Street Preaching Distinctives

Methodology

Nice & Simple 
After much consideration in prayer and Bible reading I go to the city and I find a corner where there are people. I bring some Gospels of John to hand out. I then begin preaching, usually with an amp. My introduction is brief and then I get into the main facts about the Gospel. My aim is to preach the Word of God so that it fills around 90% of the speech that comes from my mouth. This is accomplished by either reading directly from the Word of God, or more frequently by Scripture memorization I am able to utter the oracles of God. The majority of these Scriptures are salvific. This is nothing less than proclaiming the truth like a herald of old. I have a message from the King!

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 & Barnabus, 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

Disciplined in Content
Although it is my aim to share the whole counsel of God I focus on these main scriptural themes
1. Separation from our creator (God) through Adam’s sin
2. The consequences for that separation
3. Jesus Christ is God
4. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
5. Repentance, Faith, and Regeneration

In contrast I avoid long stories, pet peeves, gimmicks, 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. It is my opinion that a long-winded preacher not sticking to the main thing is either a novice with very little experience, or someone who has another agenda than that of a Biblical evangelist.

Manner of Spirit

Jesus Style
Jesus Christ should affect the way we carry ourselves out on the street by our humility, demeanor, body language, and remembering to have a good countenance. This can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. We dress appropriate, not drawing attention to ourselves. As ambassadors we have the ministry of reconciliation and we represent the King by our lifestyle as well. We are committed to personal holiness and discipleship through the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in us. We believe in optimizing our effectiveness by preparation through prayer and fasting and being consumed by God’s Word. 2 Cr 5:20 Luke 9:54-56 1 Cr 13:1-3 2 Tim 2:19-21 Phil 4:5

It is my aim to preach the Gospel with boldness, yet with humility; authoritatively, yet with compassion; with truth in love; so that in all ways I may please Him who enlisted me as a soldier. There is much to consider in the tone of one’s voice, our facial countenance, and our passionate convictions.

“Shock & Awe”
I do not believe 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.

Dealing With Opposition

Go in faith expecting favor with police and other authorities. If hindered move to a different place. I am out there to share the Gospel not to make a stand for my rights. (although I am thankful for others who have)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”, who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 1 Pet 2:21-23

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

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. ​​Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Proverbs 9:7-8

A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2

Some Other Scriptures: Matt 5:11-12, Proverbs 17:27-28, Proverbs 18:6, Proverbs 21:3

Why I Preach

1 Cor. 9:16-17 As children of God I  desire my motives to be pure. Because of our fallen nature, self analysis and examination  is skewed as we are contaminated with sin. Our conscious must be clear but even  this is not one hundred percent accurate 1 Cor 4:3-5 Under the  guidance of the Holy Spirit we check ourselves, therefore I preach primarily because  it glorifies God 2 Cor. 3:7-13, out of my love for God John  14:21, and to be obedient to the call Mark 16:15, out of  sincerity Phil. 1:12-18. Secondly, to see souls saved. Prov.  11:30 Acts 13:48 1 Tim. 2:4 2 Peter 3:9

What I Preach

Overview John 4:37 The speaker’s presentation on the street is to be  different than that of preaching to an assembled audience such as a church, tent,  stadium, etc. First of all, the street preacher is not invited to speak to his  audience and they may be hostile. In most cases the people move by at a rapid  rate. They may hear only between 10 – 30 seconds unless they stop and listen. I concentrate on telling people why we need salvation and how to be saved. My  street style is primarily proclamation which is “planting seeds”. I do not  have the luxury of getting long winded on subjects, however important, that are  not pertinent to the Gospel message. I look for guidance from the Holy Spirit  when sharing personal testimonies, analogies & object lessons. I stay away  from politics, personalities, pet  peeves, where did dinosaurs come from? Etc.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Col  1:18. The person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the centrality of  eternal life and the Christian faith. Therefore I preach about Him using the  following topics; creation, the fall of man, separation from God, the nature  and character of God, purpose of the law, eternal punishment, virgin birth, the  death, burial, and the bodily resurrection of Christ, repentance and faith toward  God, what saving faith is, salvation by grace, hope for the believer, and alike.

Christ Crucified 1 Cor 2:2 Therefore I preach to glorify Jesus Christ  by preaching on the cross often – the arrest, trial, condemnation, crucifixion,  burial, and resurrection of Christ. Since the law and the prophets were until  John the Baptist Luke 16:16 I aim to preach within the new covenant,  using Jesus, Philip the Evangelist, and the apostles as my examples. Although  the Old Testament is the inspired Word of God, I do not emulate the Old  Testament prophets. For example; Isaiah walked around naked Isaiah 20:2-4 I don’t do that. Even though we must preach and teach on the sinfulness of  man, judgment and hell, I concentrate on God’s grace and forgiveness as we  preach the gospel of grace Acts 20:24.

The Message of the Kingdom Acts 8:12 My preaching  will also cover the following; You must be born again to enter the kingdom of  God John 3:1-7, you must receive and be converted as little children Matt  18:3, the kingdom of God is within you Luke 17:21, The literal  kingdom at Christ’s second coming Isaiah 9:6-7 Daniel 2:44 Matt 25:31-46 Luke  1:32 Rev 20:4-6.

The Word of God Romans 10:17 and Psalm 138:2. Therefore I speak  the Word of God either by verse memorization or by reading from the Holy  Scriptures themselves. Whenever possible I preach expository from a text that  would be fitting for salvation.

How I Preach

Ambassadors for Christ 2 Cor. 5:20 As ambassadors we have the ministry of reconciliation  and we represent the King by our lifestyle as well. I am committed to personal holiness and  discipleship through the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. I believe in  optimizing my effectiveness by preparation through prayer and fasting and also  being consumed by God’s Word. Jesus Christ should affect the way we carry  ourselves out on the street by our humility, demeanor, body language,  remembering to have a good countenance. This can only be accomplished through  the Holy Spirit. I dress appropriate, not drawing attention to myself.  Patience and self control are very useful out in the streets.

Methodology 1 Cor. 1:21. 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 are 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. Mark 16:20 Acts 8:4 2 Tim. 2:4 Titus 1:3 1 Pet. 1:25

Tactical Strategy Mark  1:38 I want to be consistent but flexible as to where I go; what city,  what section of that city, what corner. Street preaching is best suited for  large downtown metropolitan areas. Whenever possible I use electronic  amplification to project my voice. When it is not possible, I lift my voice  loud enough for people to hear the

Conclusion

I Cor.12:4-6. I realize that not everyone agrees with this type of  ministry or with my ideas about evangelism. The evangelist is a gift from  Christ Eph 4:11 and street preaching is a calling from God, so I can’t really  teach it. I wrote this paper so that you may see what is distinct about my  particular ministry that God has called me to.

Philip The Evangelist

Overview of Philip and His Ministry

The main text used will be Acts chapter eight. In this article we will identify Philip, a man of God and Bible character; drawing out of the scriptures who he was and what his ministry was about. Thus practicing what is shown in the scriptures. I am fascinated with the life of Philip because I believe to be called by God to be an evangelist. As we look to Philip we can model an evangelism ministry after his.

In the Bible concerning Philip; there is nothing to indicate that he did anything to train others. He didn’t follow up on converts or do anything else but preach to new people in new areas led by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps once settled in Caesarea he did these other things. At some point he was married and perhaps his wife traveled with him. This is unknown. Philip was submissive to the apostles, but generally worked alone. Philip preached to crowds and witnessed to individuals (one-on-one). Philip displayed sign gifts and baptized those who were converted under his ministry. There’s so much more we can glean from God’s Word concerning this wonderful man of God. Let us begin.

Who is Philip?

First, Philip here is not to be confused with Philip, one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus. John 1:43-44 Philip the disciple, who later was named an apostle Matt 10:1-2 Mark 3:18 Luke 6:14 Acts 1:13 who through Church tradition was thought to have preached the Gospel in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. A tomb believed to be that of St. Philip the Apostle was unearthed recently during excavations in the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis. [1]

Philip is first introduced in Acts chapter six has one of the seven men the people chose for the purpose of managing the distribution of food to the widows who were in conflict with each other. Although the title deacon is not mentioned here, most today would recognize this to be the first example of deacons in the Church. In Acts eight is where the majority of the story of Philip takes place. Later in Acts we clearly see that Philip, one of the seven, is called an evangelist. Acts 21:8

In Acts twenty one we also see that Philip had four daughters. It doesn’t mention his wife. This is common in the Bible that the women are not focused on as much as the men. It would be safe to assume that Philip was married to produce his offspring, and they were not born out of wedlock. It doesn’t say when, or how long, he was married. If you do the math, scholars have put the timeline between Philip in Samaria (Acts eight) and when Paul and his party stayed at Philip’s house (Acts twenty one) to be about twenty years. Philip could have conceivably been married and had his first daughter when he left Jerusalem during the persecution.

Philip’s Ministry and Call

At least 15 people in the New Testament are referred to as apostles, a few as prophets, several as teachers, and a few (local church elders) as pastors of the churches. Only one person, however, is called an evangelist. Paul instructs Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” 2 Tim 4:5, but he was never called an evangelist. Only Philip, one of the original seven is called an evangelist Acts 21:8. [2]

The term evangelist was used to describe all preachers of the good news. Although a part of every minister’s duty, there are those whose entire ministry is devoted to preach the gospel and bring the opportunity of salvation to the unsaved. Philip is the only New Testament example we are given of this ministry. [3]

Over the centuries this ministry has not been given proper recognition on the local church level and it has slipped into gray territory. We often have evangelists trying to pastor local churches and pastors who are trying to travel as evangelists. This creates confusion for the saints, frustration for the ministers, and a lack of fruitfulness for the Kingdom. Some of our traditional viewpoints may lack clarity and accuracy because we have not seen the fullness of this ministry until recent years. Jesus is the pattern for all the New Testament ministries including the evangelist. [4]

Philips Character

From Acts 6:3 Philip had a good reputation among the people. He was full of the Holy Spirit. He was full of wisdom. By being appointed over some business in the Church we know that Philip was a man associated with a body of believers. He was not as the term goes: “a lone ranger”. Through persecution of the Church he was deployed beyond his familiar family of God; what we would call our “Home Church”. There are times when going into uncharted areas with the Gospel that you may be the only one. This could happen to someone on the job. They could be the only Christian. The issue of belonging to a group of believers, i.e. the local Church is an issue of the heart. Many street preachers today are not affiliated with a Church. I am not one of them.

Philip recognized and worked side by side with the apostles. Acts 8:14-15 Philip was faithful and obedient to the call of the Lord. Acts 8:26-27 Philip had hospitality as he hosted Paul and others. Acts 21:8 Philip was directed by the Spirit of God Acts 8:29 The other thing that could be added here is that Philip was a humble man and knew his limitations. He certainly didn’t have any selfish ambitions, if he had; he perhaps would have tried to stay in Samaria.

Philip Worked Alone

Despite the objections of people concerning this concept you cannot deny that Philip, the only one called an evangelist, worked alone. One could argue that he was married at that time and his wife was his companion and traveling partner in the ministry. Scripture just doesn’t say. I have two arguments why I think he was not married until later in life and therefore would have been alone in his first campaign in Samaria and most likely the rest of his ministry early on. Like previously mentioned, his wife could have been with him and it just does not mention her. If in fact his wife was an active partner paired up with Philip to do the ministry it seems strange that she is not mentioned like Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1, Aquila and Priscilla Rom 16:3 1 Cor. 16:19 Peter’s wife is not mentioned by name but we know he was married. Matt 8:14 1 Cor 9:5 The second argument is that in Acts 8:39-40 when Philip was caught away miraculously, it seems reasonable that he was alone. It doesn’t mention Philip and his wife, or family, were caught away. My conclusion in the matter is that “Philip the evangelist” worked alone. I preach on the street corner alone about 70 percent of the time. The other 30 percent of the time is working with other believers, men and women alike.

Who Was Philip’s Audience?

Although the Samaritans, and the Ethiopian eunuch, had heard about God and to some degree believed in God; before Philip went to them with the Gospel they were unsaved. We see that he preached to the unsaved with the message of who saves us and how to be saved. There is no record of Philip preaching in a Church to Christians. We do know that the evangelist does play a role in the Body of Christ. Eph 4:11 The office of evangelist is a gift to the Church from Christ. This is to equip them to do the work of the ministry. Other New Testament passages concerning Samaria: Jesus goes to Samaria and encounters the woman at the well. John 4:4-42 Jesus instructs disciples not to go into Samaria. Matt 10:5 Samaritans would not receive Jesus – Sons of thunder want to call down fire. Luke 9:52-56 Jesus Heals the 10 lepers and only one returns to give God glory. Luke 17:11-19 Jesus tells disciples they will be witnesses in Samaria. Acts 1:8 The established Church in Samaria Acts 9: 31 Paul & Barnabas testify about Gentile converts in Samaria on route to Jerusalem. Acts 15:3

Philip’s Message

What Was The Content of Philip’s Message?

Philip’s content is found in three verses with four examples of what his message was. He preached Christ. Acts 8:5 | The things concerning the kingdom of God Acts 8:12 | The name of Jesus Christ Acts 8:12 | He preached Jesus Acts 8:35 | The person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the centrality of eternal life and the Christian faith. We are told the subject matter of what Philip preached but we do not have an example of a sermon or discourse of his like we do of Peter or Paul.

The first thing mentioned is that Philip “preached Christ” Paul says For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor. 2:2 We are not peddling (adulterating for gain) the Word of God, 2 Cor. 2:17 We do not commend ourselves. 2 Cor. 3:1 We are not sufficient of ourselves. 2 Cor. 3:5 We do not handle the Word of God deceitfully. 2 Cor. 4:2 We do not preach ourselves. 2 Cor. 4:5 The crucified and risen Christ is the main focus here.

The kingdom of God is something else that Philip preached on. We don’t know exactly what was expressed. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21 Jesus then proceeded to talk about His second coming. I believe what is meant by the kingdom of God is within you is this; when you are born again. There is a coming kingdom as well and this is something that should be preached and taught. It effects the motivation for repentance and a host of other issues.

Philip preached the name of Jesus Christ which is a little different than preaching Christ. Here is what I think the difference is. Preaching Christ is to preach about his Messiahship, His work on the cross etc. The name of Jesus is what saves us. Acts 4:12 These are very similar however and overlap so I do not want to split hairs.

The last reference is that Philip preached Jesus. This was to the Ethiopian eunuch. I am sure this encompasses the whole of the Gospel. Philip apparently mentioned baptism in his Gospel presentation because the eunuch brings it up when he sees water.

Philip’s Method

Philip went – Acts 8:5 This implies action. He went somewhere. This is consistent with the Lord’s command to “go” Biblical evangelism is that, “we go to them” weather it is across the room or across the world. There is nothing wrong with inviting people to Church however this is not the Biblical pattern. It is to go. Mark 16:15

How Did Philip Communicate His Message?

The key verse in discovering how Philip communicated to people is found in Acts 8:35. In order to advance the Gospel you have to open your mouth and speak at some point. Fear can, and will, most always set in at the pinnacle point of a conversation when it is time to share the message of Jesus Christ.

Subtle attempts have been made to avoid such a task by replacing forthright verbal communication by some lofty human ideologies that lead to the justification of not sharing at all. I will address the two main ones. The first is based on a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assai which says, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” The idea here is to live your life as a Christian and keep your mouth shut, and in that way you will be a better witness by letting them see how you live. It is true that we shouldn’t have all talk and no action, and we should certainly live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel. The second is a similar idea called, “Friendship Evangelism” which is making a friend over a period of time. This is a must before you can earn the right to verbally share the Gospel. In this method it is usually not shared until someone asks. Again here the philosophy is that in order to be an effective witness we must befriend someone to show we care and that upon the right time in the relationship we can then bring forth the Gospel in a more successful manner.

Both of these concepts are valid but are lacking the necessary element of speaking. I will suggest to you that the underline reason is twofold; the fear that comes with witnessing about Jesus Christ, and being ashamed of the Gospel. We must confess this and pray for boldness and then act in faith upon the command to preach the Gospel. The approach of confession and prayer is preferred to denial and the criticism to the ones who openly share their faith. Like two wings of an airplane; living the life and speaking forth.

…it pleased God thorough the foolishness preaching to save those who believe 1 Cor. 1:21. KJV but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; Titus 1:3

Speaking, Preaching, & Proclaiming

This is mentioned 7 times in chapter 8. Acts 8:4, 5, 12, 25 (twice) Acts 8:35, 40 There are 3 Greek words used here with the definitions below. In short, the difference I see in Euaggelizo & Kerysso is that Euaggelizo is speaking forth a certain message and in this case the message is the good news. Kerysso is more of a type of how one would speak, which would be proclaiming something. you could Kerysso the daily news headlines or the president’s latest speech. You could not Euaggelizo without having the content about Jesus Christ. Although both are rendered preach/proclaim the difference is the content of message, however; we also know when Kerysso is used in other passages in the N.T. the message is also about God, Jesus or the Word. That is why they seem so interchangeable.

Euaggelizō – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings a) used in the OT of any kind of good news 1) of the joyful tidings of God’s kindness, in particular, of the Messianic blessings b) in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation c) glad tidings are brought to one, one has glad tidings proclaimed to him d) to proclaim glad tidings 1) instruct (men) concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation. Examples: Usage in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) when talking about and kind of good news as in a battle victory 2 Sam. 18:27. Used in the New Testament by an angel to announce the birth of Christ. Luke 2:10

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

Laleo – 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound 2) to speak a) to use the tongue or the faculty of speech b) to utter articulate sounds 3) to talk 4) to utter, tell 5) to use words in order to declare one’s mind and disclose one’s thoughts a) to speak. The apostles leaving Samaria Acts 8:25

Philip, the Itinerant Minister

We see the nature of Philip’s ministry in Acts 8:40 Jesus being compelled to stay traveled as well. Mark 1: 37-38, Luke 4:43 Jesus traveled in a circuit Mark 6:6 I have heard many criticisms about how an evangelist stays in one town for awhile and then leaves, as if this is somehow wrong. No, on the contrary, according to this passage the evangelist is to travel and spread the good news. It is not indicated how long Philip stayed in each town or area. It is thought there were some twenty years between the persecution that sent Philip out and from the time that Paul and company stayed at Philip’s house in Caesarea. Acts 21:8-9, This does not mean the evangelist has to travel, but that it is ok to do so. Something worthy to note here is that in Eph 4:7-16 it does indicate that in the gift of evangelist, they are also to equip the body of Christ. If you couple this passage with 1 Cor 12:4-6 We see there are differences, therefore I concede that there are some evangelists who do not travel across the globe but are placed in a ministry where there is more training (equipping) I know some.

Philip’s Works

Signs & Wonders

Philip had the gifting and ability to perform miracles. Acts 8:7 Concerning the signs & wonders that Philip did, it is worthy to note that these gifts were not limited to the apostles. Stephen as well did miracles Acts 6:8 Barnabus Acts 14:3 Corinthian Believers 1 Cor 12:10

Baptism

Philip also baptized people and the act of baptism was evident in his preaching. If you follow the ministry of Philip then the role of the evangelist is to baptize those who believe. There are 3 baptisms recorded in Acts eight. Both men & women were baptized Acts 8:12, Simon himself was baptized Acts 8:13, and the Ethiopian Eunuch Acts 8:38. All three I believe were submersions. Also to note here is that here and other instances in the book of Acts baptism was done immediately as to associate it with conversion. To read more on baptism go to: Water Baptism Article

Follow Up

Early on in my witnessing and evangelism there was this immense pressure to follow up on the candidates. We had people fill out response cards and then try to visit them again in person. If that didn’t work we would try calling them. Even through invitations to Church, fellowships, and Bible study in most cases the people would not respond. That certainly says something about the actually conversions that took place. We know from the life of Paul and his associates that there was a lot of “follow up” for the new converts. Acts 15:36 However with Philip I found some startling observations:

No one stays for “follow up” in the city where Philip was, not even the Apostles. Acts 8:25 Surely if we had constructed the story here we would put Philip, after his initial preaching, to leave. The apostles we would have had stay and begin a pastoral and teaching ministry. The amazing thing is they didn’t. They left and went back to Jerusalem. Did they leave them in the lurch? Or turn them over to the care of the Holy Spirit? Remember this was not the first time the Gospel was in Samaria. Although Jesus told his disciples in Matt. 10:5 not to go to Samaria, He himself went and met the woman at the well. John 4:39-41

The Lord calls Philip to leave what we would call a revival and go somewhere else; the desert road that goes to Gaza. Acts 8:26-27 If we were asked to do this, it would seem strange to us and in fact we probably would question if it was from the Lord at all. To leave a thriving work to go down to a desert where no one is; that does not fit our idea of ministry or our Church planting program. The Lord knows what He is doing. It is our job to find out His will and then do it.

No one follows up on the Ethiopian eunuch. Acts 8:39 Out of the three examples this one is the most fascinating to me. Right after the eunuch believes and is baptized Philip not only leaves him, but the Lord miraculously takes Philip from that place to a whole other area. No one left the eunuch with a Church brochure or a list of Churches in his area. The eunuch never filled out a follow up card. I am not saying that practical things to help someone in their new found faith are wrong. I have done them. I just think that ultimately we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to do the “follow up”. He is certainly capable without our sometimes feeble attempts. Tradition has taught that the eunuch went back to Ethiopian and a Church was birthed due to his evangelism.

False Converts

Some have debated if Simon Magnus was in fact saved, or he was a pretender or false convert. For conversation’s sake let’s say that Simon was a false convert. Outside of the Lord Himself, Philip is the great evangelist and yet he had the situation with Simon. The production of false converts does not always hinge on the methods or lack of truth spoken on the part of the evangelist as we see here. Note how Simon asks the apostles to pray for him. I think it is characteristic of someone who does not have a relationship with God.

Epilog

Everyone is to share their faith, and yet I realize not everyone is called to preach on the street corner. I do so much appreciate those who have supported evangelism by praying and giving financially. And most often it is nice to have those words of encouragement from those believers that pass by out there. The general call is to go. We don’t need another directive concerning this, however; once we go then we look for specific direction from the Lord.

1. Jackie Bruchi, http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/27630

2 – 4 Victor Reichenbach, Casper Open Bible Church, Casper, Wyoming