Open Air Evangelism Can Be Successful

by Charles Williams

The city streets tell the story: a businessman losing a sale; a housewife left alone due to death or divorce; a student looking for answers to life's questions; a prostitute who hates her trade; "street people" with no home. Life in the fast lane, with nowhere to stop. Men, women, boys, girls who are searching, hurting, lonely, looking for relief; without success.

On the street, a man is shouting something about Jesus and the Bible. He is standing by himself, waving his Bible, and telling people that if they do not receive Christ they will go to hell. No one stops; instead he is mocked. What he said is biblically true, but no one stops. Those who do not know Christ as Savior and Lord will go to hell, but no one stops.

On another major thoroughfare of the same city there is a man with a board. On the board is this question, "What Is Your Life?" People are listening as he tells them about another Man who can give them life. They hear that Jesus Christ can forgive their sin and give them eternal life if they will come to Him by faith. This preacher has gained an audience; people are listening. He is also telling them that if they do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, they will go to hell. Some people leave while others replace them; they stop but do not mock the preacher.

The difference between these two scenarios is that the successful man is using a sketch board which draws an audience because of people's curiosity. He is painting a message which is revealed one idea at a time, beginning with a need in a person's life and expanding on that need, point by point.

A simple ministry can be established by a few dedicated people in a church interested in putting a life-changing ministry into effect; wanting to make an impact on their city. Minimal training and equipment is needed. Both are available through a free book available online and a video which can be ordered.

A Brief Overview of the Ministry:

1. An organizational meeting is planned to discuss reaching people for Christ, training strategy, and equipment needs.

2. With training completed and the equipment ready, the first outreach date would begin with everyone gathered for prayer, then leaving for the preaching point. The preaching location was selected because many people pass this particular spot, it has a wide sidewalk and does not block a merchant's business, the sun will not shine in the audience's eyes, and the wind will not be a hindrance.

3. After arrival the team begins to pass out literature as the first preacher sets up the board and paints. The preacher has been praying for a message that is appropriate for this location. As the preliminary work of the painting has begun, the team members put away their literature, take their place near the board in a random fashion and watch, praying silently that the Lord will stop people and that they will be saved. As the message progresses people begin to stop, some for a few minutes before leaving the area, but others stay until a crowd has gathered. Upon finishing the message, the preacher gives the invitation to receive Christ and offers them literature.

4. As people take the literature the preacher shakes hands and asks if they have received Christ. As the people begin to leave the area, the team members talk with some who stayed for the meeting. Depending on their response, the conversation continues around the literature that was given at the invitation. Some may even bow their head and ask the Lord Jesus to come into their heart right there.

5. Several other meetings may be held with similar results before it is time to return to the church.

6. The team prays and thanks the Lord for His help, reflecting on God's answered prayers, souls saved, and safety.

The book, Street Preaching for the 21st Century, can be secured free from the Website: < preaching>. A two-hour training video can be secured from The Gospel Herald, P.O. Box 5848, Reno, NV 89513.

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Charles Williams, the author of Street Preaching for the 21st Century, is also the compiler of the The Bible Biographical Index & the Connection. This is a research tool that cuts study time by categorizing Bible people by noun, pronoun, and proper name. It can be sampled at the above Website.

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