is to provoke someone to sin. A Christian should not be guilty of this. This type of preaching causes the crowd to not want to hear the message due to their dislike of the preacher himself, not because of the controversial nature of the gospel message.  Persecution is good, if it is a result of the biblical gospel being preached, but not if it is because we, ourselves, have offended people. “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” 1 Pet. 3:17 Preaching should be done in biblical truth and filled with compassion.

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